In The Kitchen

Goin’ Cruising #9

Day Six – Willis Island/Sea Day

After enjoying our visits to Airlie Beach, Cairns and Port Douglas, a day at sea provided a welcome opportunity to relax. We shopped at the duty free stores, lost yet again in the tie break of the Cake and Coffee Trivia competition and went for our morning walk around Deck 14. To maintain this demanding schedule we needed sustenance,  and it was provided by the delicious food at the Waterfront Restaurant.

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We ate almost exclusively at the Waterfront during our cruise, and every meal was excellent. We were delighted by the efficiency and grace of the restaurant staff and amazed at how quickly we were served. We wondered how all this food was created day after day; with more than 1500 hungry passengers on board Pacific Dawn the demands would be enormous.  So when the chance came to experience first hand how all this wonderful food is created, we joined in with equal parts enthusiasm and curiosity.

First we went to a culinary demonstration in the Marquee Theatre. Executive Chef Alexander Keck and Maître d’Hôtel Darren Cholerton entertained us with a humorous commentary, often poking fun at each other while creating Broccoli, Scallop and Bacon Risotto and Crème Caramel.

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While the dishes were cooking, we learned that all the food served on board Pacific Dawn is sourced in Australia and, for a seven day cruise, 250 pallets of supplies are delivered to the ship.

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The scents wafting from the cooking station on the stage were enticing and we eagerly raised our hands when Entertainment Director Zoltina-J asked for taste testing volunteers. Mr ET was among the lucky ones to be chosen and he joined the others on stage for a close up view of the cooking.

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His verdict on the risotto: “10 out of 10!”

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When the demonstration was finished we headed to the Waterfront Restaurant for a behind the scenes walk through the kitchen, where staff members were busy preparing the lunch menu.

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Of course, when food is consumed, there is always washing up to be done. Around 32 000 plates and 30 000 pieces of cutlery are washed every day. We made sure not to stop in the cleaning area in case we were conscripted!

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Later, when we returned to the Waterfront, we sat down for lunch not just with healthy appetites but also a deeper appreciation of those who helped to bring such delicious food to our table.

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38 thoughts on “In The Kitchen

  1. Wow! Isn’t that amazing! I can’t imagine cooking, serving and cleaning up after 1,500 guests three times a day. We served and cleaned up after about 20 guests and 17 helpers last night, and it was a five-hour event for us. We washed about 120-150 glasses alone. Whew!

  2. WOW! The cruise is worth going on just for the food alone! There seems to be a lot of negativity in the news lately about cruise ship food, but this post shuts that down completely. What an amazing crew they must have been 😀

    • Every meal we had was delicious and beautifully presented. I certainly couldn’t complain! The best thing was the portions were just the right size, so I could eat a three course meal and feel like I had eaten just enough. It was really well done.

  3. Fun to see the behind the scenes. That watermelon sculpture is amazing!

    Your blog must be showing up in my reader but I never think to go there. Do you know how I get email notifications?

  4. What a great opportunity to be able to see behind the scenes, and to learn about the logistics of the catering operations – I am always fascinated by that sort of thing. I think you were wise to steer clear of the washing up area! Isn’t that watermelon carving fabulous?

  5. Hey, I’ve missed some good stuff here! A cruise! How cool. Where exactly are you going? I’ve missed some posts of yours. Love the restaurant. And that water mellon…those guys must have spent hours designing that thing let alone cut it like that.

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