Goldring Travel’s 2018 Culinary & Cultural Cruise – Part V (Syracusa, Sicily and Crotone, Italy…and Chef David )

The Goldring Travel 2018 Culinary & Cultural Cruise on the Seabourn Encore continued with one, well, two of the favorite events:  Private Shopping with the Seabourn Chef and a Private Cooking Demonstration utilizing the ingredients purchased during the shopping experience.  This year’s was the best yet, as Chef David, Seabourn’s Corporate Executive Chef was onboard and he simply went over and above.

Syracusa, Sicily 

We were supposed to tender in Syracusa Sicily, but its brand new pier was, at the last minute, available so we were able to dock alongside.  This city is, from the water, a very historic appearing town and the area around the brand new port was interesting and, other than a few streets, anything but touristic.  I am not sure I want to wander around at night, but during the day it has a charm from a distance.

Anyway, we departed the ship for a short drive to a small, but excellent, market where we purchased some absolutely beautiful fruits, some delicious cheeses and fresh swordfish, red prawns, mussels, calamari and more.

Seabourn’s Corporate Chef Extraordinaire:  Chef David

Thinking our time wandering up and down this one narrow passage was over, we were directed into a small cheese shop…and were wowed by a charming shop owner who plied us with samples of a wide variety of Sicilian cheeses and some cured meats.

A wonderful cheese aged in used wine casks. 

And, as this was being served, they brought out glasses of white, rose and red wines to enjoy.  But not done, they then brought out was were the best, freshest, lightest (a relative term!) cannolis I have ever tasted.  Absolutely amazing!

“Leave the gun.  Take the cannolis!”  In fact, go back for more of these amazing cannolis!

After dropping Chef David and our group back and the ship, it was time for a bit of a walk around Syracusa with one of my friends/guests.  Unfortunately, having left our Goldring Travel jackets and Seabourn umbrellas at the ship as the sun was shining, it – of course – started to rain.  So there was only one thing to do:  Find somewhere to check out the local cuisine!

I had earlier spotted a tiny little place called Siculish Street Food Experience which has a few tables under cover.  I had thought it to be a local’s place, but it was most certainly popular with a range of international tourists.  Our waitress was charming and spunky, making our time there really nice.  As she explained, Siculish is, similar to Spanglish, a language which combines Sicilian and English.  While some might think Mafia, I would be in serious “troubelo” if I said it out loud!

We decided on Food Experience No. 4 with a local beer.  It was not what I would call an “experience” to remember, especially as we were actually already quite full from our “experience” with Chef David, it was quite tasty.

Eggplant and roasted vegetables

Local meats and cheeses
Sicilian meatballs and a spin on a Caprese salad

 If I ever get back there, I am going to order a sandwich. The ones the young German couple ordered who were sitting next to us looked amazing!

It was then time to return to the Seabourn Encore and prepare for Chef David’s Private Cooking Demonstration the next afternoon while the Seabourn Encore was in Crotone, Italy…of course with paired wines!

The wait seemed especially long because Crotone, Italy really isn’t a port of any interest…and the rain dampened my desire to take a walk to find anything.  (The people I spoke to that did take the shuttle into town said the got right back on the shuttle and came back to the Seabourn Encore.) But it was, alas, worth the wait as once again Chef David outdid himself and, as is said in the best restaurants, “The chefs killed us!”

Chef David and Chef de Cuisine Melivoje

We were started off with local cheeses; one drizzled with truffle oil that was an incredible combination.

It was the time for The Show!  As the guests wandered about and asked questions as the chefs cooked, out came some delicious red prawns purchased in the market.

It was then time for some tasty Sicilian mussels!

Of course, as this gourmet parade of the market coming to life continued, the pastry chef and Jovan, head of Food & Beverage (and long time friend), were making tiramisu…

I am not sure why or how Jovan got into
the act, but he did a fine job!

Next up:  A delicious mushroom risotto (not from the market) topped with the calamari we purchased.  It was a combination I never would have thought of, but boy was it delicious.  I am definitely going to try making that at home.

And then the main course from the market:  Swordfish on a salad of pears, kumquats, and persimmons.

And then, finally, the tiramisu!

Chef David and his team totally outdid themselves.  What a visit to the flavors of Sicily, Italy and, of course, Seabourn.

Next up:  Another amazing day.  This time Corfu!

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