From fine dining experiences to honing your cooking skills, Oceania Cruises are ideal for the travelling food connoisseur.
Oceania’s elegant ship Marina has a variety of tempting cuisines, but the Red Ginger restaurant sent my tastebuds into a particular tingle, with dishes such as Thai curries, Malaysian beef and chilli-studded red snapper wrapped in banana leaf. The duck confit and watermelon salad was a treat, so I was gratified to find I could learn to cook it in the Culinary Centre. I soon learned how to chiffonade mint and basil and find the right balance between hoisin sauce, honey and lime juice.
Oceania Cruises has six intimate, luxury ships that sail on destination-rich itineraries worldwide, but sets itself apart from other cruise lines with its reputation for gourmet food and culinary-themed shore excursions.
Its ships have several specialty restaurants at no additional cost, of which Marina’s Red Ginger is one. Marina and Riviera both have a unique Culinary Centre offering enjoyable, hands-on cooking classes. One class recreates the most popular dishes at Red Ginger, allowing guests to bring a taste of the cruise home.
The Culinary Centre was the first of its kind at sea, encouraging guests to get hands-on at workstations. On various cruises, you might learn about Sicilian or Spanish cuisine, or seafood, or classic brunch dishes, and at the same time cook alongside a professional chef, who will help you improve your knife skills and demystify cooking techniques.
How to roll a spring roll was one such technique, which I perfected during my next course. Chef Noelle showed us how to soak the rice papers, pluck them from the water at just the right moment, and quickly roll them around our filling of pomelo, peanuts and herbs. It was an enjoyable, relaxed but informative experience, accompanied by glasses of wine and much conversation. We learned to make lobster pad thai too, and then had the added pleasure of tucking into our own creations, tastebuds tingling once more.
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