Cruising Food.. Carnival style

I need to talk about the food here on the Carnival Cruise Lines, and I will be taking pictures tonight (forgot my camera /phone last night). Something interesting is happening on this ship in the dining rooms.They are trying out a new idea that I can see will save them lots of time in the serving dept. and maybe all departments, except waste.

Soooooo.. instead of picking and choosing our appetizers they now serve all of them to everyone and you just pick your entrée. The server goes around and places one of three apps onto this plate that has an appetizer on it already.. in front of you.

He/she then does the second round and then third, they all fit, most everyone eats all of them (stuffed mushroom in a tomatoe basil sauce on it’s own little round plate-et) ok, so I made that up the term for what it is served on, but you get the drift? a small spinach type tart no little individual plate-et, a crevice’ on a plate-et and a smoked salmon type appetizer which was already plated on this big plate.. whew..

I only mention this because some of my catering peers might be lurking/reading this, and they like to know about the food, unfortunately my descriptions are somewhat lacking. But what is interesting is the serving style.The whole meal is called American feast.

Well this is sorta like the bracelet.. I am not a food writer. I can describe how it made me feel, like the dessert thingy was truly orgasmic.. mmmmm.. don’t talk, I need to savor this! I could sell it to you.. like if you even take one bite of this creamy amazing dessert you will want to throw your body at the chef.. !

The dessert tonight is a mango flan (it is the inspiration for the above criteria) that is so light and creamy and flavorful on a bed of translucent tapioca.

This looks a lot like fish eggs, Sharon announces, and she is not having any of that, it has a little green jell-like stuff around the edges.. oh my, my high end Catersource chefs are rolling their eyes right now.. ok.. so this lacks any sort of panache’ but omg.. I want to marry the chef that made this little piece of heaven.

The food has been outstanding on all these ships!!! and I would like to say here that they get very little money for doing all these amazing meals that are so incredible! I’m thinking it is less that 12.00 a day (yes I am serious!) maybe 15.00, and that is for all three meals and snacks and such.

Well figure it out.. most of us pay on average 100.00 a day for a cruise. These chefs are the true heroes of these cruise’s and get very little recognition. I have no patience for anyone that whines about food.

I also have a pet peeve about filling your plate with food that you do not intend eating. Take what you want.. but for goodness sakes eat what you take ! We eat in the dining room 90% of the cruises (we have very little will power at buffets so it is just easier on us this way).

Ok enough about the food.. oh no.. one more thing, and it is a Biggie! They are starting to serve ‘family style’ in these dining rooms!They are calling it American Table. Yes, they are experimenting with it (we of course know all about it in the catering world) the exciting thing here is they are doing it with the sides only!

The other exciting thing (and this is where my camera comes into play tonight) is the dishes they do it with. They have served us a really good mac and cheese side, a broccoli.. carrots and pearl onions side and there were a couple more that we didn’t order.

They came in a round flat bowl (think casserole dish , maybe six inches ) on a nine inch plate for easier passing.. now this is the aha moment.. !! They are STACKABLE !! I am playing with them and start thinking.. bloody hell ! we can use this idea in our catering business.. it will save tons of room on the table.. AND.. AND.. keep the food HOT!!!!

Now I go to Catersource (a huge gathering of caterers and chefs from around the world that come together to learn and to share! Education in the food industry) every year and forgive me if I missed this little gem and you guys are already doing it.. but this is genius ! and I might add it looks very elegant too! Ok.. now I am done on the food.

2 thoughts on “Cruising Food.. Carnival style

  1. Great read, thanks for sharing your cruise dining with us. My husband and I have only been on a cruise 4 times….each a bit different but being caterers ourselves we find it captivating to watch in awe at the amt. of really good food they are able to put out night after night.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Heidi . my travel buddy and I are seeing the world by cruising. You may be interested in the business blog I have a few stories on how we started our catering business 28 years ago in my ‘second life’. The food business will always be a part of my life.

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