Everyone, regardless of which country they are from, loves delicious cuisine. But what’s on the menu matters even more when you are travelling abroad and indulging yourself in the luxuries of an international cruise.
Cuisine is an essential element to immersing oneself in a cultural experience. A region’s cuisine provides important clues to the unique differentiators of local cultures, not only through locally-sourced ingredients and handcrafted recipes but also in the particular way foods are prepared and presented. Recipes passed down through generations also serve to ensure the continuation of cultures experiencing continual change on other fronts. And tasting delicacies you wouldn’t find at home is a great opportunity to experience new flavors, connect with locals and learn from them about their authentic, local traditions.
Shaved zucchini salad with Parmesan (Aqua Mekong)
Fresh Corn Cake with Shrimp Salad and Crème Fraiche (Aria Amazon/Aqua Amazon)
From the beginning, Francesco Galli Zugaro, founder and CEO of Aqua Expeditions, believed it was critical to invest in the talents of professional chefs who were known mavericks on the international food scene in Peru and in southeast Asia. Since then, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, consulting chef on the Aria Amazon and David Thompson, consulting chef on the Aqua Mekong, continue to deliver excellence in the cuisine we serve on board our cruise ships. And that includes learning the “behind the scenes” secrets about how they create a meal – from start to finish – in a private, master cooking class curated by our on board chefs.
Listen to Pedro Schiaffino describe his techniques so critical to the preparation of ceviche…
After you visit local markets with our on board chefs learning about how they select the freshest of local ingredients, our chefs will teach you some of their tips about carefully combining flavors in their recipes to create masterful strokes of culinary genius.
Experienced culinary techniques with food preparation and explaining the rationale behind the critical timing around combining ingredients are important cooking tips our chefs reveal in our Master cooking classes.
Guests can ask all the questions they wish about why and how our chefs do what they do and then participate directly in making a dish on board. After they then watch the excitement of a recipe springing to life before them, our guests can fully indulge in the delicious fruits of their labors. Yum!
On board the Aria Amazon, our guests can savor hearts of palm soufflé, scallops with wild almonds and umari fruit, plantain and yucca gnocchi, escolar fish in aji panka chili adobo, and grilled paiche with Amazon huatia potatoes among other locally-inspired delicacies. In our Master Cooking classes, they can learn to make tiger catfish cerviche as well have the opportunity to taste test a variation of exotic local fruits.
Guests on the Aqua Mekong can visit the local Mekong markets with our on-board head chef, Adrian Broadhead, to purchase the day’s freshest ingredients, from live catfish and river prawns to organic local spices such as peeled lotus stems (below), fruits and produce.
Coconut, lemongrass, coriander, turmeric are just a few of the most recognizable flavours our guests can expect on David Thompson’s ever changing, inventive menus that always remain authentic to our fertile surroundings. Guests will have the opportunity to learn how to cook and then enjoy, green papaya salad (below), river prawns with ginger, shallots, tamarind and palm sugar served on betel leaves, Cambodian green curry of catfish and lemon basil cashew nut pudding with coconut cream.
Foodies on our cruises have raved about our cooking classes on board the Aqua Mekong and Aria Amazon. You will too!