EUROPA 2’s Cutting-Edge Culinary Workshops
By Janice Wald Henderson
I love how onboard cooking classes just get better. Not long ago, any class was demonstration-only, taught by ship chefs who were clueless as instructors for home cooks. Students had fun watching, tasting, and sipping – but didn’t learn a thing. How times have changed. More ships are introducing high-tech culinary centers with teachers capable of transforming foodies into skilled home cooks.
And now EUROPA 2, a luxury bilingual (English, German) ship, is introducing intriguing new classes in wines, spirits, and cuisine. The posh ship has Miele Culinary School, a stunning spot for hands-on instruction. Being German-registered, the ship spotlights chefs and restaurants less-familiar to American cruisers – which, to me, makes it that much more fun.
Their “Connoisseurs of Cuisine” cruises cover a range of subjects, from Arabian cooking and ice cream, to gin and sherry. A seven-day sail from Rome-to-Barcelona, August 5-to-15, 2015, for instance, showcases the art of making gelato, with ice cream experts from Giovanni L., a highly rated gelato parlor popular in Germany. Giovanni Lasagna, its founder, is an ice cream master chef and winner of world competitions. His flavors are amazing, like award-winning Sicilian pistachio, champagne – even Philadelphia cream cheese and smoked salmon. I hope the secret to making black vanilla ice cream, the company’s signature flavor, is uncovered in a EUROPA 2 class.
Another notable cruise stars Jacqueline Amirfallah. This 14-day cruise sails from Limassol (Cyprus) to Dubai, October 27-to-November 10, 2015, with visits to Jordan, Egypt, and Oman. Ms. Amirfallah is a longtime television personality and cooking authority in Germany. Born in Iran to a German mother and Iranian father, she returned to Germany in 1980 and trained as a chef, with her expertise in Arabian cooking. She will undoubtedly be an excellent guide to local cuisine as the vessel pursues its itinerary. There’s little better than exploring unfamiliar cooking styles with an expert onboard and then sampling similar dishes ashore.
Check out the web site for further information on these cruises and several more under the “Connoisseurs of Cuisine” umbrella. (hl-cruises.com)