Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Holland America Line Expands Specialty Dining Option

Foodies are always looking for new and unique culinary experiences, so the announcement by Holland America Line about this Dutch treat should get their taste buds ready to give it a try. Last year the cruise line debuted a new alternative dining option exclusively aboard ms Rotterdam called "Taste of De Librije" featuring the cuisine of Culinary Council member and Michelin Three Star Chef Jonnie Boer. Given its popularity and success as an alternative dining selection, the line has extended the experience to ms Eurodam.

Named after Boer's restaurant in the Netherlands, the menu showcases a selection of starters, soups, entrees, and desserts from his land-based eatery. Once per cruise the Pinnacle Grill is transformed for dinner with service staff wearing the uniform livery from De Librije, the restaurant's table set-up is replicated, and the wine list highlights a selection of labels from the Lady De Librije collection. Reservations can be made for "Taste of De Librije" for a $69 surcharge per person including wine pairings.

"Taste of De Librije is being expanded because the experience has been so popular with not only our Dutch guests who know Jonnie well, but with all our of guests who have enjoyed the opportunity to sample his remarkable cuisine," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line.

The five-course menu starts with North Sea Scallops served to all diners. From there, guests can select among three appetizers, two soups, four entrees and three desserts. The tantalizing dishes include Oysters on the Beach with micro greens; Torched Langoustine with green bean coulis; Potato Soup with lobster and chorizo; Seared North Sea Cod with Speck Ham; Beef Tenderloin with bulgur wheat and smoked olive oil foam; Deconstructed Apple Pie with vanilla gelato and Chantilly-style cream, and Rice Chocolate Stones with tuile and strawberries.

When guests return to their stateroom following the dining experience, they will find a special Jonnie Boer surprise gift. Boer is a rising star of the Dutch culinary scene and in addition to being a member of Holland America Line's esteemed Culinary Council composed of six international chefs, he is chef and co-owner of Michelin-rated De Librije Restaurant and De Librije Hotel in Zwolle, Netherlands. Boer holds the Relais & Chateaux grand chef designation.

On a related food note, Elizabeth Falkner, the spiky-haired blond who stepped into the national spotlight as a competitor on television shows like "Next Iron Chef" and "Top Chef Masters," has become the newest—and first female—member of Holland America Line's Culinary Council, a group of acclaimed chefs from around the world. Along with dishes created by other Culinary Council chefs, guests can sample Falkner's menu additions aboard the Holland America Line ships. The new dishes will be featured on the main dining room menu of the line's 15 ships.

Among the flavors that Falkner is working with, guests can count on a little spice, whether it is from the Cajun-inspired Shrimp, Andouille and Grits served with braised okra and roasted poblano peppers, or the Asian influences in the Vegetable Curry with Forbidden Rice and Soft Shell Crab Pad Thai. Not all of Falkner's dishes have heat. A taste of Piedmont surfaces in Falkner's Radicchio Salad with Warm Bagna Cauda, a play on the Italian regional dish served with toasted hazelnut and a warm dressing of anchovy, garlic and truffle oil. And best of all...there are no additional charges for her flavorful creations.

Image Courtesy of Holland America Line

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