Thursday, December 04, 2008

Emerald Princess, December 2008, Evening 4

Chef's Table Dinner (on our way to Grenada)

Two or three evenings during a cruise on the Emerald Princess, Executive Chef Joel Directo prepares a special menu for twelve passengers. There's an extra charge for this, $75 per person, which includes the seven course meal (or ten depending on how you count the appetizers), three different wines with dinner and a Champagne toast in the kitchen with the Chef and the appetizers. The meal lasts about three hours.

Because the passengers start the meal in the galley, sanitation is an issue. Each guest is sent instructions the day before on how they should dress and each person has to sign a statement that she or he is in good health and has no signs of Norovirus symptoms. Before entering the galley you must put on a long, white lab coat. And you have to wash your hands as soon as you enter the food prep area.

After the appetizers in the busy galley the party is escorted to a reserved table in the middle of the Michalanglo Dining Room. There is quite a demand for the Chef's Table and very limited seating so a lot of people are turned away each cruise.

The food, wines and service were fabulous. My favorite course was the first one -- the Shrimp Margarita with Avocados and Mangos. The other nine courses were all tied for second place, they were so good.

A handwritten menu is presented:
Menu: Chef's Table Dinner, Emerald Princess 12/4/2008
[Click on the menu to enlarge it.]

Here are the twelve lucky passengers on the evening we enjoyed the Chef's Table. Also in the photo are Executive Chef Joel Directo and the ship's Maitre d'Hotel, Nicola Furlan.
The twelve lucky diners
[Click on the photo to enlarge it.]

At the end of the meal each couple gets a copy of the latest Princess cookbook, "Courses, A Culinary Journey" personally inscribed and signed by the Executive Chef and the Maitre d'. You can see a copy in the lower right corner of the photo above.

The rules:
The Chef's Table Rules
[Click on the text above to enlarge it.]

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