Earlier this week we profiled Maureen Brandt, one of the contestants in the Culinary Challenge to be the next Chef de Cuisine of 150 Central Park, the signature restaurant onboard Allure of the Seas. Today we have another profile from one of the contestants, Beth LittleJohn of Durham, North Carolina. Each chef has a signature dish they are working on and LittleJohn's is preparing an arugula frisée topped with a tempora-fried poached egg.
LittleJohn has been sous chef at Coquette Brasserie, a French restaurant in Raleigh, for a little more than a month. She also has worked at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill. She graduated from The Culinary Institute of American in 2006.
Voting ends on Sunday, July 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET and you can vote once per day.
For our readers in the United Kingdom, check out the National Geographic Channel tonight at 9pm, err... 21:00, for a show about Oasis of the Seas called "World Record Cruise Ship".
Azamara Cruises, a Royal Caribbean subsidiary and specialty cruise line has released its 2011-2012 brochure which features 57 new ports of call. There are lots of new itineraries and options to choose from, but Royal Caribbean seems to have high hopes from its cruise business in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President and General Manager for the UK & Ireland, Jo Rzymowska said: “The UK and Irish Market is demonstrating great affinity to the revamped boutique cruise experience and we’re looking to grow the volume of guests from this market sailing with Azamara Club Cruises throughout 2011.”
Royal Caribbean has already been sending lots of its ships to Europe and given the potential in growth that Rzymowska cited, more could be on the way.
Cruise vacations can be great opportunities to see the world and do a lot of interesting and new things, but for some people, they may just simply want a break from the "daily grind" and look to get away from it all.
Smarter Travel has ranked the best ships for getting away from it all and Royal Caribbean can be found in the list. Chief among them, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas is ranked as the "Best Ship to Get Lost In".
Yesterday there was an unfortunate death in St. Thomas, as a 14 year old cruise passenger from a Carnival Cruise Line ship was on a beach excursion to Coki Beach when she was shot to death after being caught in a crossfire by rival gangs. This has prompted other cruise lines to make decisions about the immediate future of excursions on St. Thomas.
According to CruiseCritic, Royal Caribbean hasn't made their decision yet, "A spokeswoman tells us that the lines do not have any ships in port today, but do tomorrow (Celebrity Solstice). However, a decision has not yet been made regarding tomorrow's tours; we'll keep you posted."
Carnival has cancelled their tours in the area while other cruise lines have not made any decisions yet.
The Spanish website El Nuevo Dia compiled a list of the top 15 man-made wonders of the world, which include engineering feats such as The Channel Tunnel between England and France, the Three Gorges Dam hydroelectric plant in China and the Hoover Dam. Among the list, coming in at number 14 is Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas made its debut in 2009 as the largest cruise ship in the world. It is almost five times the gross tonnage of the Titanic and 1 1 / 2 times the U.S. Capitol building, has 16 decks and up to 6,296 guests. The cruise ship offers a week in the east and west of the Caribbean. Cruises depart from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Looks as though Oasis is in good company with some of the other amazing technical achievements man has accomplished. No word on if they included those who wore shorts to the main dining room on Oasis while voting occurred (just joking).
David from wine-flair.com returned from a 9 night cruise aboard Explorer of the Seas and from the website he covers, you may have guessed, he sampled quite a bit of wine. I love reading niche articles like this because it gives a different take on the cruise ship and gives us all an unique perspective, especially considering not many of us are expert sommeliers (wine experts).
Before the cruise started, David was concerned about the wine list after looking it over. He described it as, "laden with mediocre and uninspired choices, including a bunch of sweetish Chardonnays (over which I’d prefer a certain warm, recycled and amber-colored liquid drunk directly from a dirty boot)".
However, all was not lost for David as he found the a la carte options much more to his liking. Over the course of his cruise vacation, he sampled "a lovely dry Rose, two hearty reds and six refreshing and, according to the list, “Adventurous” whites". Better yet, he found the prices to be "reasonably priced", which was a surprise for David.
The wines David tasted weren't top of the line and amazing wines, but he did find the wine selection to be "delicious, satisfying, great values and in perfect condition".
Quick note for those keeping score at home, James E. Shields, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President Finance and Treasurer, has accepted a position at MoneyGram International as their Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective July 13, 2010.
The Culinary Challenge to be the next Chef de Cuisine of 150 Central Park, the signature restaurant onboard Allure of the Seas is well underway and a local newspaper profiled one of the chefs, Maureen Brandt. Brandt is one of six finalists for Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas Culinary Challenge and is from Stillwater, Minnesota.
Brandt is a 1999 graduate of Stillwater Area High School and she is also a "Certified ProChef Level Three" by the Culinary Institute of America and CEC through the American Culinary Federation.
While in training, Brandt worked at the Food Network and was named a Food and Wine best student chef in 2006. Brandt has worked in the kitchen at many reputable restaurants in New York, Minnesota and abroad. Currently Brandt owns her own private chef and catering company, Cook in the Kitchen in the Twin Cities. In addition, Brandt is co-founder and villa chef for Flavors of Italia, a company that offers intimate, culinary-focused vacations in Northern Tuscany.
You can vote for Maureen or any of the other contestants on the Culinary Challenge web site.