Fans of fine food, wine connoisseurs, accomplished chefs and chefs in the making will have an opportunity to watch and learn from the best in the world when Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine, hosts more than 65 chefs, authors and epicures in 2015. Numerous notable chefs were revealed earlier this fall the names of more well-known chefs, and epicurean experts have been added to the line-up, including several chefs and editors who are affiliated with Food & Wine magazine.
The Culinary Arts Center features an onboard enrichment program where some of the most respected culinary figures in the business lead interactive cooking shows, wine tastings to question and answer sessions in the shipboard show kitchen. Here is a more comprehensive list of 2015 chefs:
Heather Hurlbert, pastry chef and “Cheftestant” on Bravo’s “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” runs HHDesserts, a line of pastries including couture wedding cakes, chocolates and entremets. She was most recently executive pastry chef at Cherokee Town and Country Club, ranked the number-one Platinum Country Club in the U.S. Hurlbert won the 2009 National Pastry Chef of the Year from the American Culinary Federation and the gold medal at the 2004 IKA Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. She is scheduled to sail on ms Noordam’s Feb. 6 Caribbean cruise.
Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, the World Wine Guys, are wine, spirits, food and travel writers as well as educators and hosts. They have been featured on “Today,” “The Martha Stewart Show,” Better TV and the CBS, FOX and NBC networks. DeSimone and Jenssen are the entertaining and lifestyle editors at Wine Enthusiast magazine and authors of the best-selling “Wines of the Southern Hemisphere: The Complete Guide” and “Fire Island Cookbook.” They will be on the Feb. 15 segment of ms Prinsendam’s Grand South Pacific Voyage.
Brian Lumley is the creative visionary behind one of Jamaica’s most loved restaurants: 689 By Brian Lumley. He has won the coveted Taste of Jamaica’s “Chef of the Year” award twice in 2008 and 2012 – the youngest-ever chef to win this honor at ages 21 and 25. In 2013, he earned the top individual prize of “Caribbean Chef of the Year” at the Taste of the Caribbean’s regional culinary showcase that had not been won by a Jamaican chef since 1999. He is scheduled to be on ms Eurodam’s March 8 Caribbean voyage that includes a call at Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Mumbai-born Jehangir Mehta is a protégé of Jean-Georges and is the chef/owner of Graffiti in New York City. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, N.Y., Mehta gained national attention as a competitor on Food Network’s “Iron Chef” and “The Next Iron Chef.” He will be on part of ms Rotterdam’s Passage to the Far East cruise embarking March 9 and the March 19 segment of ms Amsterdam’s Grand World Voyage.
Eli Kulp is chef at Fork, High Street on Market, and a.kitchen in Philadelphia, Penn. He was named 2013 Chef of the Year by Philadelphia Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan. Kulp will be on the March 23 segment of ms Prinsendam’s Grand Mediterranean Voyage.
Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez Denton are chef/owners of the Argentine-inspired steakhouse Ox in Portland, Ore. They were voted 2014 Best New Chefs by Food & Wine Magazine and were semifinalists for the James Beard Award. Sail with them on ms Zuiderdam’s May 6 Mediterranean cruise.
John Ash is a renowned chef, author and food and wine educator, often referred to as the Father of Wine Country Cuisine. In 1980 he opened his namesake restaurant, John Ash & Company, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Ash’s fourth cookbook, “Culinary Birds: The Ultimate Poultry Cookbook,” was published in October 2013 and won a James Beard Award in 2014. He has co-hosted a radio show for more than 27 years on KSRO in Northern California and has hosted two Food Network shows. Ash is scheduled to be on ms Westerdam’s Sept. 5 Alaska cruise.
Janelle Bloom is one of Australia’s most-loved cooks. She is a best-selling author, food editor, stylist and one of the original chefs on “Ready Steady Cook.” She is scheduled ms Noordam’s Oct. 25 Australia and New Zealand cruise.
Other notable Culinary Arts Center guests slated to sail in the 2015 season include:
• Stephan Durand, president and founder of the Haitian Cultural Alliance, co-captain of Haiti’s National Culinary Team and owner of Culinary by Design, will be on ms Maasdam’s Jan. 13 Caribbean cruise.
• Justin Chapple, senior editor at Food & Wine Magazine, will be on ms Zuiderdam’s Panama Canal cruise departing Feb. 13.
• Chef Irie, the owner/executive chef of the personal chef and catering service Chef Irie Spice, will be on the Feb. 21 Caribbean cruise aboard ms Westerdam.
• Brian Averna, a food expert whose award-winning media appearances include “Today,” MSNBC, QVC, ESPN and PBS, is scheduled to sail on ms Veendam’s March 7 Mexico cruise.
• Wayne Johnson, executive chef/owner of Shuga Jazz Bistro in Seattle, will be on ms Nieuw Amsterdam’s March 8 Caribbean cruise.
• Freda Gore, chef and educator, will sail on ms Westerdam’s March 28 Caribbean cruise as part of the line’s “On Location” programming that brings local culture and cuisine onboard.
• Ari Taymor, chef/owner of Alma in Los Angeles, is known for seasonal, chef-driven cuisine with natural, biodynamic wines, beers and ciders. He is scheduled to sail on ms Volendam’s March 30 Southeast Asia sailing.
