Chef’testants Tiffani Faison, Nina Compton, Brooke Williamson and Paul Qui (from left to right) – Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert

Are you passionate about traveling the world and testing your cooking chops? Then Celebrity Cruises has you covered with the premium cruise line’s Top Chef at Sea program. The popular Bravo TV show – Top Chef – has now embarked internationally on Celebrity’s fleet, already known for its celebrated cuisine, with a series of exciting culinary features, and on select signature sailings, some of the celebrity chefs also come aboard.

On every Celebrity cruise departing through June 2015 (excluding those in the Galapagos), guests will have the opportunity to taste dishes created by the TV series’ so-called chef’testants, as well as participate as chefs and judges themselves. To start, a Top Chef menu is highlighted once per sailing in the ship’s main dining room. Delicious courses, re-created from recipes of the show’s chefs, are served complimentarily to the delight of all guests.

Nina Compton’s English Pea Soup with Jumbo Spotted Prawn (Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert)

Cruise passengers can also participate in a Quickfire Challenge in the main theater. Four teams of 2 are invited to come on stage to see which can complete basic food preparations fastest within 15 minutes. The winning team then splits up to go head to head and cook an entrée, again within 15 minutes. Judges, including passengers selected from the audience or celebrity chefs on signature sailings, choose the winning dish and thus the top chef of the cruise.

Additionally, on aforementioned signature sailings, several of the show’s chef’testants join the guests on board to meet, mingle and more. Nina Compton, Tiffani Faison, Paul Qui and Brooke Williamson were most recently on board the Celebrity Solstice in Alaska for a series of bonus public chef demos and private cooking classes and dinners, all above and beyond the Top Chef dinner and Quickfire Challenge.

Nina Compton (left) demos her English Pea Soup and shares the process with her guest volunteers. (Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert)

Each of the celebrity chefs takes to the stage in the main show lounge to present a complimentary cooking demo available to all guests, and they may even call for volunteers to assist. These provide the perfect opportunity to ask your favorites questions about the show and the dishes they are preparing, and, in most cases, the demos conclude with a fun photo-op.

For an extra charge, limited space is available to guests wishing to take a private cooking class from one of the celeb chefs. These once-in-a-lifetime experiences occur in the galley of one of the specialty restaurants and conclude with eating the dish you prepared, plus a lunch offering from the boutique dining room.

Tiffani Faison’s Butterscotch Pudding (Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert)

Those foodies more interested in sampling dishes than preparing them can even choose to dine with one of the chefs at suppertime. Such private dinners, available for a surcharge and limited in seating, are composed of the chef’s personal recipes for each course. Participants in the private classes and dinners and demo volunteers even get to take home a special Top Chef at Sea apron, and all guests take home a wealth of new culinary knowledge and memories.

Visit Celebrity Cruises’ website for more information on the Top Chef at Sea offerings and upcoming signature sailings.

– by Jason Leppert, PopularCruising.com

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Cruises, Food and Drink

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