the cruise chef

Our Favorite Recipes From Cruise Chefs Around the world

All Recipes

Soups and Appetizers

Fish Chowder
From the Maine Windjammer Fleet

There are many small privately owned schooners and yawls in Maine that are available for individual or group bookings. Many are old historic vessels, living museums on the water. Their accommodations are simple. You usually sail during the day making several stops at towns or beaches, then anchor at night. There may be sunfish windsurfers dinghies or kayaks on board or you can swim or snorkel. You can take a turn hauling lines if you wish and get sailing tips at the helm. Cooking is often done on a wood-burning stove and dinner served buffet-style on deck. Usually there is one lobster bake with a driftwood fire on shore.

1/4 lb. salt pork
1/2 tsp. dill weed
5 med. peeled cubed potatoes
1/2 tsp. basil
1 lg. chopped onion
1/4 tsp. parsley
3 cloves of diced garlic
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 tops chopped celery and leaves
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 lb. haddock or cod filets

Saute salt pork garlic and onion in a little water, until soft. Stir frequently. Add potatoes. Cover with water and simmer. When potatoes are almost done, lay fish on top. Add seasonings and cover. When fish starts to break apart, add one can of evaporated milk. Place on low heat until ready to serve.

Yields 4 to 6 servings

Moroccan Sweet Potato Stew
From Wind Star Cruises

In the summer the three Wind Star cruise ships are in the Mediterranean with many different departures there from April to November. A typical cruise goes from Italy's Amalfi coast from Rome on seven-day sailings with shore excursions exploring Croatia and Greece. Another goes along the Cote d'Azur with port calls at Portofino, Corsica, Elba, Florence, St. Tropez and Cannes. There are also Greece and Turkey itineraries between Athens and Istanbul. Caribbean seven-day cruises go from St. Thomas roundtrip to St. John, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Iles des Saintes and Virgin Gorda. There are also Panama Canal cruises and cruises on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. A repositioning cruise goes between Barbados or St. Thomas and Lisbon.

2 cups chopped onion
3 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon dried cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 sweet potatoes (3 1/2 pounds) peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes 6 cups
1 large red bell pepper seeded and coarsely chopped 1-1/2 cup
1 eggplant cubed 3 cups
3/4 cup vegetable broth or water
2 cups canned garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
3 cups canned ready-cut tomatoes
3/4 cup raisins
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Combine onions and garlic in a large saucepan and cook covered over low heat until tender, about 10 minutes or until the onion is translucent, adding a little water if necessary to prevent scorching. Stir in turmeric, cinnamon, curry, cumin, nutmeg and red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, eggplant, and broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add garbanzo beans, tomatoes and raisins, and simmer covered until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 35 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro before serving.

Fried Noodles Thai Style
From Star Clippers

Prepared by Chef Arun “Saa” Chonsakul.

Narrow rice noodles: 300 grams (10.5 ounces) 

Bean sprouts: 500 grams (17 ounces)

Soybean curd: 1 cake

Leaves of Chinese leeks: 50 grams (2 ounces) 

Chopped pickled white radish: 50 grams (2 ounces) 

Roasted peanuts ground: 1⁄2 cup

Lime: 1 whole

Ground dried chilies: 1 tsp.

Chopped shallots: 1 tbsp.

Chopped garlic: 1 tbsp.

Tamarind juice or vinegar: 4 tbsp.

Fish sauce: 3 tbsp.

Sugar: 4 tbsp.

Cooking oil: 1⁄2 cup

Heat 3 tbsp. of oil in a frying pan and sauté garlic and shallots. When yellowed, add the noodles with just enough water to soften them and fry, turning constantly with a spatula to prevent sticking. Move noodles to the side of the pan. Put 3 tbsp. of oil into pan. When hot, fry the prawns, pickled radish, bean curd, dry chilies, sugar, tamarind juice and fish sauce; then return the noodles, mix thoroughly and move to the side. Put 2 tbsp. of oil into the pan. When heated break the eggs into the pan and scramble with a spatula, spreading the eggs in a thin layer over the pan. When set, return the noodles and mix together. Add half of the bean sprouts and the Chinese leeks and mix together. Spoon onto plates and sprinkle with ground peanuts. Serve with bean sprouts and Chinese leeks leaves.

Yields 4


From Norwegian Coastal Voyage

Hurtigruten's favorite drink is the Fjellbekk. It means Mountain Spring in Norwegian.

3/4 oz vodka
3/4 oz aquavit
3/4 oz lime juice
Sprite® soda

Mix and pour over ice.

