Oceania Cruises will expand its innovative culinary curriculum with 20 new classes for the Culinary Center, including a special two-day culinary immersion program, a session focused on the life and legacy of Chef Jacques Pépin and additions to the Gourmet Explorer Series that showcases cooking styles from a variety of international destinations. Oceania Cruises is widely recognized for its groundbreaking culinary enrichment offerings, including the introduction of the first-ever Culinary Center at sea equipped with individual induction cook top work stations.
The new programs were developed by longtime Director of Culinary Enrichment, Chef Kathryn Kelly, and will debut on Marina and Riviera starting in April 2015.
“In our Culinary Center, guests cook under the instruction of faculty members who are CIA graduates and have apprenticed under a who’s who of renowned chefs,” shares Kelly. “We continue to add new topics to keep things fresh for past guests and this year we’re proud to honor our consummate teacher, Jacques Pepin, with a special class.”
Culinary Center Immersion Program
In response to guest requests, the Oceania Cruises Culinary Center will offer a special Culinary School Immersion Program on select itineraries. The curriculum is designed to improve the skills of a home chef by focusing on the essential techniques for creating basic sauces, grilling, preparing vegetables and other culinary skills. The in-depth instruction is spread over a morning and afternoon session and extends for two days, or four sessions in total.
The highlight of the culinary immersion program is a friendly competition where teams of four guests are paired together to prepare a dish that is judged by the faculty and executives from the shipboard culinary team. All participants receive a special certificate at the end of the program, while the winning team can claim culinary bragging rights for the remainder of the cruise.
Celebrate Jacques Pépin
In collaboration with Chef Pépin, Oceania Cruises is creating an exclusive class that includes recipes from Jacques’ cookbooks and family favorites. The new class “La Technique: A Celebration of Jacques Pépin’s 80th Birthday” covers techniques written in his early book “La Technique,” which remains an indispensable source of culinary knowledge for modern chefs, as well as “Essential Pépin,” a collection of over 700 technique-based favorite recipes that stretches over his six decades in the kitchen. Guests will learn five basic techniques around eggs, proteins, vegetables, sauces and desserts. At the conclusion of each class, guests pose for a photo that will be incorporated into a special birthday card for Chef Pépin. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, these photos along with tales from guests who experienced the class will also be posted on the Oceania Cruises blog.
New Regional Classes
With an abundance of guests seeking new educational epicurean experiences, the Culinary Center is introducing 20 new classes as part of its Gourmet Explorer Series. These classes will showcase regional cuisine from Morocco, Peru, the Pacific Northwest and more. The curriculum of the Culinary Center continues to appeal to a wide range of tastes and culinary skill levels by incorporating techniques inspired by the cultures and regions the ship visits with classes such as Planet Veggie, Viva Tapas, At Home in Sicily, Rock Your Wok, What Mermaids Know, Global Gourmet and the Pizza Master Class.
Depending on the itinerary, classes range from 45 minutes to three hours.