A Caribbean Food Adventure

A Caribbean Food Adventure

Unbelievable as it may seem, this winter beautiful Cape Cod has been deluged by snow.  Normally we get a dusting and it’s gone in a day or two.  Not this year!  We’ve had 2 feet, 18 inches, one foot and it just doesn’t stop.  Restaurants that have never closed down for the winter before have shut their doors for 4 to 6 weeks and many lodgings shut down even longer.  We are so looking forward to spring.

Meanwhile everyone is taking off for as long as they can get away – to the sun and warm climes.  We’re off to Central America where it’s hot and sunny and where we’ll see what’s fresh in the markets and on the menus.  We’re taking our laptop with us so that we can share the foodie wonders of a few exotic places – and some not so exotic.  Come follow us!

The trip will be easy as it is onboard Oceania’s Riviera, home of the Culinary Center and of Master Chef Jacques Pepin overseeing the menu.  There will be culinary classes in French Bistro cooking and Asian Fusion and wine pairings with them.  And interesting food from the places we visit, much which is not familiar to American menus.  Let’s see what we find!

A delicious gift for any occasion – Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays, or just to say Thank You, is a Gift Certificate from these great Cape Cod Restaurants.  https://www.capecodrestaurants.com/info/gift_certificates.php

Oceania Cruises Bon Appetit Culinary Center

Oceania Cruises and Bon Appetit Magazine created the Bon Appetit Culinary Center on the Oceania Cruise ships Riviera and Marina.  It’s the world’s only hands-on culinary studio at sea, a distinction that elevates the onboard gourmand experience to a level of participation far beyond even the grandest expectations. 

Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly is the Master Chef in charge of the Bon Appetit Culinary Centers which are the only cooking schools at sea to offer hands-on cooking instructions.

 As someone who experienced this program on the Riviera last fall I can tell you first hand that it is an amateur cook’s dream to shop and cook with these outstanding Chefs.

 Here is a sample of one of the delicious recipes from Chef Kelly.

Photo Courtesy of Oceania Cruise Lines

Chef Kelly’s Pasta Primavera

1 carrot, julienned
½   zucchini, julienned
10 snow peas
¼ cup clam juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼   cup minced shallots
¼ cup dry white wine
6 shrimp, shelled and deveined
¼ cup heavy cream
½   teaspoon lemon zest
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
4 ounces fresh pasta
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 basil leaves


Heat medium pot of generously salted water over high heat, and bring to a boil.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, cook the carrot, zucchini, and snow peas in the clam sauce.  When al dente, remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.In the same pan, melt the butter.  Add the shallot and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until it is soft and translucent.  Add the wine and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the wine almost evaporates and the mixture is nearly dry, or “sec”.

Add the shrimp.  Cook the shrimp on one side for about 3 minutes, until pink.  Turn over the shrimp.  Add the cream, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes.  Allow the mixture to come to gentle boil.  When the liquid begins to reduce, add the cooked vegetables.

Add the pasta to the boiling, salted water and cook for 1 to 3 minutes, until it floats.  Drain the pasta and add it to the shrimp and vegetable mixture.  Toss in the cheese.  Stack the basil leaves, roll them into a cigar, and slice into a chiffonade.  Serve the pasta with a garnish of basil chiffonade.

Bon Appetit!!!!