An all-star line-up of celebrated chefs and authors enhance program throughout the year

This summer Celebrity Chef Cat Cora will demonstrate how to whip up her favorite dishes as part of Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine. Cora is scheduled to sail on ms Nieuw Amsterdam’s 12-day Mediterranean Empires cruise departing July 2, 2013.

In addition to Cora, the lineup for the Culinary Arts Center fleet-wide enrichment program includes other celebrated chefs, cookbook authors and television personalities from the culinary world who sail throughout the year. Also sailing this year are the Food Network’s “Next Food Network Star” finalist Michele Ragussis and Danny Grant, executive chef at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, who was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs of 2012.”

Cat Cora, Culinary Arts Center Program / Photo © Holland America Line

Cat Cora, Culinary Arts Center Program / Photo © Holland America Line

“Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center is a highlight of our onboard enrichment program and year after year we strive to bring aboard the most talented and entertaining culinary experts,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “The chance to engage with these masters in their fields and explore new culinary learning opportunities enhances the cruise experience for our guests.”

The Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine enables cruisers aboard the line’s 15 ships to experience cooking shows, wine tastings and question-and-answer sessions in a full show kitchen. Also offered are hands-on classes conducted by top chefs, wine experts, noted culinary specialists and leading cookbook authors.

About Cat Cora

With restaurants at Macy’s South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., at San Francisco’s and Houston’s airports, and at Walt Disney World, Cora brings a taste of her culinary influence to both coasts. In 2005, she made television history on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” as the first and only female Iron Chef, and in 2006 she was named executive chef of Bon Appetit magazine. Cora stepped out of her chef’s jacket in 2012 and co-hosted Bravo’s “Around the World in 80 Plates” alongside Curtis Stone.

In 2011, Cora launched her first line of cookware with Starfrit, Canada’s leading purveyor of kitchen preparation products. That same year, she joined forces with Gaea to debut Cat Cora’s Kitchen, her own line of olives, olive oils, tapenades and cooking sauces. In addition, Cora has her own collection of wines under the Coranation label.

Cora received her culinary education at The Culinary Institute of America in New York, and in Europe she completed apprenticeships with two of France’s three-star Michelin chefs, George Blanc of Vonnas and Roger Verge. She is the author of “Cat Cora’s Kitchen,” “Cooking From The Hip: Fast, Easy, Phenomenal Meals” and “Classics With a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes.”

Outside of the kitchen, Cora’s philanthropic efforts include her role as president and founder of Chefs for Humanity, nutritional spokesperson for UNICEF, work with Save the Children and she joined First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her Chefs Move To Schools campaign.

More renowned chefs featured in Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center program include:

Sean Brasel is executive chef and co-owner of Meat Market in Miami, Fla. In 1994, Brasel opened several restaurants in his native Colorado, and then relocated to Miami Beach where he launched Touch in the heart of South Beach. Meat Market, his latest creation, is a sultry steakhouse with a New York City vibe. He is scheduled to sail aboard ms Statendam’s seven-day Glacier Discovery Alaska Voyage departing June 2.

Karen Nicholas is executive chef of Equinox Restaurant in Washington, D.C., and one of Food & Wine magazine’s best new chefs of 2012. She studied at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., and her résumé includes stints at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, Calif., and Gramercy Tavern in New York City. Nicholas is scheduled to sail on ms Amsterdam’s seven-day Alaska cruise June 14.

Danny Grant is executive chef at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. Twice given two Michelin stars for RIA, a restaurant inside the Waldorf, he also received perfect four-star reviews from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago magazine. In 2012, Grant was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s best new chefs. He is scheduled to sail on ms Nieuw Amsterdam’s 12-day Mediterranean Romance cruise July 14.

Kelly English is executive chef of Kelly English Steakhouse and Restaurant Iris in Memphis, Tenn. English graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and studied in Spain and France. Restaurant Iris was voted Memphis’ best restaurant three years in a row by Memphis magazine readers. He recently opened Kelly English Steakhouse in St. Louis, Mo. English is scheduled to sail on ms Noordam’s 11-day Adriatic Explorer cruise Sept. 6.

Paul Carter is the director of culinary operations at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in Phoenix, Ariz. Prior to his current position, Carter served as executive chef of The Phoenician in Phoenix. He is scheduled to sail on ms Prinsendam’s 16-day Mediterranean Explorer cruise Sept. 16.

Michele Ragussis is executive chef of The Pearl in Rockland, Maine, and Food Network’s “Next Food Network Star” finalist. For the past eight years, she’s worked as an executive chef in restaurants along the east coast. Ragussis sails on ms Westerdam’s seven-day Caribbean cruise Nov. 9.

Fred Muller is executive chef of El Meze Restaurant in Taos, N.M. He is part-owner of Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, N.C., and was voted one of the “Top 10 New Southern Chefs” by Southern Magazine. Muller also is the author of the cookbook “LA COMIDA: The Foods, Cooking and Traditions of the Upper Rio Grande.” He is scheduled to sail on ms Veendam’s seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise Nov. 9.

Other notable Culinary Arts Center guest chefs and cuisine experts slated to sail in the 2013 season include:

Ghyslain Maurais, restaurateur, chocolatier and pastry chef, sails on ms Volendam June 12 in Alaska.

Jeremy Langlois, executive chef at Houmas House Plantation in Darrow, La., sails on ms Zuiderdam June 22 in Alaska.

Bruce Sherman, executive chef of North Pond in Chicago, Ill., sails on ms Eurodam July 10 in the Baltic.

Matt Gennuso, executive chef and owner of Chez Pascal, a French-American bistro in Providence, R.I., sails on a segment of ms Prinsendam’s Britain and Ireland Explorer cruise departing Aug. 5.

Alon Shaya, executive chef of Domenica in New Orleans, La., sails on ms Volendam Aug. 28 in Alaska.

Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center

Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Centers are featured on each of the line’s 15 ships. A “world class show kitchen at sea,” the Culinary Arts Centers, presented by Food & Wine magazine, resemble the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on television cooking programs. The facilities are used for cooking shows, wine tastings, hands-on cooking classes and mixology presentations. All events are taught by highly skilled culinary and beverage staff during every Holland America Line voyage.

Each facility features a theater-style venue with two large video screens and a large cooking display counter. Holland America Line also offers a youth Culinary Arts Center activity program on select sailings to teach kids and teens how to cook. The program incorporates dishes from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in complimentary 45-minute classes.

The Culinary Arts Center is part of Holland America Line’s innovative and industry-leading culinary initiatives, which also include a partnership with Le Cirque to present “An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill” and a Culinary Council composed of renowned international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Elizabeth Falkner, Jacques Torres, Charlie Trotter and the line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin.

For a full schedule of Holland America Line’s culinary guest program, visit http://www.hollandamerica.com/cruise-vacation-onboard/Enrichment.action and click on the Culinary Arts Center tab.

For more information on Holland America Line’s cruises and cruisetours, consult a professional travel seller, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com

Information source: Holland America Line Inc.

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