Recently, my husband and I took a Carnival Cruise Line’s without the kids (thanks grandma & grandpa for watching our little ones!). I think we crammed a year’s worth of dates in just 5 days aboard the Carnival Inspiration. We went to shows, karaoke, listened to live bands, danced, relaxed, explored new ports and ate. Wow, did we eat. Today I’m sharing Carnival Cruise Line’s Best Kept Secret which has turned into one of my favorite food memories!
Favorite food memories are often as much about how we are introduced to new foods as they are about the new tastes. Whether it’s being taught how to mix soy sauce and wasabi the first time you try sushi, fumbling your way to chopstick mastery, or learning to dive into an Indian or Ethiopian dish with your hands, an experienced food guide helps shape the memories and habits that last a lifetime. The Chef’s Table experience aboard Carnival Cruise ships combines amazing food with the perfect food guide, the Chef himself! Chef Russel Pereira explained each item of a 4-appetizer, 7-course dining experience. Tips on cooking, special ingredients, mixing textures, and more.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Best Kept Secret – The Chef’s Table
Carnival Cruise Lines has rolled out an exclusive dining experience called The Chef’s Table. It’s unlike any dining experience I have ever had, and limited to no more than 12 people per service.
Let me break it down for you:
- A tour of the cruise ship’s galley.
- A cooking demonstration of Carnival Cruise Line’s famous Chocolate Melting Cake.
- 4 starters, and 7 perfectly orchestrated courses.
- All meals artfully prepared and presented by the chef de cuisine and his hand-picked staff.
- Champagne, Wine, and unlimited juice refills. Note: although I don’t drink (#ImAMormon) I still thought this dinner was so worth the price.
- $75 per person for one of the most amazing dining experiences of your life!
We started in the kitchen where we got a private “behind the scenes” look at the cruise ship’s galley. We were served 4 delectable starters that set the stage for the rest of the dining experience. Chef Russell’s passion for cooking quickly showed through as he delighted in our reactions to the first appetizer, Mango Sphere on a Rosemary Biscuit. He instructed us to pop the entire thing into our mouths. The moment we did, the mango sphere burst and our taste buds we flooded. It was a beautiful thing, and I may have even teared up a little.
- Mango Sphere on a Rosemary Biscuit
- Salmon Tartar Cornets in a Sesame Seed Cone
- Beef Carpaccio on Air Pillow with Chocolate Bacon and Apple Ribbon
- Double Cooked Lamb with Tapioca
After the starters, the cooking demonstration began. The pastry chef showed us how he took 5 simple ingredients and made Carnival Cruise Line’s world-famous Chocolate Melting Cake. When they asked if anyone want to help, you know I jumped at the opportunity. As an added bonus, the chef gave us a our very own copy of the recipe to take home with us! To me that was worth the $75 price tag in itself.
The Bread Course
Blue Cheese Brioche with homemade crackers, whipped butter, and charred tomatoes & garlic.
The 1st Course
Beet Blanket & Spiced Grape Herbal Tea: asparagus, cauliflower, honey carrot tian, mache, and lemon streusel.
The 2nd & 3rd Courses
Crab Stack: corn custard, polenta cracker, tangerine, passion caviar
Duck Textures: creamy quinoa, Parmesan churros, olive oil snow, port wine jus
The 4th & 5th Courses
Bisque our Way: two tomatoes, three types of basil, crisped brioche, garlic chips
Sea Bass: chorizo crust, fried pop corn pudding, lemon macaroon, lobster foam
Each dish’s presentation was incredible, the Bisque our Way especially. Check out the video I shot of the presentation.
The 6th & 7th Courses
Wagyu (basically one of the most expensive cuts of beef in the world): bone marrow souffle, scallion & garlic panisse, gremolata crisp
Pastry Chef: sea salt praline chocolate, raspberry mojito, key lime cake, apricot vanilla gel, white chocolate macaroon, and citrus cream
Can you see now why I’m calling this Carnival Cruise Line’s best kept secret? Every Carnival ship hosts The Chef’s Table. I suggest you book the dinner as soon as you get on the ship, because spots fill quickly!
Disclosure: This post for Carnival Cruise Line’s Best Kept Secret is not sponsored; I received no compensation for writing it. I wrote about the experience because it was simply incredible.