The Great American Steamboat Company’s Culinary Director, Chef Regina Charboneau, is putting the finishing touches on the American Queen menus as the crew prepares to welcome its first guests. A native of historical Natchez, Mississippi, one of the steamboat’s stops on Mississippi River voyages, Charboneau will often be onboard overseeing the multiple dining venues, sharing stories of the region’s rich culinary history and holding court with chef friends from New Orleans and other port cities.
Drawing inspiration from America’s heartland, Chef Charboneau’s dishes will take advantage of the bountiful Mississippi River region, which offers an abundance of ingredients to work with including sustainable fish and seafood, farm-raised quail, free-range chicken, artisan cheeses, wild pecans, rice, honey, and stone-ground grits.
“My vision is to re-create many American classics using the best seasonal ingredients and what our location on the river has to offer,” explains Culinary Director Chef Regina Charboneau. “I also want to create new dishes that become synonymous with the American Queen.”
Menu highlights include:
* Andouille Hash; savory sausage hash topped with poached egg and sharp cheddar served with corn cake
* Bananas Foster Stuffed French Toast; cream cheese stuffed French toast topped with sautéed bananas, brown sugar and cinnamon
* Crabmeat Beignet; petite beignet topped with crabmeat in a classic Mornay sauce
* Salmon Salad; seared salmon on seasonal greens laced with bacon-molasses vinaigrette
* Grilled Catfish or Shrimp Poboy; shredded lettuce, tomato and jalapeno tartar sauce
* Peppered Brisket of Beef; tender brisket in savory gravy with cracked black pepper served with mash potatoes and creamed spinach
* Pompano En Papillote; local pompano topped with julienne of spinach, sweet red peppers and carrots, lump crab meat, caper-lemon butter encased in parchment paper
* Classic Bread Pudding with whiskey sauce
The largest steamboat ever built will offer multiple onboard dining options with the centerpiece being the opulent J.M. White Dining Room, destined to be a favorite of culinary enthusiasts. Diners can indulge in classic favorites any time at The Front Porch of America which offers 24- hour dining or delight in grilled fare paired with spectacular views at the alfresco River Grill. Classic cocktails, enjoyed by such authors as Mark Twain and Tennessee Williams, have been painstakingly researched by Chef Charboneau’s team of mixologists to deliver authentic libations in the main Lounge and Engine Room Bar. Regina’s Jazz Brunch will be a highlight of each voyage and her elegant Southern Tea will be offered every afternoon at 4 PM.
Mississippi River Water in Her Veins
Great American Steamboat Company Culinary Director Chef Regina Charboneau is a seventh generation Natchezian with a passion for Southern hospitality. Her illustrious career has taken her from a “camp cook” in the bush of Alaska earning money for Paris culinary school to becoming the first woman hired by Club Corporation of America as an executive chef at the Tower Club in Anchorage.
A fixture in the San Francisco culinary scene for many years her restaurants included the theater district favorite Regina’s at the Regis, Chi Chi Beignet and Biscuits & Blues nightclub along with Regina’s Sonoma in the wine country. During this time, Regina was the Chef de Cuisine for Uncommon Journeys two vintage rail cars, The Los Angeles and The Houston.
In mid 2000 Regina came full-circle to her hometown of Natchez to be a part of the prestigious Monmouth Plantation. Regina and her husband then purchased and restored historic Twin Oaks, circa 1832 where they reside. She is the author of “Regina’s Table at Twin Oaks” cookbook and a contributor to The Atlantic Monthly.
Steeped in history, nostalgia and tradition, the American Queen will offer an unrivaled All-American hospitality experience from its elegant staterooms to its palatial public spaces. A variety of voyage lengths, ranging from three nights to ten nights, and fares beginning at $995 per guest, offers exceptional value and convenience, with little or no flying required. A pre- or post-cruise luxury hotel stay, all bottled water and soft drinks, wine and beer at dinner and complimentary shore adventures are included in each port of call.