Holland America Line will debut its Signature Master Chef’s Dinner which combines the premium line’s award-winning cuisine, service and entertainment at sea. “We are well-known for our outstanding service, excellent food and innovative entertainment,” said Richard D. Meadows, vice president of marketing and sales. “Our new Signature Master Chef’s Dinner builds on these strengths while creating an unforgettable dining experience.”
Guests are greeted by more than 75 smiling service staff including dining room stewards, cruise activities staff as well as the ship’s singers and dancers, all dressed as “chefs,” wearing dazzling white hats and jackets.
A crisp, pleated chef’s hat festooned with a clever collector’s menu in the shape of kitchen utensils describes the evening’s dining and wine selections. Stewards welcome guests to the special dinner event and invite them to join in the fun and don the honorary chef’s hat, which when lifted off the plate reveals a fresh-baked dinner roll also in the shape of a chef’s hat.
Musicians set the tone for the evening with custom-made “foodical” instruments such as drums shaped like cakes sitting on bread-stick stands, a banana saxophone, and a pear-shaped bass. The lights dim as the music begins.
Act 1, the “Waltz of the Napkins,” involves the precise delivery of napkins by staff in a choreographed waltz. The dancers orchestrate each movement culminating in the presentation of a domed silver platter containing the “Chef’s Amuse Surprise,” a small treat that is a welcoming gesture from the executive chef. The “Chef’s Amuse Surprise” selections are served on a rotating schedule and include delicacies such as Mushroom Mousse with Asparagus in Bouche, Smoked Salmon Mousseline with Chive and Dill, and Foie Gras Petit Four with Caramelized Anjou Pear.
Act 2, the “Show Salad Spectacular,” literally brightens the air with blurs of red, green and yellow as stewards juggle colorful vegetables into an over-sized salad bowl. Singer “Pepper Romaine,” costumed in a sequined, full- length green “salad” gown, accompanies the action. The atmosphere pulsates with servers cavorting around the salad bowl tossing baby greens, peppers, mushrooms, scallions and cherry tomatoes. The juggling is raised a notch as pepper grinders join the airborne entourage. Salads are then delivered direct from the galley as servers point out to guests the delectable choice of starters and entrees detailed on the menu’s rolling pin and butcher knife.
The menu offerings feature an array of starters, including Alaskan Salmon Tartare with Avocado, Golden Baked Brie in Phyllo Dough, Lobster Bisque or Oxtail En Croute. The evening’s highlight comes in the form of a choice of entrees that are a food-lover’s delight. Whole Roasted Tenderloin of Beef; Grilled Lamb Chops with Oregano and Apple Chutney; Duck Breast a l’Orange; Sauteed Shrimps “Provencale”; Apricot Glazed Salmon with Soya Garlic and Ginger Splash; Tagliatelle with Roasted Chicken and Portobello Mushroom; or Wild Mushroom Strudel. The band provides background music during the starter and main courses.
The Signature Master Chef’s Dinner “Grand Finale!,” Act 3, features Master Chef Rudi Sodamin’s “Hats Off” dessert—an incredible creation that captures the dynamic, nuanced flavor of bittersweet chocolate in a luxurious mousse, surrounded by rubies of macerated berries and topped with a white chocolate chef’s hat with Chef Rudi’s signature in dark chocolate.
As guests receive and enjoy their signature “Hats Off” desert, the sweet sounds of The Archie’s hit song “Sugar, Sugar” resonates throughout both levels of the stylish dining room. Next, the spectacle turns to the ship’s real chefs who emerge from behind-the-scenes to line the dramatic balcony. The clever choreography continues as the servers dance through the audience with dinner plates spinning high in the air and then line up to form a kick-line. The rousing finish has guests singing and clapping along with the music as confetti flies through the air.
The Signature Master Chef’s Dinner will be featured in the elegant two- tiered main dining room once on every Holland America Line cruise by fall of 2006. The event has debuted on the ms Volendam and will be rolled out on the ms Amsterdam in May. By early July, the dinner theater show will be on the ms Rotterdam, ms Zaandam, ms Maasdam, ms Ryndam, ms Statendam and ms Veendam. The dinner show debuts on the ms Prinsendam in late July and will be on board the Vista-class ms Noordam, ms Oosterdam, ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam in the fall.
The event is the creation of Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, who serves as culinary consultant for Holland America Line’s fleet of five-star ships. Sodamin, a driving force behind the enhancement of Holland America Line’s already superb dining offerings has developed a fresh line of full-concept dining “experiences” for Holland America Line guests. One of the hospitality industry’s most accomplished chefs, Sodamin brings excitement, innovation, and unparalleled quality standards to menus at sea. Together with the Holland America Line Culinary Arts Team, Sodamin continues to whip up more cruise line and food industry firsts, such as the new Signature Master Chef’s Dinner.