• Justin Yu, chef/owner of Oxheart in Houston, Texas, will be on ms Oosterdam’s April 5 Australia and New Zealand voyage.
• Jeff Maxfield is the executive chef at the acclaimed SkyCity Restaurant, a revolving dining room atop the Space Needle in Seattle. He will sail through Alaska on ms Westerdam, departing May 2.
• Drew Johnson, executive chef at Kincaid Grill in Anchorage, Alaska, is scheduled to sail on ms Westerdam’s May 2 Alaska cruise.
• Willem Himmelreich, Dutch chef, educator and consultant, is scheduled to be on ms Rotterdam for the May 9 Norway cruise.
• Helen and Lisa Tse, head chef and founder of Sweet Mandarin in Manchester, England, are British-born twin sisters and third generation women restauranteurs. They’ll be sailing on ms Nieuw Amsterdam’s June 9 Mediterranean cruise.
• Christine Quinlan, deputy editor at Food & Wine Magazine, will be onboard ms Prinsendam for the July 15 Ireland and Scotland cruise.
• Matt McCallister is chef/owner of FT33 in Dallas, Texas. He earned a semifinalist nomination for the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest 2014. McCallister is scheduled to be on ms Nieuw Amsterdam’s July 27 Mediterranean cruise.
• Virginia Willis, blogger for the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, as well as contributing editor for Southern Living magazine, is scheduled to be on ms Zaandam’s Aug. 2 Alaska cruise.
• Kristen and Mandy Dixon, chefs at both Tutka Bay and Winterlake Lodge in Alaska, are scheduled to be on ms Amsterdam’s Aug. 16 Alaska cruise.
• Shanna and Brian O’Hea, chef/owners of the Kennebunk Inn and its Academe Brasserie & Tavern restaurant in Kennebunk, Maine, will be on the Sept. 12 Canada/New England cruise aboard ms Veendam.
• Frederic Castan, executive chef of the St. Regis Monarch Beach at Dana Point, Calif., is scheduled to be on ms Prinsendam’s Sept. 28 Celtic and Gaelic voyage.
Additional Culinary Arts Center guest chefs and cuisine experts slated to sail on 2015 Grand Voyages include:
Grand World Voyage
• Natacha Gomez is the catering manager of Kokiyaj Bar and Grill and owner of Chef T in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. She will be on a segment of ms Amsterdam’s Grand World Voyage departing Jan. 5, as well as ms Maasdam’s April 7 Caribbean cruise.
• Janella Purcell is a naturopath, nutritionist and celebrity chef in Sydney, Australia. She will be on the Feb. 5 segment of ms Amsterdam’s Grand World Voyage.
• Lisa Boalt Richardson is one of the first 15 people in the world to achieve the Certified Tea Specialist title from the Specialty Tea Institute. She is scheduled to sail on ms Amsterdam’s Feb. 21 segment.
• Naomi Kakiuchi — an expert in Asian cuisine — is president and founder of NuCulinary, a culinary education firm that creates community through cooking. She is scheduled to be Amsterdam’s Grand World Voyage segment embarking March 5.
Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage
• Denise Vivaldo, culinary consultant, food stylist and celebrated cookbook author, is scheduled to sail on a segment of ms Prinsendam’s Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage departing Jan. 3.
• Chris Smith, also known as the Diabetic Chef, is scheduled to sail on the segment departing Jan. 22.
• Jeremy Ford, executive chef at 15 Steps located at the Eden Roc hotel in Miami, Fla., is scheduled to sail on the segment departing March 7.
Passage to the Far East
• Jurgen de Vries, chef/owner of Het Kookstation (the Cook Station) in Bodegraven, the Netherlands, will be on part of ms Rotterdam’s Passage to the Far East cruise, joining Jan. 7.
• George Geary is a cooking teacher, pastry chef, cookbook author, food writer, award-winning culinary tour guide and spokesperson. He is scheduled to sail on the segment joining Jan. 19. He also will be on Amsterdam’s Grand World Voyage embarking March 24.
• Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen is originally from Phuket, Thailand, and is an expert in Thai cuisine. She is the founder of I Love Thai Cooking and will be onboard a portion of the Far East cruise beginning Feb 17.
Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine
Holland America Line’s industry trend-setting Culinary Arts Centers are featured on each of the line’s 15 ships. A “world-class show kitchen at sea,” the Culinary Arts Centers, presented by Food & Wine Magazine, resemble the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on television cooking programs. The facilities are used for cooking shows, wine tastings, hands-on cooking classes and mixology presentations. All events are taught by highly skilled culinary and beverage staff during every Holland America Line voyage.
Each facility features a theater-style venue with two large video screens and a large cooking display counter. Holland America Line also offers a youth Culinary Arts Center activity program on select sailings to teach kids and teens how to cook. The program incorporates dishes from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in complimentary 45-minute classes.
For a full schedule of Holland America Line’s culinary guest program, visit the Culinary Arts Center page of Holland America Line’s website.
Which guest chef would you most like to meet onboard in 2015? Tell us below!