Behind the Scenes of Filming Bravo’s Top Chef on the High-Seas

Final four Top Chef contestants on Eurodam's deck.

Lights, camera, action! The high-seas penultimate episode of season 21 of Bravo’s Top Chef debuted last night on Wednesday, June 12, and we couldn’t be more excited about all the mouthwatering moments. For starters, our Fresh Fish Ambassador, Chef Morimoto, made a surprise visit to the final four cheftestants, showcasing our Global Fresh Fish Program. The winner of the challenge received a $10,000 cash prize and a 10-day cruise anywhere Holland America Line sails to. It was filmed in Curacao, a breathtaking cruise destination in the ABC Islands. And our fleet Executive Chef Sinu Pillai served as a guest judge.

To say it was a delicious experience is an understatement. We recently caught up with Chef Sinu to learn what it was like behind the scenes. Here’s what he had to say!

Q&A with One of Holland America Line’s Top Chefs

What was the best part of filming these episodes onboard?

“This gave us an incredible opportunity to showcase our unique culinary initiatives, including our destination-inspired menus. Holland America Line is a perfect paradise for all the foodies out there! That’s one of the reasons this was so much fun – hosting Bravo’s award-winning series Top Chef onboard gave food lovers a sneak peek of the unique port-to-plate dishes so many of our guests savor on every cruise.”

Tell us about the vibe on set.

“The production team was so well prepared and protective of the cheftestants. It was clear how much they care about the show as well as the opportunity for us to be part of it during Season 21. Filming on a cruise instead of in a studio made it a fun adventure. We were super excited to host Bravo’s Top Chef while they filmed the show’s finale in the Caribbean aboard a cruise ship for the first time ever. And to film in paradise – priceless. Curacao is a special place, giving visitors the opportunity to explore its beautiful sights and culture.”

What were some of the most memorable recipes served up by the cheftestants?

“Danny’s trout recipe was a comeback dish for him after the first course didn’t quite hit the right notes.”

What did you relish most about being a guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, and would you do it again?

“Growing up as a kid, the glitter and glamour of the hospitality industry always excited me. Since my college days, I enjoyed watching great chefs on cooking shows, learning and being inspired by them. That’s why it was a full-circle moment for me to serve as a judge on this show, and if asked to do it again, my answer is ‘Yes!’ As a guest judge, you are not just judging the dish or a contestant – you are sharing your knowledge and the experience you have gained over the years. I want to inspire young chefs who want to dream and aim higher.”

What is it about our own culinary crew that makes you especially proud?

“I’m proud of and grateful for our culinary team’s passion, consistency and dedication to creating unforgettable experiences for our guests. There’s no cracking under pressure like you may see on a TV show when contestants are competing. Our team comes together every day with ease and a smile, serving up incredible dishes to delight everyone onboard. It’s a joy to do this for others, and we take a lot of pride in that.”

Our Global Fresh Fish Program

Putting the spotlight on our Global Fresh Fish Program was certainly a highlight for us this season on Bravo’s Top Chef. That’s because when you cruise with Holland America Line, you don’t just see the world from your doorstep; you taste it with fresh flavors, locally sourced ingredients and destination-inspired menus. With 80 types of fresh fish served across thoughtfully crafted itineraries, we deliver fresh on a global scale.

We recently elevated our award-winning dining experience by becoming the first global cruise line to receive both Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certifications. This took our Global Fresh Fish Program to the next level, as these distinguished certifications underscore our commitment to serving the highest-quality seafood that is sourced sustainably when wild-caught and raised responsibly when farmed according to the strictest global standards. Prior to these certifications, Holland America Line became the first cruise line to serve 100% fresh, certified sustainable and traceable wild Alaska seafood onboard our ships in Alaska through the Responsible Fisheries Management certification.

With more fresh fish and ingredients native to the places we visit, you can indulge in dining experiences that tell the story of each region through its unique flavors.

Are you ready to dive into a culinary adventure of your own? Explore all the delicious dining experiences you can relish on a Holland America Line cruise and begin planning your next epic getaway.


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One Comment

  1. Ota Gera June 20, 2024 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    We have watched this series , Since we are HAL cruisers, we really enjoyed these episodes and are looking forward to our next cruise. Perhaps tasting some of these recopies. All of these participants are winners , Well done to HAL for participating in the Top Chef

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