Friday, June 26, 2015

Goldring Travel's 2015 Culinary & Cultural (formerly Food & Wine) Cruise - Seabourn Quest - Part V (Sea Days & Private Culinary Events)

With two days at sea there was still much to do not only with the 2015 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural (formerly Food & Wine) Cruise, but out an about on the Seabourn Quest.

Eric Goldring with Seabourn Executive Chef Jes Paskins
(Nice Jacket!)
I did want to mention the much improved enrichment program, now called Seabourn Conversations.  With a really interesting mix of speakers Seabourn has made sure that much of the history, culture, politics and nature of Norway has been covered.  Whether it be trolls or glaciers, birds or Vikings, or even the Hanseatic League, interesting discussions were had. (I, personally, never seem to be available when the lectures are given, but Seabourn has all of them available both live and recorded in your suite.)

One of those things that kept me busy was a Private Cooking Demonstration by Chef Jes Paskins.  With his “normal” enthusiasm, the Chef made an “amazing” Tom Kah Gai; a wonderfully spicy chicken, coconut Galangal Thai soup.  With champagne during the demonstration and a wonderful Hofstatter Gew├╝rztraminer paired with the finished product, it was a real treat.

Seabourn Quest's Executive Chef Jes Paskins

 That evening I had a bit of a surprise for Diane, as her birthday was coming up; nothing special really…until Seabourn got involved.  All I did was ask if they could make a cake shaped like a ship; meaning a sheet cake, of course.  After planning it for three days simple flowers, champagne and a cake turned into this!

A Seabourn birthday party for two

A birthday cake that only Seabourn would create!




Next up was Olden, Norway and a truly fantastic Private Food & Wine Event designed and personally cooked by Chef Jes.  I had mentioned to the Seabourn Quest’s fantastic Food & Beverage Manager Julian Petrasuc (who I have seen truly move up through the Seabourn ranks) that I wanted to have a culinary event on the balcony of my Spa Penthouse Suite with a magnificent view of the Norwegian fjords for our group to enjoy.  Chef Jes stepped up and said, “Leave it to me!  Is anyone living in there?  I can already smells tons of garlic and herbs, mussels…Oh, it is going to be fantastic!”

Seabourn Quest in Olden, Norway
We awoke to a picturesque view of the end of the fjord and the charming village of Olden.  The clouds hung overhead, but with the sunlight peeking through just enough to make the wildflowers and red buildings pop out of the lush green landscape.  The temperature was a comfortable cool. 

What a view from our suite! Olden, Norway
Now for the rain to hold off and the temperatures to rise just a bit the event could be just as I envisioned.

Ordered to leave our suite to Chef Jes to organize things (OK, Seabourn doesn’t order anyone to do anything…other than appear at the muster), Diane and I took a long, leisurely, walk around this very pretty part of the fjord.  (There was a glacier about 30 kilometers away, but unfortunately we didn’t have the time to make the trip.)


It was then back to the suite to see Chef Jes and his staff putting together a bit of Seabourn magic. 

A Goldring Travel Culinary Event
with a spectacular view of Olden, Norway and the Norwegian fjords

Chef Jes is the star, but...
There is a whole team that puts together a Goldring Travel
Private Culinary Event!




Our tasting including a champagne aperitif (of course), followed by cold prawns, crab and lobster paired with a Sancerre, 


followed by those fantastic mussels with garlic and herbs paired with a wonderful Meursault 


 and finally some of those famous Seabourn giant Nigerian prawns finished with more garlic paired with one of my favorite wines, a Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc.


And, of course, there was dessert paired with a tawny port!


But Chef Jes not being done: A Suprise!  He had made an incredible beer sorbet from some of the Mack beer from Tromso, Norway that I brought back to the Seabourn Quest. 

Chef Jes and his team made an incredible
Beer Sorbet from beer Goldring Travel brought back to
the Seabourn Quest from Mack Brewery in Tromso, Norway
Now that is what a great chef does:  He wins you over, then amazes you, then blows your mind...and then POW!

This was followed by a nice, but chilly, Officers on Deck Epicurean Event.  But to be honest, we were all so full that the cold weather served as a wonderful excuse not to linger but to enjoy the Seabourn Quest sailing through the Norwegian fjords.

Breathtaking View sailing out of Olden, Norway