In a flowery garden in the mountains of Turkey’s Aegean coast, at the boutique hotel-cum-restaurant Kirazli Sultan Konak, culinary instructor Muslum Korak quickly rolls a pile of dough into an almost thin rectangle. She cuts it into teen-precise squares, then stuffs each with ground lamb and pinches the sides to form manti. Next is time for me and her 10 fellow travelers. Riviera, On a 10 day voyage between Trieste, Italy and Istanbul, I gave it a try. We have to laugh at the clumsiness of making such delicate dumplings, but nevertheless toast with a Pinot Grigio like the 2015 Turação Emile, an indigenous grape grown only in the Cappadocia region, Feast together at an outdoor lunch. Far from the crowds of Ephesus tourists, wooden planked tables overlooking green hills and mosques serve creamy yoghurt, lamb-stuffed zucchini flowers, nearly-melt grilled eggplant, lamb kebabs, and local delicacies. served with apricots and plums.
I usually seek to discover my own cuisine on land when cruising, but the experience of a 1,238-passenger boat trip Riviera This is no ordinary cruise. There are many types of food and wine outings that are difficult to secure independently, such as olive oil tastings at farms outside Kotor, Montenegro. Culinary discoveries abound on board, too. oceania cruises Riviera (and its twin, marina) was built more than a decade ago for food lovers, with complimentary fine specialty restaurants and hands-on cooking classes taught by chef educators on board.
On my cruise, I marvel at the superior ingredients and expert craftsmanship evident at every dining venue, from casual to fine dining. At iconic chef Jacques Pepin’s eponymous restaurant, Jacques patiently caramelized the onions to create the richest, deepest flavored onion soup I’ve tasted in years. At Red His Ginger, a modern take on Asian fusion cuisine, chefs garnish crispy duck with watermelon salad, Fashion His sole with tempura, and Pad Thai with chunks of fatty lobster.
Red Ginger’s chef instructor teaches the restaurant’s most popular dishes at the Culinary Center, the first-of-its-kind maritime cooking school, so my husband and I sign up for the class. We gather around the instructor while he demonstrates each step, then return to individual stations to replicate it for ourselves. It’s fun, but how do you make it soft enough to roll without tearing?
Later that evening, enjoy a sumptuous six-course dinner at La Reserve, the only pay-per-view restaurant on board, combining three different Dom Pérignon vintages (including a generous 2008 rosé pour). .
Wine is also central to another memorable moment: a winery excursion in Santorini, Greece. Our van driver meanders along narrow roads on top of steep hills.The Aegean Sea glows incessantly blue.At random roadsides, as our guides show us the vines. stop. Growers plant the vines in a low basket-like shape to protect them from the sun, heat and harsh winds of the island. Applaud nature and ingenuity before heading to Santo He winery in Pyrgos, a village not far from Santorini’s capital, Fira.
Many return home from cruises enamored with astonishing world wonders like the Acropolis. not me. I still think about what I learned by eating.
10-Day Cruises From Trieste To Athens From $1,499, oceaniacruises.com