If you’re a fan of cruise ships (as I obviously am) and don’t mind splashing out for a good meal every now and then I strongly recommend giving the Carnival Cruise Chef’s Table a try. This video offers a brief overview of the highlights of our Chef’s Table experience during our recent marriage anniversary cruise.
Our journey begins with an exclusive invitation to the ship’s kitchen – or galley, if you prefer the nautical term. Walking through a busy cruise ship galley at peak dinner service was an exhilarating experience with the sights, sounds, and aromas creating a palpable sense of excitement. It was like being thrown into a reality cooking show (minus an angry Gordon Ramsay) or, if you prefer Hulu prestige dramas, the kitchen of The Bear.
Our Carnival Cruise Chef’s Table Journey Begins in the Kitchen with Champagne and Entrees
Our Chef’s Table dinner kicks off in earnest with a glass of champagne and a series of tantalizing single-bite entrees prepared especially for the occasion. Although not every entree was met with universal acclaim from the assembled guests (some were more intriguing than delicious), it was obvious to all that they were prepared with the utmost care and attention to detail, setting the stage for the culinary journey ahead. Our guide peppered us with facts about the preparation of each item and offered helpful advice on how to properly consume each piece and when to take a sip of champagne to heighten the taste. May sound like overkill, but trust me, it actually works to enhance the flavors.
At one point we had a pastry chef come in and demonstrate how they make the world-famous Carnival melting chocolate cake. By now it was obvious we were witnessing a well-choreographed culinary team in action – they were putting on a performance and we had front row seats.
8 Course Meal and a Magician
Moving from the kitchen, we were ushered into a separate dining area with large windows overlooking the busy galley. The view gave us a window into a busy cruise-ship kitchen’s frantic energy while enjoying the intimacy of the Chef’s Table setting. A recurring theme of our Chef’s Table experience is that it was not just all about the food, it was the entire sensory experience.
Our gastronomic adventure begins with a series of meticulously crafted dishes. Each course is a mini art piece on a plate that looked as good as they tasted. From dehydrated mushrooms coated in mushroom dust to a lean fish marinated with salt, pepper, olive oil, and grated lemon lime zest, every dish showcases the chef’s creativity and commitment. At a certain point during the dinner a magician made his appearance, captivating the audience with mind-bending tricks. Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this, but I was genuinely amazed at his “guess the phone PIN” trick,
Eye Popping Desserts to Top off a Great Carnival Cruise Chef’s Table Experience
As dinner progressed, we made our way through the courses and eventually ended up with dessert. Since it was Erika and my anniversary, we really appreciated the specially prepared anniversary dessert and shoutout from the staff. It’s these little touches that make all the difference on a Carnival Cruise ship. The dessert items were somehow even fancier than the main course – from a pyramid-shaped chocolate with Bailey Irish cream ganache to a lemon meringue dusted with matcha tea powder, each bite was a joy.
The evening concluded with heartfelt gratitude from our intrepid host, thanking us for choosing the Chef’s Table. The entire experience left us feeling like royalty, appreciating the hidden gem that lies behind a seemingly random door in the cruise ship. We loved it, and I’m sure you will too!
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