We first booked the Chef’s Table experience a couple of years ago. Since I’m a picky eater, I didn’t eagerly anticipate the experience. Little did I know that we’d be hooked after our very first time! Now, we are regulars at the Chef’s Table. The Chef’s Table experience is a little pricey at $75.00 per person. We usually think of it as an excursion, since we rarely take any other excursions on the islands. While some like to swim with the dolphins, Ashton and I prefer to eat and drink, like celebrities, with the chef. It’s hard to imagine, with nearly 4,000 other passengers on the ship, that the executive chef takes time out of his schedule to entertain us and share his specialty dishes. Not only do we always receive a fantastic meal, there is unlimited wine, champagne, entertainment, and memories! Please allow me to share this amazing culinary journey with you.
We began this culinary journey by gathering in the ship’s atrium. Usually, there are about twelve people who attend. We always make reservations before we get onto the ship because those spaces fill quickly! As soon as we entered the atrium, we were greeted by the executive chef ( looking impressive in full chef’s attire) and were immediately given a glass of champagne. I imagine everyone else probably wondered why we were so special…..
We were whisked off into a part of the ship that others rarely have an opportunity to see. We given a brief tour, as activity bustled all around us. As soon as we entered the kitchen, we were given our first appetizer, along with all types of facts about the ship’s kitchen. It was so interesting! This was the mango sphere with a rosemary biscuit. Although it looks a bit like an egg yolk, it was a bubble of mango that literally melted in my mouth.
Every single item was so carefully crafted. True works of art! Just look at this salmon tartar cornet with sesame seeds!
This is the beef carpaccio on an air pillow with chocolate bacon and apple ribbons. They don’t make these things for just anyone on the ship! Can you imagine the time it took to make this?
Next, we enjoyed the double cooked lamb with tapioca. I never eat lamb, but that night, it was amazing! The tapioca crisp was especially tasty.
Although I don’t normally eat much meat, I had absolutely no problems eating everything I was served. The combinations of flavors were so vibrant. They’d explode in your mouth! I was, as always, loving EVERY SINGLE SECOND!
After the appetizers and several glasses of champagne, we made our way to the table. It was impeccably set, in the center of all of the kitchen activity. On other ships, we’ve only dined in the library. Ashton and I were thrilled to experience dinner in the actual galley this time!
We began the second part of our culinary extravaganza. First, we were served the most amazing rolls. They were presented so artfully. I didn’t want to share!
The crab stack was my favorite. It was prepared with corn custard, a polenta cracker, tangerine, and passion caviar. The “caviar” was made of bits of emulsified passion fruit. We eagerly watched, as our exquisite concoctions were prepared.
The Duck Textures was next on the menu. It was served with a creamy quinoa, parmesan churros, olive snow, and port wine jus. It was simply gorgeous. This was a little much meat for me this time. The duck found it’s way to Ashton’s plate, quickly.
The Bisque Our Way was an experience! It began with a cheese mixture in the center of the bowl. Then, the two different soups were carefully poured on each side. One soup was made from red tomatoes; the other from yellow tomatoes.
Another favorite was the Sea Bass. It was coated in a chorizo crust and served with fried pop-corn pudding, lemon macroon, and a lobster foam. The presentation during these dinners is exquisite!
After this course, we left our tables and headed to the pastry chef’s station. Along the way, we were greeted by several of the waiters. Everyone in the kitchen was so friendly!
We were able to learn about the preparation of the different desserts on the ship. We also participated in a cooking presentation. We watched the pastry chef prepare Carnival’s famous Chocolate Melting Cake recipe. You might find that in an upcoming post this summer…
As the pastry chef was finishing, Ashton grabbed the mixing bowl and passed it around so that everyone could sample. Yummy!
Once we returned to our seats, we were entertained by a magician at our table. Wine, good food, good company, and lots of laughter. What more could one want?
My tummy was stuffed, but there was not a chance that I’d turn down dessert! We were presented with a sea salt praline chocolate, raspberry mojito, and key lime cake with apricot vanilla gel and citrus cream. Ashton asked for a chocolate melting cake on the side. He never turns down an opportunity for chocolate!
Before we parted, we received a photo of our group, compliments of the chef.
As always, the Chef’s Table didn’t disappoint. It exceeded every expectation. The entire evening lasted several hours and I was able to taste extraordinary things! If you are a person that loves artistic foods, this is a must for you! I wish that I could have brought the chef home with us. Instead, I brought home the wonderful memories of a night very well spent.
To reserve a spot at the chef’s table, email Group Even Planning at email@example.com. The subject line should read “Chef’s Table Request”. In the email, include your party’s names, ship and sail date, booking number, and cabin number. Usually, someone responds within a week.