Michelin-star chef and sommelier aboard Sea Cloud Spirit
Chef Michael Collantes and sommelier Benjamin Coutts will enliven Sea Cloud Spirit's Oct. 5 Nice to Barcelona voyage. In store are cooking demonstrations, curated menus and storytelling beneath the ship's 28 hand-hoisted sails.
Collantes is head chef and owner of Soseki, a Michelin-star modern omakase restaurant in his hometown of Winter Park, Florida, and chef/owner of Sushi Saint, Central Florida’s first handroll bar experience, soon opening a New York outpost.
'Chef Michael’s charisma as he creates artistic interpretations using fresh ingredients from the region’s local markets will be a delectable treat for everyone,' said Mirell Reyes, president of Sea Cloud Cruises.
Collantes said he was immediately attracted to the cruise 'knowing I would have the opportunity to source sustainable fish and produce directly from local purveyors in the morning and prepare that evening on board the sailing yacht. This central Mediterranean region offers a bounty of delicacies and we look forward to being a part of this evolving lifestyle brand.'
Sommelier Coutts is a celebrated figure in the wine and hospitality industry who was awarded Florida's 'Sommelier of the Year' by the Michelin Guide. He was part of the opening team at Soseki and draws from his studies with the Court Masters of Sommeliers and Wine & Spirit Education Trust, along with his leadership roles at Augustan Wine Imports, Progress Wine Group and Team Management Group.
Ivy Mix's Latin-inspired cocktails for HAL
Award-winning bartender Ivy Mix created new cocktails for Holland America Line that capture the essence of Mexico and Latin America. Known for her pan-Latin-inspired libations, Mix used cities in these regions as inspiration to craft unique flavor combinations that will be featured in the Ocean Bar on HAL ships in Mexico and Latin America this year.
'The curated cocktails show off the personality of the region, using spirits like tequila, rum and Pisco,' Mix said.
The five new cocktails include a combination of tropical, fruity and savory elements in each drink. They include Costa Pacifica, with its eucalyptus-infused reposado tequila, creme de banana, lemon and honey, and Santo Domingo, made of rum, lime, pineapple, ginger, aromatic bitters and soda.
'Our guests want to experience every aspect of the destinations we visit, and cocktails serve as a great conduit, narrating the story of a culture through the journey of taste exploration,' said HAL's Drew Foulk, senior manager of beverage operation and dining innovation, adding Mix's 'inspired cocktails are a perfect addition to our menu.'
Mix authored the award-winning book 'Spirits of Latin America' and is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including American Bartender of the Year.
Paul Gauguin's culinary cruise
French Polynesia resident ship Paul Gauguin is adding a dash of culinary celebrity to its French-inspired tropical cuisine with two renowned food and wine experts to host the Dec. 11 'Society Islands & Tuamotus' cruise.
Hawaiian cuisine expert chef Tom Wong and certified sommelier Charlie Plummer will work alongside the ship’s team to offer tasting and culinary demonstrations, mixology workshops, wine seminars and more. Their signature dishes and cocktails will be featured throughout the 10-night journey.
'Beyond its legendary lagoons, Tahiti is paradise for foodies and the Gauguin's culinary mission is to serve the freshest, most authentic cuisine in the islands,' Executive Chef Paul Ellis said. 'We are thrilled to welcome Chef Tom Wong back on board — his Hawaiian-inspired cuisine has been a treat for our guests in the past, and own culinary team enjoys learning new techniques from him.' Plummer, Ellis said, will 'add to the uniquely delicious, and complimentary, experience for our guests.'
Wong, a professor at the Culinary Arts Instute of America, has been profiled on the Discovery Channel’s 'Great Chefs of Hawaii' and appeared on numerous shows including Food Network’s 'Cooking Across America.'
Plummer, certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Society of Wine Educators, is known for his warm and inviting demeanor, making conversations about wine and cocktails both educational and enjoyable.