Holland America Line is introducing Food & Beverage Aficionado Cruises in 2018 that showcase the talents of the members of its esteemed Culinary Council, Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff, and the premium line’s wine curator and winemaker partners. The Culinary Council comprises a collection of elite international celebrity chefs who bring global influence to every dining venue across Holland America Line’s fleet of premium ships.
The Culinary Council is led by Holland America Line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, who is joined by international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Elizabeth Falkner, Andy Matsuda, Ethan Stowell and Jacques Torres. The cruise line also collaborates with acclaimed wine critic James Suckling on curating its wine program, master mixologist Dale DeGroff on its cocktail program and vintners from its home state of Washington, including Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, which helped develop the BLEND wine experience on board Koningsdam.
“We have an unrivaled breadth of talent among our Culinary Council, wine curator, master mixologist and winemaker partners. These new Food & Beverage Aficionado Cruises give our guests a unique opportunity to have an up-close and personal learning experience with some of the world’s most notable experts,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “It’s not every day that you get to see a famous chef cooking live or have a personal conversation with someone whose restaurant you’ve dined in, and we’re making those experiences possible for our guests through these cruises.”
During each Food & Beverage Aficionado Cruise, guests will have the opportunity to attend cooking, cocktail or wine demonstrations; get to know the experts at presentations; meet them at photo opportunities; and join an intimate reservation-only dinner in the Pinnacle Grill.
All events are complimentary excluding the Pinnacle Grill dinner. Guests who wish to make reservations for the specialty dinner can contact Holland America Line’s Ship Services department upon booking to secure their spot.
The current schedule of Food & Beverage Aficionado Cruises includes:
Rudi Sodamin, Culinary Council Chairman
Sodamin was born in Austria and trained in France. The Master Chef recently released his latest culinary masterpiece, an art table book called “Food Faces” that features more than 150 images of edible creations that display a whimsical spectrum of human emotion. His innovative approach has made him the most decorated chef on the world’s oceans.
- Koningsdam, 7-Day Norse Legends, July 1, 2018, roundtrip Amsterdam, Netherlands
Burke is a restaurateur, cookbook author, inventor and consultant at ESquared Hospitality, which owns and operates the BLT restaurant brand. He has been featured on “Iron Chef America” and “Top Chef Masters.” He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked with legendary chefs in France and New York.
- Zuiderdam, 10-Day Colors of Canada & New England, Sept. 13, 2018, New York City to Quebec, Canada
The Japanese-born Matsuda is at the forefront of sushi trends and techniques. At Matsuda’s Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles, California, he teaches aspiring chefs and professionals about sushi and Japanese cuisine.
- Nieuw Amsterdam, 7-Day Western Caribbean, March 17, 2018, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Koningsdam, 7-Day Norse Legends, June 3, 2018, roundtrip Amsterdam, Netherlands
With an impressive roster of highly acclaimed restaurants, Stowell has helped to change the face of the Seattle food scene. He was named one of the Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine in 2008 and chosen as one of the Best New Chef All-Stars in 2013.
- Eurodam, 7-Day Alaskan Explorer, May 26, 2018, roundtrip Seattle, Washington
- Amsterdam, 7-Day Alaskan Explorer, Sept. 16, 2018, roundtrip Seattle, Washington
A French-trained Master Chef and artisan chocolatier, Torres is a James Beard award winner. After rising to executive pastry chef at New York’s legendary Le Cirque, he opened a chocolate factory and stores throughout New York. Torres is co-hosting and head judge on the new Netflix culinary show “Nailed It” with Nicole Byer.
- Westerdam, 7-Day Glacier Discovery, June 24, 2018, Vancouver, Canada, to Seward, Alaska
- Veendam, 14-Day Summer Cuba, Aug. 4, 2018, roundtrip Boston, Massachusetts
DeGroff received the James Beard Award for Wine & Spirits, was inducted into the prestigious James Beard Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America in 2015 and is author of “The Essential Cocktail” and “The Craft of the Cocktail.” He is a partner in the award-winning Beverage Alcohol Resource bar-training program and founding president of the Museum of the American Cocktail.
- Zuiderdam, 18-Day Azores and Normandy, April 22, 2018, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Copenhagen, Denmark (DeGroff on board through Bermuda call on April 25)
- Oosterdam, 7-Day Tropical Caribbean, Nov. 10, 2018, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Top Vintners Share Their Love of Wine
The spotlight is on wine — and its fascinating journey from vine to table — on select Koningsdam itineraries throughout 2018. On each of these special cruises, a different Chateau Ste. Michelle expert will join the onboard vinologist for three, one-hour sessions each day at BLEND by Chateau Ste. Michelle. They’ll also be present for the ship’s special Cellar Master’s Dinner at the Culinary Arts Center, where the accent will be on perfect wine and food pairings. There is a modest fee for this dinner.
BLEND — the only purpose-built wine-blending venue at sea — has a tasting table that accommodates 10 guests who can create their own blend from a selection of five barrels of single-vineyard red wine. In addition to participating in the blending process, guests also will learn about wine from each wine expert. BLEND has a small fee.
Adint holds a bachelor’s degree in viticulture and enology from Washington State University and a Master of Science in enology from the University of Adelaide. After working at wineries in Australia, Burgundy, central England and Scotland, she joined Chateau Ste. Michelle in 2015.
- Koningsdam, 12-day European Splendour, May 1, 2018, Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy to Amsterdam, Netherlands
In 2007, Rosenthal rejoined Chateau Ste. Michelle as white wine enologist and was later promoted to assistant winemaker in 2011. Rosenthal continued to excel and was promoted to white winemaker in 2015, where he currently manages day-to-day operations at the winery’s white wine cellar in Woodinville, Washington.
- Koningsdam, 7-day Norse Legends, June 3, 2018, roundtrip Amsterdam, Netherlands
Koh is assistant winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle and has been with the winery for more than 20 years working in most aspects of the business. Koh regularly shares her knowledge and experience at tastings and wine-pairing meals.
- Koningsdam, 7-day Norse Legends, July 1, 2018, roundtrip Amsterdam, Netherlands
President and winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Keller oversees the winery operations and collaborates with his winemaking team to develop blends and tastes for the acclaimed winery.
- Koningsdam, 7-day Viking Sagas, July 22, 2018, roundtrip Amsterdam, Netherlands