Silversea brings in depth flavor to culinary tourism

ABOARD THE SILVER MUSE — Silversea Cruises is developing a
wide-ranging culinary program that it plans to install on its newer class of
ship, beginning with the delivery of the Silver Moon in 2020.

The concept will spotlight regional foods in areas in which
the ships sail and will offer a mix of complementary land-based excursions and
shipboard activities.

It will include the creation of a restaurant that carries
the name of the program — Sea and Land Taste, or SALT — in the space
currently occupied on the Silver Moon’s sister ship, the Silver Muse, by the
pan-Asian Indochine.

Barbara Muckermann, Silversea’s chief marketing officer,
said the program has been under consideration for about two years and stemmed
from a re-evaluation of what the line’s appeal would be to luxury customers.

“There’s a limit to how much champagne and caviar you
can give,” Muckermann said. “That kind of luxury has a peak.
[Providing] experiences does not.”

Muckermann gave a preview of what SALT might offer on a
cruise segment from Indonesia to the Philippines on the Silver Muse. It
included an excursion to a remote farm in the central highlands of Bali.

There, journalists trekked through rice paddies amid the
lowing of cows and the quacking of domestic ducks, observing firsthand the
origins of many of the ingredients of Balinese cuisine.

They were offered honey from a beehive split open by a
farmer and tasted a toffee-like sugar produced by boiling palm sap that is
harvested daily 20 feet off the jungle floor using traditional techniques.

Silversea’s SALTy culinary program

Silversea Cruises is developing a culinary program called Sea and Land Taste (SALT) that will debut on the 596-passenger Silver Moon, under construction for delivery in 2020. Silversea previewed a half-day excursion in Bali that demonstrates the depth and regional focus of the program. After a walking tour of a rice paddy and farm, guests were treated to lunch and Balinese drinks, catered by a butcher shop affiliated with the renowned Locovore restaurant in nearby Ubud. Seen here is a view of the rice fields, with one of Bali's volcanos looming in the distance.
Silversea Cruises is developing a culinary program called Sea and Land Taste (SALT) that will debut on the 596-passenger Silver Moon, under construction for delivery in 2020. Silversea previewed a half-day excursion in Bali that demonstrates the depth and regional focus of the program. After a walking tour of a rice paddy and farm, guests were treated to lunch and Balinese drinks, catered by a butcher shop affiliated with the renowned Locovore restaurant in nearby Ubud. Seen here is a view of the rice fields, with one of Bali's volcanos looming in the distance.
Cattle are kept in small pens on the farm in central Bali. Although like India, Bali is mostly Hindu, the diet differs in that many types of meat, including beef, are included in the cuisine.
Ducks are another type of domestic animal kept on a rice plantation in central Bali.
This basket of mangosteens was picked on a farm and rice plantation in central Bali. The white fruit inside is somewhat like citrus fruit. Mangosteens are rarely available in North America.
A type of berry grown in central Bali used in local recipies.
Most Indonesian farmers use high-yield rice varieties that grow fast and produce more than one crop a year. Rice indigenous to Bali produces a new crop in 9 months, a cycle recognized and celebrated in Hindu religious ceremonies.
A local farmer in central Bali ladles out samples of palm sap that has been kettle boiled to a toffee-like consistency. Palm flower spikes are tapped like maple trees for their sugar. After boiling, the toffee hardens into a more granular sugar and is formed into a puck-like disc.
In a clearing, Silversea guests on a shore excursion in central Bali were treated to lunch cooked in a microbus converted into a mobile grill.
A makeshift bar in a jungle clearing served drinks with Balinese ingredients to guests on a Silversea Cruises shore excursion. The skirt on the bar is made from palm fronds stripped from trees, but the tip of the frond is not stripped so the leaves will continue to support the tree.
Meat from a roast suckling pig is being trimmed on a central Bali farm for lunch served to guests on a Silversea Cruises expedition.
The LocalPartsBali food truck belongs to an artisanal butcher shop started by the owners of the Locovore restaurant in Ubud. It is dedicated to farm-to-table cuisine and snout-to-tail butchery.

At the end of the hike, they were served lunch in a jungle
clearing from a food truck operated by the renowned Locavore restaurant in
nearby Ubud. The menu included roast pig and artisanal sausages and sampling
cocktails made with Balinese ingredients.

“This stuff is the next frontier in a sophisticated
approach to destination,” Muckermann said.

She said the idea is to bring the destination alive for
guests through the exploration of food.

To complement land excursions, Silversea will offer regional
menus, typically for breakfast, lunch and dinner, in the SALT restaurant. There
will be food lectures, cooking classes and demonstrations by guest local chefs
and food experts, most of which will be included in the cost of the cruise.

Muckermann said SALT will answer the question, “If this
is a destination, what is the story of that destination?”

A SALT food lab will be created on the Silver Moon, taking
the place of the French restaurant La Dame, which will be moved to the back of
the ship where the Arts Cafe would be situated. The Arts Cafe will move next
door, supplanting the Connoisseur’s Corner smoking lounge.

SALT will definitely be installed on the Silver Dawn, due in
2021, and probably on the Silver Muse but not on older, smaller Silversea
vessels with fewer specialty dining venues.

To design the details of the program, Silversea has hired
Adam Sachs, until last year the editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine. Sachs said
his plan is for SALT to accommodate both the most and least traditional
cruisers.

“So, if you’re the most involved, engaged, food-minded
traveler, there’s something for you here you won’t find anywhere else in the
category,” he said. “And if you’re more conservative and you like
what Silversea now delivers, you’ll still find something to taste along the way
and go home with a story to tell your friends about.”

Muckermann said some regions lend themselves more readily to
SALT and will get a deeper treatment, while others, such as Antarctica, are
less food-rich and will have a shallower SALT program. 

“But that layer will always be there,” she said.

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