On Friday, January 31, 2020, Holland America Line formally introduced the newest member of it’s esteemed Culinary Council. A collective of celebrity chefs, the Council oversees all dining on board Holland America Line ships. I was fortunate enough to attend a great evening hosted by Holland America Line at a fellow Seattle-based company’s flagship NYC location, Nordstrom on 57th Street. The event was amazing and here’s why...
The man of the hour this evening was Chef Edouardo Jordan. Chef Jordan, owner of acclaimed Seattle restaurants Salare, JuneBaby and Lucinda Grain Bar, is the latest member of the esteemed council of chefs. Among Jordan’s many accolades are a James Beard Award-nomination (2016), James Beard Award-finalist (2017), James Beard Award-winner Best Chef Northwest (2018) and Best New Restaurant (2018) and Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs 2016. Known for his “food with roots” approach to cooking, his classic comfort dishes will be featured in the Dining Room and Lido Market on board Holland America cruises.
Some of his traditional comfort food menu items to be featured include JuneBaby’s mac and cheese w/Newsom’s ham; collard greens and ham hocks; smothered fried chicken wings; Momma Jordan’s oxtails w/mustard greens; chicken jambalaya and Alaskan seafood gumbo. Somebody get me a bib. I’m comin’ in hot!
The evening started with a meet and greet of Holland America representatives including HAL President, Orlando Ashford. Members of the press, travel and culinary communities alike were there for the big announcement. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Orlando during the event, and interview him about the future of Holland America Lines, and the importance of the culinary experience for guests on board their fleet. That interview can be heard on the debut episode of my podcast (available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where ever you listen to podcasts).
Delicious charcuterie and cheese spreads, as well as passed and plated deliciousness were served as we mingled. The stellar bar staff was pouring a selection of wines from the Pacific Northwest, as well as craft cocktails with a Holland America twist. Legendary pastry chef Jacques Torres served amazing chocolates with hand painted images of a Holland Cruise ship on them. Both delicious and beautiful.
Once it was time to introduce the newest member of the Culinary Council, fellow Council members and Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford lined the stairs to welcome Chef Jordan to the esteemed collective of chefs. After a few words from Chef Jordan, guests ventured down to the second floor for dinner in Nordstrom’s amazing new restaurant, Wolf.
Wolf is a relaxed, modern space serving Italian-inspired fare with a Pacific Northwest twist. It is the latest establishment from acclaimed Seattle chef and Holland Cruise Line Culinary Arts Council member, Chef Ethan Stowell. This is Stowell’s first restaurant venture in New York City. The menu pays homage to Stowell’s award-winning Seattle restaurant, How To Cook a Wolf. Course after course of expertly prepared food was brought out as members of the travel and culinary community got to know one another and share our love of cruise travel.
The Culinary Council is a collective of award-winning international chefs, who are each designated on board dining experiences to “enhance and elevate”. Led by Holland America Line’s Master Chef, Rudi Sodamin, who oversees all aspects of onboard dining, each chef has influence over onboard dining in both the ship’s Dining Room as well as Lido Market - in addition to signature dining options, depending on your trip. International Chef council members include - Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Kristen Kish, Andy Matsuda, Ethan Stowell, Jacques Torres and now, Edouardo Jordan. Some of the dining options onboard Holland America include:
Holland America Line also collaborates with wine critic James Suckling to develop it’s wine lists and master mixologist Dale DeGroff on its cocktail program. Holland America Line was recently awarded for Best Dining at Sea in the Editor’s Picks Awards by Cruise Critic - the world’s largest cruise reviews site/online cruise community!
This was a really amazing evening for me. A great time meeting new people and, of course, sampling amazing food. The clout this Council has in the culinary world is truly remarkable. Holland America Line has sought out some of the greatest chefs in the world and assembled them all on one gastronomic Dream Team. Focusing on the best possible culinary experience is something that Holland America Line prides itself on a great deal. It was a pleasure to be a part of the evening and to learn about how Holland America Line is working to set themselves apart from their competition when it comes to dining at sea.
For more information about Holland America Line, other cruise lines, ownership groups, itineraries, ports and the ships themselves, visit the Travel University section of the ETG website. Have a look around. If you have a comment or question, then please feel free to leave them in the section below. Have fun and happy cruising!
About The Author
Erik Hastings, a.k.a. Erik the Travel Guy is an EMMY award-winning television personality who speaks directly to consumers who can't afford to "get their vacations wrong". He is the host and managing editor of the internationally syndicated television series "Beyond Your Backyard" for public broadcasting stations (PBS) and other networks/VOD platforms. Erik leads an incredibly talented team of industry pros and is the editorial driving force of his platform. While the travel industry directly supports millions of families worldwide, Erik believes travel makes the world a better place. Through exploration and discovery, he has learned that travel brings cultures together and he eagerly shares that spirit with his viewers.
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TV Series: Beyond Your Backyard
I am on a mission to get you traveling more often. As the host of the Emmy award- winning, nationally syndicated television television for PBS and the Create channel, "Beyond Your Backyard," I travel (on average) 25 weeks per year. I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet cool people, experience new places, eat delicious food and work with the best production crew in the world. Hopefully, through this blog, you will join me on my travels and be reminded just how exciting it is to be alive!