The Culinary Discovery Tours provide Oceania Cruises guests with epicurean interests a unique opportunity to explore local food markets, vineyards, farms and restaurants with a knowledgeable chef from the Bon Appétit Culinary Center. Culinary traditions are often at the heart of many cultures.
Guests spend time in the kitchen with local culinary experts learning about the spices, fruits, vegetables and cooking customs that have influenced Caribbean cuisine for centuries. The goal is for guests to leave the tour with new culinary skills, satisfied taste buds and a deeper appreciation for the vibrant culinary traditions found in the Caribbean.
The new Culinary Discovery Tours will be offered during the “Holidays in the Tropics” sailing that departs Miami on Dec. 23 and on two “Island Paradise” voyages embarking in early 2015. Highlights from the new Culinary Discovery Tours include:
- St. Lucia – Spices Cooking Studio. After assembling at the Bon Appétit Culinary Center, guests begin the tour with a scenic drive through Rodney Bay Village to a magnificent private estate situated on the grounds of a former sugar cane plantation on the Atlantic side of the island. Guests explore an expansive herb garden at the estate before heading to inside the home for some hands-on cooking instruction. Using fresh, local ingredients, guests will prepare a menu of authentic Saint Lucian cuisine while learning about the subtleties of flavor and historical influences from the chef. Once the cooking process is complete, guests will enjoy their creations while taking in the natural vistas surrounding the property. On the return drive to the pier, guests will stop at the bustling open-air Castries Market, where farmers have brought locally grown fruits, vegetables and spices to market for nearly 100 years.
- Antigua – Market Visit & Cooking Demo. Guests will enjoy a short ride to the center of downtown St. John’s and walk the local market with their Bon Appétit Culinary Center chef, who will show them a wide variety of typical local fruits such as breadfruit, mangoes, sour sap and dasheen. Afterwards, guests will make the short, but scenic, journey through the city of St. John’s to the charming Villas at Sunset Lane boutique hotel and cooking school owned by renowned Chef Jacquie, who will invite the guests into her kitchen to help prepare lunch. Chef Jacquie shops daily from local organic farmers and will share her secrets for shopping and eating seasonally. Following a hands-on cooking demonstration, guests will enjoy local, seasonal favorites for lunch while overlooking the beachfront property. After lunch, guests can go for a stroll on the private beach or relax at the property and perhaps peruse a book from Jacquie’s extensive library.