Goldring Travel’s 2017 Culinary & Cultural (Food & Wine) Cruise – Part VII (The Famous Food & Wine Event: Chef’s Nine Court Tasting)

The 2017 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural (Food & Wine) Cruise on the Seabourn Encore was coming to an end.  After so many over-the-top events, I was worried that the Grand Finale might not possibly be so grand by comparison. I was so very wrong.

Seabourn Encore’s Executive Chef de Cusine, David J. Whelehan, put on quite a show.  But before I get started, here is a video recap of this cruise:

There is a huge amount of preparation for this event.  Chef David worked on the menu for days, trying to infuse many of the elements of our culinary and cultural journey, from exotic spices to local seafood and cheeses, to Seabourn-esque dishes that hinted at local recipes.  The Seabourn Encore chefs, cooks and bakers were all involved.  And the waitstaff and sommeliers made sure everything was elegant, in place and that “The Show” would be enjoyed while impressing everyone.  And they most certainly succeeded.

The final touch (Seabourn’s breadsticks) added
to our Goldring Travel 2017 Culinary & Cultural
Food & Wine Experience
Making sure the craft cocktails and wines are set

Michelle Shea, of fame, and our guest mixologist, started us off with some tasty cocktails utilizing some of the homemade vermouth I purchased in the central market in Malaga, Spain.

It was then time for Chef David to present his Chef’s Tasting Menu which he carefully and subtly utilized the ingredients and culinary techniques we had been experiencing over the course (no pun intended!) of our cruise.

2017 Goldring Travel Food & Wine Chef’s Tasting Menu

Before the feast begins, I would ask that you look at and appreciate the glazes and finish of each element of the dishes.  Truly culinary works of art!

Our culinary experience, after a tasty amouse bouche, started with Spanish Melon with Pata Negra Ham and Lemon Confit

Spanish Melon with Pata Negra Ham and Lemon Confit 

This was followed by an extraordinary Spanish Potato Soup with Chorizo, with a Cilantro Creme Fraiche floated upon it. Absolutely delicious…and, I don’t know how, delicate.

Spanish Potato Soup with Chorizo
with a Cilantro Creme Fraiche

Next up:  Spanish Rice with Prawns with a Sauce Vierge, which is actually French sauce with an olive oil and lemon juice base.  However, Chef David “hid” some Moroccan spices…I mean we cannot forget our culinary and cultural experience extraordinaire in Tangier…so that the flavors were deep and interesting.

Spanish Rice with Prawns with a Sauce Vierge

Bringing our time in Portugal…and Shopping with the Chef…into the mix we enjoyed a palate-cleansing Pink Grapefruit and Portuguese Strawberry Grappa Sorbet and then, also purchased with our group, an elegant and delicious Grilled Market Fresh Dorade Royale Fillet with a Lemon Herb Risotto, Caviar Beurre Blanc and Glazed Vegetables. 

Grilled Market Fresh Dorade Royale Fillet
with a Lemon Herb Risotto, Caviar Beurre Blanc
and Glazed Vegetables

It was finally time for dessert, but being that this is Chef David showing off and, of course, Seabourn, there were three desserts!  First up, an an homage to our time in Barcelona and Valencia:  Creme Catalan with Glazed Valencia Orange:

Creme Catalan with Glazed Valencia Orange

Then, as there was room for no more an incredible, gooey, sweet Spanish Goat Cheese with Honey.  That one got me!

Goat Cheese with Honey

But we also had a celebration and, thus, the third dessert.  It was one of my guest’s birthday so Chef David Whelehan and his bakery team made a birthday cake!

Seabourn Executive Chef de Cuisine
David J. Whelehan
and the Birthday Girl!

It amazes and impresses me that every year Seabourn’s Executive Chefs outdo each other. And they do it with smiles and warmth, personally caring and, of course, incredible talent.  This was an absolutely outstanding, yet understating in presentation, bit of culinary showmanship and talent.

And with that the 2017 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural (Food & Wine) Cruise came to an end. But with that came the words I love to hear from my repeat guests: 

Eric, I can’t believe you outdid last year, but this year was even better.  I don’t know how you are going to top this, but I know you will.  Sign me up!

With so many already signed up for the 2018 Goldring Travel Culinary & Cultural Cruise from Barcelona to Athens departing October 6, 2018, there are literally only a few slots left.  If you are interested, please call, email or message me!

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