Friday, November 16, 2012

Goldring Travel's 2012 Food & Wine Cruise on the Seabourn Pride - Part X (The Goldring Travel Food & Wine Tasting)


Our last day on the Seabourn Pride started earlier than I had planned (I forgot to set one clock back one hour), but as I sat al fresco in the Veranda before it opened sipping a cup of coffee I saw one of the most spectacular sunrises I have ever seen rising above incredibly calm waters and blue skies.  It was quiet.  It was personal.  It was a “moment” I felt grateful for.

A beautiful sunset sailing towards Lisbon, Portugal.
 No breakfast today.  Today is not only the Galley Market Lunch, but the famous Goldring Travel Food & Wine Tasting.

After a leisurely morning…a morning where I warn everyone in our group to take it easy at the Galley Market Lunch…the time slows for me because I am nervous as to how the last event is going to come off.Chef Kurt and Sommelier Juan have never done one of these before and I am letting them run with it.  Chef Kurt and Sommelier Juan have checked the menu and pairings with me and I, of course, defer to them, but appreciate their asking my opinion.

At noon the Galley Market Lunch opens. I say I am not going eat anything, but then I see some of the Razor Clams “we” bought shopping with Chef Kurt the day before. OK, maybe a couple of Hard Clams. And then it was there: a Whole Roasted Suckling Pig! Not fair!!!! I had to have some crackling.  OK, some wonderfully fatty pork too. (Just a little bit…right?) Oh, no: Soft Shell Crabs. And, as I am walking out a small piece of crispy fried chicken.  




Will power…Fuggedaboudit. (But I did skip the fantastic dessert table!) 

Two hours to go.  A quick hot tub soak.
One hour to go.  Change and look “host-like”.
It’s time!

It is 3:00 p.m. and the Veranda is closed except for our group.  Chef Kurt has created an amazing and challenging nine course menu…which he is going to cook almost entirely ala minute.  That’s right he going to put on a show…and what a show did he put on. 


But before you think it was all flash and glamour you need to appreciate Chef Kurt. He is a 31 year old whiz kid with boyish good looks, a sparkle in his eye, a smile that starts in the corner of his mouth and an incredibly soft and caring dispositions.  I am not sure there is an ounce of ego in this hardworking chef who has worked himself up from the bottom.  As he cooks for us (and I will get to what he prepared) he tells us of growing up in his grandmother’s kitchen and that even today when he is home that is where he loves to spend his time.  Clearly for Chef Kurt, cooking is personal.  Being a Seabourn Chef is a profession.  He truly appreciates both.

If you have read all of my articles about this Food & Wine Cruise you know that I have made a number of purchases along the way to pair with the local foods:
  • Mead from Falmouth, England
  • Blue Anchor Pub’s Spingo Beer (Special and Medium) from Helston, England
  • 20 Year Old Calvados from Honfleur, France
  • 2009 Carmensac Bordeaux from our Ensemble Experience in Bordeaux, France
  • 2011 Carmensac Clairet from our Ensemble Experience in Bordeaux, France
  • 1.20 Euro Vino Blanco from the butcher in La Coruna, Spain
  • 1.20 Euro Vino Tinto from the butcher in La Coruna, Spain

OK, Sommelier Juan…Do you stuff!  Pair these with Chef Kurt’s menu (but if you need: to add some wines from the Seabourn Pride’s extensive wine list). 

Wait a minute!  Before you get started, Chef Kurt needs some salmon filleted.  One of our guests has boldly professed that after our experience at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork, Ireland he is now a professional fish filleter.  With a whole salmon presented he deftly approaches with quite a swagger and then is provided gloves to assure cleanliness…and we all burst out laughing as he not only doesn’t have a chance of filleting the fish, he can’t even get the gloves on!


That out of the way, Chef Kurt (who started out in his six years of training working with pastry) started by creating chocolate decorations for his final dish, a dense chocolate cake which needs to set in the refrigerator.  (Juan eventually pairs this with the Blue Anchor’s Spingo  Medium beer; a surprising pairing that works extremely well.  Who knew?)

  
Our first tasting was Homemade Salmon Gravlax
 

And then a Marinated Lobster with a Foam of Lemon


This was followed by a Foie Gras Tourchon

Chef Kurt then prepared a plate of some wonderful cured meats including Serrano ham (from La Coruna, Spain), salami (from Gijon, Spain), pate aux cepes (from St. Jean de Luz, France)




It was then Fresh Squid stuffed with Shrimp Mouse:
Chef Kurt saut├ęs some Hard Clams with olive oil, garlic and just a bit of salt. And then he does the same with the Razor Clams.
Next up was Fresh Black Pudding that we purchased at the market in La Coruna, Spain with Vanilla Sented Apple Puree and Carmelized Apple.  (Sorry there are no presentation photos.  Honestly it was so good I forgot to take a picture of it!)
As we began winding down our spectacular Food & Wine Tasting an elegantly paired plate of Cheese collected during our cruise was presented.

And for the Finale it was where we began:  Chocolate Cake with Creme Fraiche and Mint Essence.
By the way, the Hotel Manager, Nick Burger, was our "assistant".  I don't know how he always has the energy or the smile, but we were thrilled not only to have him with us today, but for him to be able to share in the event.


While the 2012 Goldring Travel Food & Wine Cruise has come to an end, the 2013 Food & Wine cruise is being planned and is enthusiastically been booked early.  (And I do seriously limit the number of guests so that it is an intimate and high quality event.) 

If you are interested in the November 13, 2013 Food & Wine Cruise on the Seabourn Quest - a 7 day sailing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Buenos Aires, Argentina...with an overnight stay in Montevideo, Uruguay - please email me at eric@goldringtravel.com  or telephone me at (877) 2GO-LUXURY or in the UK: 020 8133 3450 or Australia: (07) 3102 4685 or elsewhere internationally: +1 732 578 8585.