Blackberry Dream Blast
From SeaDream Yacht Club

2 oz currant-flavored vodka
1 oz dark chocolate liqueur
1 oz irish cream.

Mix all liqueurs in ice-filled glass and stir. (not shaken!)

Yields 1

Blue-Footed Booby
From a Galapagos cruise on the Celebrity Xpedition

The Blue-Footed Booby is a wonderful bird with blue feet in the Galapagos Islands. And it also became a favorite at cocktail time on board.

2 oz Cana Manabita
4 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz Blue Curacao
1 oz cream

Cana Manabita is a sugar cane liquor produced in Ecuador; if you cannot find it, Cachaca, a Brazilian liquor made from distilled sugar cane juice,or rum can be substituted.
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
2. Pour into a wide-bowled wine glass or
Champagne flute.

A variation: the Red-Footed Booby, made with 2 ounces vodka, 1/4 ounce Cointreau, and 2 ounces pineapple juice (shake over ice and serve in a martini glass).


Green Mango Salad with Fried Fish
From Pandaw River Cruises

Fish fillet (any kind of white meat fish) 1 kg
Green mango (grated) 1 kg
Carrot (Grated) 300 g
Onion (Julienne) 200 g
Slice shallot 40 g
Roasted peanut (pound) 60 g
Basil leaf 10 g
Fish sauce 4 tablespoons
Sugar 1 tablespoon
Flour 80 g
Water 50 ml
Egg 1 pcs

Put flour and egg with water in a bowl mix well. Cut the fish fillet into strips about 2 cm and mix with flour and deep fry the fish until crispy. Peel green mango and use grater to grate mango, marinate with salt about 15 minutes and squeeze the juice out. Put fish sauce in a small bowl with sugar; stir until the sugar melts. Put mango, carrot, onion together and pour the sauce to mix; season to taste. Prepare the plate and put the salad on the plate and sprinkle slice shallot, basil leaf and roasted peanut on top.

Yields 2

Classic New England Style Lobster Salad Roll
From American Cruise Lines

1/2 pound fully cooked lobster meat
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon fresh tarragon
chopped 2 small scallions thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 New England-style hot dog buns
2 Tablespoons butter

Mix all the salad ingredients together. Cover and chill in the refrigerator. While the salad is chilling, butter both sides of the hot dog rolls and toast both sides under the broiler or in a heavy pan until golden brown. Stuff each roll with the lobster salad. Serve with pickles and potato chips.

Yields 4

Salad Nicoise
From Viking River Cruises

This salad is from Nice in the south of France. Traditionally featuring tuna, olives, capers and tomatoes, the recipe can be adapted to include blanched green beans or anchovies.

One head of butter lettuce
chopped into large pieces
3/4 pound fresh green beans blanched and still warm
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
One small red onion thinly sliced
Four ripe Roma tomatoes sliced into wedges
Four small boiled potatoes sliced into wedges
Two 3-ounce cans chunk white tuna preferably oil-packed
Four hard-boiled eggs sliced into wedges
One tin of flat anchovy fillets
1/3 cup small black brine-cured olives
Three tablespoons capers
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 to 2/3 cup vinaigrette

One tablespoon finely minced shallots
One tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
One tablespoon fresh lemon juice
One tablespoon red wine vinegar
2/3 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, add green beans, onion, tomatoes, potatoes, 4 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and the minced shallots; toss to combine. Place lettuce in the bottom of 4 bowls and spoon salad mixture over the lettuce. Place equal amounts of tuna and egg on salad and top with 1 or 2 anchovy fillets. Spoon remaining vinaigrette over each bowl; finishing with olives, capers and parsley.

Add all vinaigrette ingredients to a leak-proof plastic bowl with lid and shake to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Yields 6

Meat Entrees

Pheasant Breast with Chanterelle Mushroom Stuffing
From Seabourn Cruiseline

This is a favorite among the passengers of the 200-passenger sister ships of Seabourn that travel all over the world.

