It’s been said that too many cooks spoil the broth, but we disagree. When we called for budding chefs to send us their dream menu, it was a case of the more, the merrier…
Back in December Thomson Cruises launched a competition – Cruise Kitchen – inviting wannabe chefs to take part in a virtual cook-off and design their ultimate menu. The prize? A Caribbean cruise, and their menu served onboard.
We provided a list of possible ingredients for starters, mains and desserts, and left it down to you and your culinary creativity to add cooking styles, side dishes and sauces. A chorus of rumbling tummies echoed around the office once the entries started pouring in. The easy part was drooling over chorizo and lobster and cheesecake (oh my!) – the hard part was picking the cream of the crop, thanks to the diversity of dinners we received.
Captain Greybeard – AKA John Honeywell – The Mirror’s cruise expert, and a panel of judges whittled down the entries to 3 finalists. They’ll be setting off on a 7-night tour of the Canary Islands on Thomson Celebration in March, where our chef will be bringing their menus to life at a very special dinner. So, ladies and gentlemen, meet our contestants…
Name: David Carr
Why did you enter? I enjoy cooking and travel to seek inspiration for recipes.
What inspired your menu choices and why do you think you will win? All of the dishes are things I cook for friends and they have so far been well-received.
Have you been on a cruise before? We’ve completed about 20 cruises with various cruise lines, but this will be our first with Thomson.
Who will you take with you? My wife, Catherine.
David’s menu: Beetroot soup with horseradish ice cream, fillet of venison with mushroom risotto, and blueberry and almond torte.
Name: Jasmin Brady
Why did you enter? I entered the competition because I loved the idea of having my menu cooked by a Thomson Cruises chef and – maybe more importantly – getting to eat it onboard an amazing Caribbean cruise.
What inspired your menu choices and why do you think you will win? My menu choices were inspired by the Caribbean and mixed flavours I thought would work well for a British palate, but with a bit of a Caribbean twist. I went to Cuba 2 years ago and absolutely loved the Cuban stewed pork with black rice ‘n’ beans they serve in all the local places. And it’s not the Caribbean without plenty of rum! I hope I win because I put real care into putting together 3 dishes that I thought summed up the Caribbean, but were also appealing on a British cruise menu.
Have you been on a cruise before? I’ve been on 3 cruises with Thomson over the past 3 years, on Thomson Dream, Celebration and Majesty.
Who will you take with you? I’ll be taking my boyfriend, David. It’s fantastic timing as we got engaged in Amsterdam at New Year and thought we’d be cruise-less for the next 2 years while we saved up for the wedding.
Jasmin’s menu: Caribbean Cornish pasty, Cuban pulled pork and rice ‘n’ black beans, and mojito sorbet.
Name: Kirsty Chisholm
Why did you enter? I’ve always wanted to go to the Caribbean and on a cruise, so thought I’d try my luck and enter. I’m so pleased I did!
What inspired your menu choices and why do you think you will win? I have a passion for cooking and baking and enjoy trying new dishes. I think I could win this competition as each dish on my menu has a Caribbean style to it and think it will go down well with the à la carte diners on the ‘Pride of Panama’ cruise around the Caribbean. My dishes are simple, tasty and can be well presented in a number of ways.
Have you been on a cruise before? I’ve never been on a cruise before but it’s always been a dream of mine, along with visiting the Caribbean. Winning this competition would be a dream come true.
Who will you take with you? My mum.
Kirsty’s menu: Caribbean banana and coconut soup, Caribbean-style chicken with seasonal vegetables, and chocolate rum torte.
The overall winner will land themselves a spot on Thomson Dream for our ‘Pride of Panama’ cruise around the Caribbean in January 2015. And, as if that’s not enough, their winning menu will be a star feature in the à la carte restaurant – The Grill – while they’re onboard. Talk about icing on the cake. Mmm, cake.
We wish them all the best of luck!
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Author: El Berwick
Published: January 27, 2014
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