Prevue July-August 2017 - 51
Left: Windstar chef
Below: The Carinthia Lounge aboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2
"With a charter, we can wrap the celebrity chef
in from the start. It's something that's taking hold
with planners because they know people will work
harder to win the trip."
day and signature shore excursions. Two
of their ships, the Scenic Diamond and
Scenic Sapphire, have recently undergone
a winter refit that includes the addition of a
new kitchen space with individual cooking
stations that can be used for team building
for up to 12 attendees, training and
"We believe they are the only river
ships with a dedicated cooking school
on-board," says Joelle Davis, VP of brand
management at Scenic. "Big ships can be
constrained with their ability to react to
the needs of groups-at least in the spur
of the moment. The smaller, more intimate
nature of river cruising allows foodies and
culinary teams to fine-tune the program to
their needs. Whether it is a special meal,
local and seasonal foods or a class, the
small ships offer a personal touch."
Chef-led shopping tours to local
markets are also available for up to 20
attendees. After sourcing local ingredients
from artisan sellers at the port of call,
groups then receive a lesson on how to put
all the ingredients together in the kitchen
once back on the ship.
"We believe the hands-on, experiential
trend will continue to grow," says Davis.
"MICE groups are looking to take home
more than just a few souvenirs. It is often
about impressing those back home not only
with where you went, but what you learned
and what new skill you can show off."
chef Lee Anne Wong of Koko Head
Cafe in Honolulu, an original "Top Chef"
contestant, will be guest chef on a sailing
from Hong Kong to Bangkok.
Small groups of 10 to 15 people also
have the chance to follow the chef into port
as he or she selects local cheese, fish and
other ingredients. "Because of our size,
we can have the chef prepare a meal from
what they select that morning right on the
veranda," says Conover.
RIVER CULINARY CRUISING
Scenic offers a range of all-inclusive
luxury cruises on rivers in Europe and
Asia, including the Rhine, Danube, Seine
and Mekong. Their aim is to offer the
most amenities for the price among their
competitors, including a private butler for
every attendee, complimentary drinks all
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