6 skinless pheasant breasts
1/2 pound pork caul fat (prosciutto is a good substitute)
6 leeks
5 peeled shallots
1/2 pound Chanterelle mushrooms
1/2 pound chicken breast
1 ounce lard or butter
3 ounces cream
2 eggs
1/2 ounce cognac reduction
1 tablespoon sage and flat parsley
salt and pepper
olive oil

Slice an insertion about 1.5 inches long into each breast. Prepare duxelles: saute diced shallots and fine diced mushrooms in butter. Allow to cool. Braise the green part of leeks in chicken stock and cool in ice water. Prepare the farce: chill the chicken breast, lard, cream, eggs, and cognac reduction until very cold. Add previous ingredients into a food processor in the following order: chicken, lard, cognac, salt/pepper, eggs, cream, mushrooms, sage, and parsley. Put into a piping bag and fill the pheasant breasts. Season the pheasant. Cut the caul fat and leek to size. Wrap the pheasant breasts into the leek followed by the caul fat. Roast at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

1 cup port wine
1 cup veal jus
2 cups red wine
10 white peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 peeled shallots
2 tablespoons butter

Slice the shallots and sweat them in a tablespoon of butter. Add the red wine and reduce by one-half. Add veal jus, bay leaf, and white peppercorn. Reduce again by half. Strain and keep sauce in a warm place. Before serving, mount the remaining butter into the sauce.

Yields 6 servings

Tournedos of Beef with Crepe
From Wind Surf. The Wind Surf is the largest of the sailing ships of Windstar Cruises.

4 beef tenderloin steaks of about 6 oz. Crepe of Forest Mushrooms
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter browned
4 ounces mushrooms white sliced
4 ounces shitake mushroom sliced
4 ounces oyster mushrooms sliced
1 shallot
1 tablespoon parsley chopped
4 baby turnips
4 baby carrots
4 cipollini onions
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon butter
2 shallots
8 tablespoons Veal Jus
4 teaspoons butter
4 ounces spinach
4 ounces basil
olive oil

To make the crepe: In a bowl combine the eggs with a quarter of the milk, add the flour and create a smooth dough. Add the remaining milk to get a smooth and runny crepe batter. With a little butter or oil, bake individual crepes in a teflon pan.
Sauté all mushrooms in butter with the shallots in a pan over medium to high heat. Add the chopped parsley.
Roll the mushrooms into the crepes and cut the ends off on a bias.
Blanch the turnips and the carrots. Sauté in olive oil until light brown and season.
Sautee the shallots in butter. Deglaze with red wine and reduce. Mount with butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Blanch spinach and basil separately in slightly salted water. Shock in ice water. Drain and squeeze. Chop roughly with a knife. Blend with basil, spinach and water until smooth. Finish with olive oil.
Season the tenderloins with salt and pepper and roast in a pan over high heat. Cook to order. Spoon the red wine sauce over the beef and place the tournedos decoratively next to it. Add the vegetables. Garnish the plate with the Spinach Basil Sauce.

Yields 4 servings

Rack of Lamb with a Black Olive Tapenade
From American Eagle

The 49-passenger American Eagle cruises along the Georgia and Florida borders and up the St. Johns River and on other East coast itineraries.

lamb rack
4 oz black olives
1 oz garlic
2 oz capers
1 oz anchovies
1 oz olive oil sprig of thyme

Sear rack of lamb in a very hot pan and remove. Combine black olives garlic capers anchovies and olive oil in food processor and form a paste. Rub this on the rack of lamb and roast for 12 minutes at 450 degrees. Garnish with sprig of thyme. Serve with fresh vegetables in season.

Seafood Entrees

Pan-Roasted Speckled Scorpionfish in Lemon Butter
From Quasar Expeditions, Galapagos Islands

This recipe is from the vintage yacht Grace. The 16-passenger yacht was a wedding gift from Aristotle Onassis to Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco and it was onboard this vessel where they spent their honeymoon getaway. You can now book cruises on it or charter it for a group.

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 speckled scorpionfish fillets (about 2 ½ lbs) – can also use halibut or sea bass
Salt and pepper to taste
1 shallot (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1/2 cup of white wine
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon butter
1 lemon (zest and juice)
2 tablespoons dill or parsley (chopped)

Heat the oil and melt the butter in a pan. Season the scorpionfish with salt and pepper. Add the fish to the pan and cook until lightly golden brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. Set the fish aside.

Add the shallots to the pan and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Simmer to reduce the sauce a bit.

Turn off the heat and add the capers, butter, lemon and dill or parsley.

Serve the fish over a bed of fetuccini pasta with a little olive oil. And top the fish with the lemmon butter and capers sauce.

Yields 4 to 6

Rock Lobster Tail in the Shell
From Sea Dream Yachts

The 100-passenger yacht serve this dish when cruising in the British Virgin Islands and Grenadines or in the Bahamas.

