Holland America Line’s Master Chef’s Table dining experience developed by internationally renowned chef Rudi Sodamin earned the Editor-in-Chief Award for Best Dining Experience from Porthole Cruise Magazine. The award recognises the line’s innovative approach to culinary offerings at sea, and the honor was announced in the February 2014 issue.
The Master Chef’s Table reflects Chef Rudi’s culinary vision of artistry and craftsmanship. The evening features a seven-course dining event for up to 18 guests, with each course personally delivered by a special culinary expert who serves as the dinner host. The uniforms and menus were designed to resemble an elegant chef jacket that embodies the theme of the dinner. Each meal is enhanced with wine pairings specially selected by the ship’s sommelier and the elegant table is set with signature Versace china.
"Rudi’s culinary innovations continue to earn acclaim throughout the industry, and this award is confirmation of his creativity and forward-thinking approach to our dining experience,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “We’re proud that the Master Chef’s Table was again recognised for its exceptional cuisine, fine wines and first-class service, and we look forward to seeing what Rudi will come up with next for our guests.”
Chosen annually by Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff, the Porthole Awards are a selection of his current favorites from the cruise and travel industries.
“The Master Chef’s Table is the highest quality culinary experience you’ll find on land or at sea, so it was easy for me to give it such distinguished recognition,” said Panoff. “Rudi continues to transform the dining offerings onboard Holland America Line ships, and his knowledge and talent ensure that every dining experience is going to be memorable.”
Sodamin is internationally recognised as a food authority and one of the hospitality industry's most innovative chefs. He has directed the evolution of fine dining and unique menu options at Holland America Line through his role as culinary consultant.
“For Bill Panoff to once again recognise the Master Chef’s Table experience as the finest at sea is deeply rewarding and an incredible honor,” said Sodamin. “Holland America Line gives me an exciting canvas on which to create new culinary opportunities for our guests and to continuously reinvent the way we present our cuisine.”
Sodamin’s ideas have been instrumental in the development of Holland America Line’s interactive culinary arts program on board as well. Sodamin also is chairman of Holland America Line’s Culinary Council, which was formed to enrich the premium line’s culinary program and is composed of international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Elizabeth Falkner, Jacques Torres and Mark Best.
His many accolades include a rating of 17 (out of 20) and Three Toques from the prestigious Gault-Millau Guide (1998), the first for an onboard restaurant and the only such award presented at sea. Recently, he also received the award Meilleur Cuisinier 2013 and Three Toques from Michael Reinartz, founder of the prestigious Gault & Millau, Germany & Austria.
Chef Rudi has authored 13 cookbooks, including Seduction & Spice (Rizzoli, 2000) and Holland America Line’s A Taste of Excellence (Rizzoli, 2007), A Taste of Elegance (Rizzoli, 2009) and A Taste of Celebration (Rizzoli, 2010). His latest book, Appetizers (Rizzoli, June, 2012), is the latest in Holland America’s Culinary Signature Collection series.
With 30 years of hospitality and cruise industry experience, Rudi is a member of the prestigious Academy Culinaire de France, the Maîtres Cuisiners de France and an honoree member of the noble Club des Chefs des Chefs, whose members cook for presidents, kings and prime ministers worldwide.
Despite these accolades, Sodamin is a restless artist, a master never content to sit on the laurels of his last achievement. “Cooking is about life,” said Sodamin. “It’s about energy, it’s about joy and it’s about sharing.”
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About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)
Holland America Line’s fleet of 15 ships offers more than 500 cruises to 415 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies. One- to 110-day itineraries visit all seven continents and highlights include Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal. The line currently has a new ship on order from Fincantieri shipyard for delivery in fall 2015.
Fleetwide, the company features Signature of Excellence enhancements, a commitment totaling more than $500 million, that showcase the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine — a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations and classes — Explorations Café powered by The New York Times, Digital Workshop powered by Windows, teens-only activity areas and all new stateroom amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush Euro-top Mariner’s Dream Beds.
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