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Cruise Diary: Cellar Master’s Dinner Pairs Food & Wine

Dutch TV celebrity and travel writer Charlotte Van Hoorn recently experienced the Cellar Master’s Dinner on ms Prinsendam that features seven courses and pairs a unique wine with each dish.

Enjoy her account of this exciting and tantalizing culinary adventure.

Cellar Master’s Dinner
This evening is the Cellar Master’s Dinner hosted by Ron Norman, managed by Roger D’costa and prepared by the brilliant Chef Daniel Moreno.

The Cellar Master's Dinner hosted by Ron Norman, managed by Roger D'costa and prepared by Chef Daniel Moreno.

Cellar Master Ron Norman and Chef Daniel Moreno.

For no more than the cost of a two-hour excursion bus ride, you can travel through a menu of seven courses with different paired wine selections. Although I have enjoyed chef’s presentation dinners before, a Cellar Master’s wine and dine cannot replicate in a restaurant ashore on any continent. It was a very special evening and not to be missed on your next voyage.

The wines served during the Cellar Master's Dinner.

The wines served during the Cellar Master’s Dinner.

Seven wines of the Cellar Master’s Dinner
The Tattinger Cuvee Prestige Rose begins the evening with a toast and the Poultry Consomme.Next the VERY best pairing of the entire voyage, a Domaine Laroche French Chablis with hints of green apple served with a deconstructed Waldorf and Crab Salad done in the style that Chef Moreno is making all his own after training at El Bulli, a 3 Star Michelin. These flavors together were exquisite.

The soup course featured sherry in a green pepper and potato base that gave the smoked scallops the hint of whiskey. Therefore, the Chilean Exportation Tinto 12% Merlot mellowed the bite of the pepper and stretched my learning curve about using wine to balance the flavors in a meal.

From left: the poultry consomme, deconstructed Waldorf and crab salad, and the green pepper and potato soup.

From left: the poultry consomme, deconstructed Waldorf and crab salad, and the green pepper and potato soup.

The Intermezzo amuse was a grapefruit ganita with scents of tarragon and finished with sparkling wine. So very refreshing and a unique flavor combination that was such a delightful discovery. Oh, I suppose the sparkling technically makes this eight wines to the meal!

So, four more courses of meat, fish, chicken with cheese and dessert. I can vouch that the Chateauneuf-du-Pape with its pistachio undertones complemented the braised short ribs that had been cooked with porcini and pistachios as well. It is a famously big wine and I will remember to order the Les Closiers bottling again sometime.

The Sable Fish with Eggplant Puree and Miso, and the grapefruit ganita.

The Sable Fish with Eggplant Puree and Miso, and the grapefruit ganita.

The Sable Fish presentation with Eggplant Puree and Miso is a black cod we were told. Therefore, Ron had chosen the off dry honeysuckle pear aroma of the Marques de Caceres Rioja for a harmony of the greater acidity of the wine to balance the pumpkin oil used for the fish comfit and miso puree.

Now another star pairing the huge, oaky, beautiful Stag’s Leap Chardonnay with a Serrano Ham Wrapped Chicken Batillote stuffed with goat cheese mouse. It was so good that I completely forgot to photograph the beautiful presentation. The salty cheese and ham against the oaky, smokey chardonnay was really to my liking.

The Sundried Tomato Cheesecake was paired with a Warres "Optima" 10 year Tawny Porto.

The Sundried Tomato Cheesecake was paired with a Warres “Optima” 10 year Tawny Porto.

A special shout-out to the Warres “Optima” 10 year Tawny Porto that was perfect with the Sundried Tomato Cheesecake so artfully presented by Chef Daniel and, now, a lot of other dishes in my future as well.

Have you experiences the Cellar Master’s Dinner? What was your favorite pairing?

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