1 cup fish stock
1/3 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 piece onion diced
1 stalk lemon grass cracked
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup coconut juice sweetened
4 pieces lobster tails dressed
2 liters water to poach lobster
1 teaspoon sea salt for the lobster water

Cut the lobster with a pair of scissors on the soft part on both sides and pull out the tail. Cut the tail in cubes, set aside and chill. Boil down the fish stock, white wine, coconut juice, onion, pepper, lemon grass, and cream to at least half the amount; season if necessary with a bit of salt and lemon juice. If you like food a bit spicy, add a little Tabasco and strain through a sieve. Bring the water with the sea salt to a light boil and poach the lobster pieces in it for about 3-4 minutes. Strain well and add to the ready lobster sauce. Poach up the empty lobster shell for a couple of minutes, then dry well and dress the lobster ragout back into the lobster shell and serve with your favorite side dish and vegetables. If you like you can top it off with a bit of Sauce Hollandaise and stick the tail for a couple of minutes under the broiler to give it a nice brown appearance.

Turbot Grilled on White Beans
From Royal Clipper 

This is the largest sailing ship in the world. it sails in the Med in the summer and the Caribbean in the winter.

Turbot fillet portions of 200 gr.
Onions chopped in fine cubes 0.2kg
White beans cooked till soft 0.8 kg
Tomatoes cut in cubes 0.3 kg
Red green yellow peppers in cubes 0.3 kg
Parsley chopped 0.05 kg
Basil for decoration
Tomatoes puree for decoration
Red wine 1 ltr
Calamares in rings 0.5 kg

Saute the onion with the tomatoes and pepper in a little bit of soya oil. Add the red wine and reduce to 1/3. Add the white beans and let cook for a few minutes. Season to taste. Grill the fish steaks and season them. Sauté the calamares and season and add the chopped parsley. Place on a plate and use tomato puree to decorate.


Warm Chocolate Soufflé Cake with Raspberry Sorbet
From Wind Surf

In the Caribbean or in the Med this is a popular dessert with Wind Surf passengers.

400 grams chocolate chopped
400 grams butter
400 grams egg white
225 grams sugar
6 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 1/4 cups chocolate sauce
12 scoops raspberry sorbet

Melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler.
While chocolate is melting, start whipping egg whites slowly in mixer. After chocolate is completely melted, whisk in the yolks and egg.

Finish whipping the whites and add the sugar. When the eggs are nearly finished, fold the whites gently into the chocolate mixture.

Pipe cake mix into buttered 4 ounce aluminum baking cups and bake gently at 300 degrees until cooked and set.
Gently un-mold and serve with chocolate sauce and raspberry sorbet.

Yields 12 servings

Almond Cake
From Viking River Cruises 

Ceramic or cast-iron German Bundtkuchen pans in the past now mostly aluminum to produce a ring-shaped cake. You might find this cake flavored with almond paste in the confiseries that dot Belgium’s countryside.

One-quarter pound unsalted butter
room temperature
Three-quarters cup sugar
One cup almond paste
Three eggs
One-third teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
One-quarter teaspoon almond extract
One tablespoon Kirsch or Grand Marnier
One-quarter cup cake flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8in. springform pan with baking parchment or butter and flour. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add almond paste and beat well. Add eggs one at a time and beat. Add baking powder, salt, almond extract and liqueur; stir to combine well. Fold in flour gently and do not overmix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 35–45 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean; make sure you don’t underbake. Cool slightly on a cookie rack.

Serving Suggestion: Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh berries.

Yields 10-12 servings

Gateau Chaud au Chocolat
From Sea Dream Yachts 

The yachts, carrying about 100 passengers, cruise out of Nice for Mediterranean cruises in summer and from St. Thomas for British Virgin Islands and Grenadines cruises for most of the winter. They have an indoor dining room and an outdoor restaurant, as well as room service. Guests can also raid the pantry 24 hours a day for cookies or a sandwich, just as they would at home. Shore excursions can include shopping with the chef in local pastry houses, golfing with officers, or shoreside nightlife opportunities when the vessels overnight in such ports as Monte Carlo and St. Tropez.

10.5 oz dark chocolate
10.5 oz butter
5 eggs
6 egg yolks
4.5 oz plain white flour
4.5 oz granulated sugar

Melt the butter and the chocolate together. Whip the eggs and the egg yolks together with the sugar. Add the flour to the eggs and then the butter, chocolate mix. Put into a large china coffee cup 2/3rd up (which is coated with butter and icing sugar). Let it cool down in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Bake it in a pre-heated oven at 380 F for 10-15 minutes. When it is ready to serve, flip it over on a plate and serve it with chocolate or vanilla ice cream, fresh raspberries and mint leaf. Dust with either powder sugar or chocolate powder. If the baking time is reached, the inside of the cake should melt.

Yields 10 servings