Thursday, December 6, 2012

And the “Celebrity (cruise) Guest Chef” is. . .

None other than. . .Joel Smith, The Scout and editor of TravelnWrite.com!   Don’t believe it? Well, I’ve got the photos below to prove it. Even better, any one of you reading this who takes a cruise on the new Celebrity ships could be a ‘guest chef’ as well.

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Our fall cruise was on the Silhouette, one of the newest ships in Celebrity’s flotilla of luxury. It’s one of the Solstice class ships that offers those expansive green lawns on the uppermost deck.

They now offer picnic packages for the lawn, so why not have a barbeque as well? They’ve got just that in their specialty restaurant, the Lawn Club Grill, an interactive place where cooking is almost as much fun as eating. 

(Easy for me to say, as I was the photographer – not the guest chef!)

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After Joel was introduced to fellow diners and the applause ended, Lawn Club Chef Steven Diaz, had  Joel suit up and wash up, and work began. The cooking island is center stage in this restaurant and to make sure everyone can watch, two large screen televisions broadcast to the far reaches of the eatery.





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Chef Diaz has an extensive professional culinary resume which includes recently opening the restaurant at the luxury beach resort Balcones del Atlantico, A RockResort, in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic before turning his career sights to the sea.  However, he’d met his culinary challenge with Celebrity-Chef-in-Training Joel.
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(Joel’s pizza is on the left, Chef Dias on the right).


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Did I mention this was a comedy floor show? Especially when it came time to toss the pizza dough. But with Chef Diaz’s guidance, this was the end-result of the session; the first course served at our table:

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Ah, but the best was yet to come. . .the grilling! Notice Celebrity-Chef-in-Training Joel had earned his chef hat by now.

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In all seriousness, Joel said he did learn a lot about grilling steaks – one of his favorite at-home past times.  Chef Diaz, who had been aboard the ship for just a month of his first six-month contract, answered questions and offered cooking tips throughout the session.

I mean, how often do you get one-to-one tutoring from a professional chef?









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For Celebrity Guest Chef Joel, it was time to eat.  But not for Chef Diaz. . . the next group of chefs had arrived.
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If You Go:
SilhouettePt22012 221The Lawn Club Grill is a specialty restaurant, meaning you will pay extra to dine there. In addition to the pizza, the meal includes an enormous salad bar and the dessert list is extensive. Chicken, fish and meat are among the grill items – you can eat some of each or a lot of a single selection if you have the capacity.  Disclosure: Our meal was hosted by the cruise line.

The interactive part is optional; if you prefer to have your meal cooked and served by the professionals – it will be.

For cruise information:  Celebrity Cruises
For information on the resort mentioned above: Balcones del Atlantico, A RockResort 

That’s it for this week’s Travel Photo Thursday. Thanks for visiting; hope you’ll head over to Budget Traveler’s Sandbox for more travel adventures.

22 comments:

  1. I've never tried a Celebrity Cruise. Sounds fancy! Seems like getting up there and cooking was a fun experience. I've always wanted to learn how they toss pizza around to get a nice circle. Mine always end up blobby.

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    1. I was real glad it was Joel and not me - I can't do pie crusts in a circle either!

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  2. Good for your husband for stepping up and being a good sport. That takes some guts. Looks like it was a very fun evening!! I haven;t tried trowing my pizza dough in the air but I'm sure if I did with an audience there would be a lot of laughing going on.

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    1. I keep telling him that if he'd start taking the photos, he wouldn't have to appear in so many of them!

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  3. What a fun experience! I'm pretty sure that my kids would love to get me up there throwing pizza dough in front of a crowd so that they could mock me for all eternity! :)

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    1. Your kids would have loved having you up there. . .I can only imagine the tales they would tell!

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  4. It would be fun to be a guest chef! I can only imagine what I'd learn.

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    1. Joel said he did learn a lot about different tricks and techniques in grilling a steak.

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  5. This looks like so much fun, Jackie. I take cooking classes whenever I travel, so right up my alley!! Love the chef hat!

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    1. That hat does add a touch of class doesn't it?! ;-)

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  6. I didn't realize you could do this on a cruise. It looks like absolute fun!

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    1. Well, I certainly enjoyed it. Not so sure Joel did at moments during the session.

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  7. What a fun experience for Joel! I'm sure you're benefiting as well with all the grilling he'll be doing at home :) We haven't sailed on Celebrity yet but have always heard great things about its food. My daughter just did the Jr. Chef at Sea during our Princess cruise last month and she loved it.

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  8. Oh, a Jr. Chef at Sea. . .what a fun sounding program!

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  9. What a great experiene. Well done Joel! And well done Jackie for capturing it all! (I'm hungry now...)

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    1. Admittedly there was way too much food, but what a great experience we had - me in capturing it and Joel in doing it!

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  10. Oh my gosh what an awesome post, Jackie! How fun that would be to be a guest chef on cruise ship. That pizza looks amazing. Great job, Joel! :)

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    1. It was such a grand experience. Had I had more room, I'd have included photos of the three men who followed Joel as the next round of guest chefs. . .it was a fun, interactive experience that shouldn't be missed!

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  11. Looks like so much fun~
    Hope he gets more practice at home:-)

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    1. He is the chef de cuisine at the bbq at home Irene, so he really was picking up some useful tips from the ship's chef!

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  12. Joel looks like a natural for the job! What a fun thing to do. I tried my hand at making pasta in Italy -- needed MUCH guidance, but it was a great experience. By the way, I rather like Joel's creatively shaped pizza dough. :)

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    1. I loved the photos of you making pasta dough in Italy - I watched it being made and ate plenty of it while there but never tried making it. Yes, I too laugh hard at that misshapen but creative bit of dough! (he doesn't find it as funny. . .hhmmm)

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