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May 10, 2010

Silversea Serves Up Gourmet Excursions

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine

From a tapas workshop at a cooking school in Barcelona, to a lesson in the art of making pesto at one of Genoa’s finest restaurants, to a French pastry class in Cannes, Silversea is rolling out a tantalizing collection of Mediterranean shore tours tailored to the traveler who is an epicure at heart.

Four ultra-luxury Silversea ships, including the new Silver Spirit, will sail throughout the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Black seas from now through October. With over 50 diverse itineraries of seven to twelve days, visiting more than 60 ports, Silversea’s destination experts have designed dozens of optional shore excursions to showcase the culinary traditions of this fascinating region.

“Recognizing that travel, food and wine are central to the lifestyle of our guests, we’re pleased to offer a selection of gourmet-themed tours among the more than 300 shore options available in the Mediterranean this year,” said Darius Mehta, Silversea’s associate vice president of air and land programs. “These tours are part of our exclusive Silver Shore Collection, which provides unique, in-depth cultural experiences tailored for small, intimate groups.”

Highlights of the Mediterranean culinary tours include:

Pesto Making at Zeffirino’s (Portofino): This upscale restaurant opened in Genoa in 1939 and became a favorite among celebrities from Sinatra to Pavarotti. During your visit, Zeffirino’s chef will share the secrets to making authentic pesto sauce, then enjoy a lunch of pesto, fresh fish and a delicate dessert.

Tapas Workshop & Wine Tasting (Barcelona): Indulge your senses with the culture, traditions and flavors of Barcelona at a cooking school where the chef teaches you how to make tapas, the popular Spanish appetizers. After the lesson, enjoy your tapas served with wine and cava.

French Pastry Class at L’Oasis (Cannes): At the Riviera’s renowned L’Oasis restaurant, a member of Relais & Châteaux, chef Francois Raimbault demonstrates French pastry making. Following the two-hour class, enjoy tea served with a selection of the pastries you prepared.

**NEW – Cooking with the Countess (Venice): Learn the secrets to preparing authentic Venetian cuisine as Countess Lelia Passi hosts a cooking lesson and lunch at magnificent Palazzo Tiepolo on the Grand Canal.

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**NEW – Gourmet Experience in the Chianti Area (Livorno): Enjoy a scenic drive through Italy’s Chianti region to the vineyards of the Antinori family where a gourmet lunch will be served with several fine wines.

**NEW – Truffle Lunch Experience in Istria Countryside (Pula): Visit the Stefanic family farm, restaurant and winery where fruit, olives, figs and truffles are grown, then savor a lunch created with these ingredients as local musicians perform Istrian songs for your entertainment.

**NEW – Porto Azzurro & Wine Tasting (Portoferraio, Elba Island): At La Chiusa Winery, set amid breathtaking ocean scenery, learn about winemaking and olive oil production processes, then participate in a wine and olive oil tasting.

**NEW – Korcula’s Sweets Cooking Class (Korcula): Embrace the traditions and flavors of Korcula with a walking tour through the city. At a local home, learn the history of the island and how to prepare prikle, a delicious fried doughnut covered with raisins and almonds.

**NEW – Greek Cooking Lesson (Corfu): At the Spyros & Vassilis restaurant in Tebloni, the chef-owner greets you with a glass of ouzo before demonstrating how to prepare an array of Greek dishes, including the famous moussaka — all to be enjoyed as your lunch.

Sicilian Market & Cooking Class – Cucina del Sole (Taormina): On the slopes of Mt. Etna, visit the 18th-century home of gastronomic journalist Eleonora Consoli for a lesson in Sicilian cooking, then enjoy a lunch of the prepared dishes in Ms. Consoli’s garden.

Cooking Cascais Style (Lisbon): Learn how to prepare some of Portugal’s most delectable dishes at the Albatroz Palace, a boutique hotel overlooking the sea in Cascais. Executive Chef Miguel Gomcalves weaves herbs and produce from local markets into five different dishes that participants enjoy with a glass of wine.

Exclusive Cooking Class at La Provençale (Marseille): Enjoy splendid vistas on a drive to the region of Aix-en-Provence and its 17th-century Chateau d’Arnajon, a beautiful country house where you’ll enjoy a cooking lesson and lunch using fresh produce from local markets.

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