Cooking with the Caribbean Spice Girl: In Partnership with Food & Wine Magazine
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Approximately 5½ Hours
Chef Helmi Smeulders is passionate about rethinking the local flavors of Curaçao. She has dubbed herself the Caribbean Spice Girl and her mission is to challenge and upskill the cuisine of the Caribbean, which is very traditional, having been passed from generation to generation. Now, there's a food revolution underway on Curaçao, with Helmi leading the charge -- living like a local in paradise and cooking like one, too, but with a twist.
Step into Helmi's kitchen, where the Caribbean Spice Girl welcomes you with refreshments. She'll introduce you to her fresh philosophy on Caribbean cuisine, which she wrote about in her cookbook, Modern Caribbean Flavors. Her next book, Island Vibes: The Joy of Caribbean Cooking, takes the concept further still.
At Helmi's kitchen counter, she will show you all kinds of Caribbean fruits and vegetables and let you taste them, too. You will learn tips and tricks about preparing food. What is the easiest way to peel a mango? How do you correctly fillet a fish? Then, pick up the pots and pans to prepare lunch in a hands-on cooking class. You will use the flavorful spices, delicious fruits, healthy vegetables and fresh fish of the region to create new and exciting dishes. In groups of two, you will learn to prepare ceviche with lime-tequila dressing, jerk chicken with mango mayonnaise, funchi fries with pika mayonnaise, and more. Helmi and her assistant are on hand to help guide you during this fun and immersive experience.
When the cooking is done, sit down as a group outdoors, at a beautifully-decorated table. Enjoy the fruits of your labor -- a delicious home-cooked lunch -- accompanied by a glass of wine.
You'll head back to the ship with a host of new recipes, as well as a newfound appreciation of Caribbean cuisine.
The menu is subject to change seasonally. Ice water, lemonade, coffee and tea are available during the cooking class. Wear comfortable walking shoes.