A Taste of Excellence - Cookbook Review
Recipes from the Holland America
by Rudi Sodamin
celebrity chefs joining the rosters of many cruise
lines, the open sea is the latest frontier for haute
Roux is now affiliated with Celebrity Cruises, Georges
Blanc is associated with Carnival Cruise Lines and Nobu
Matsuhisa is partnered with Crystal Cruises. Yet while
these chefs are raising the profile of fine dining at sea, A Taste of Excellence offers the insights of a
galley veteran. Rudi Sodamin, master chef of the Holland
America Line, has worked on ships for most of his career.
His collection of signature recipes from the vessels'
dining rooms is enhanced with inside facts about the challenges
of cooking below deck as well as a look at the “brigade” — the
team of 100 cooks who prepare meals for passengers every
as the galley turns out bountiful meals for ship goers from
early morning until the wee hours, the recipes in A
Taste of Excellence span from breakfast to salads,
breads, appetizers, main courses, desserts and late-night
snacks. In the spirit of world travel, the recipes embrace
the global culinary scene. Fittingly, however, there is
an emphasis on seafood and traditional Dutch delicacies.
Main fish courses include maple glazed salmon and cedar-planked
halibut with Béarnaise sauce. Seafood is also central
in starters and salads like Mariner’s seafood cocktail,
salad Niçoise with grilled salmon and honey vinaigrette
and warm Maine lobster salad with asparagus and pink grapefruit.
Specialties from Holland include Dutch apple pancakes with maple flavored honey,
Dutch pea soup and Bitterballen — Dutch beef croquettes — with
mustard. Cocktails and dessert are enduring highlights of
dining on board, and they are well-represented here. Start
with a “Glacier Drop” and finish your meal with
warm Grand Marnier chocolate volcano cake. You may just
capture the romance of dining at sea in your home.
by Rachel Levin