Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap: Chef Food Demos, Podcasts, Great Food, Culinary Chaos And More

On day 2 of Chefs Making Waves, a food, wine and spirits festival on the sea, the day was packed with culinary demos, podcasts, bingo, games, music, and of course another beautiful dinner. Seadays can arguably be some of the best cruise days. It’s a chance to sleep in, enjoy that yummy brunch, and see your favorite chefs throughout the day. This was by far the most action-packed of the whole cruise.

Bake Like A Boss With Buddy Valastro

My morning started with the “Bake Like a Boss” demo hosted by Buddy Valastro who did a Cake Boss cooking demo. He made it look easy to make a mouthwatering tiramisu. Valastro finished out his demo with a Q&A session with guests, offering some insight to future professional bakers. He emphasized the importance of loving your job saying, “If you go to work today and love it, you will always be successful.” Valastro also suggested working in a restaurant or bakery before going to culinary school to ensure it’s something you really want to pursue. 

Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Valastro talked about what made him want to become a baker. His dad, Bartolo, was his hero and was also a baker. Growing up, Valastro wanted to be just like him. It was apparent how much he still loved his job as he shared a heartwarming story about a time a little Brazilian girl was watching him cook and told him that he makes her feel like anything is possible.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Buddy has been busy filiming four TV shows over the past year. In 2023, Valastro premiered two new shows on A&E: Legends of the Fork and Cake Dynasty. He talked about wanting his cooking shows to inspire others and those participating on the shows. He also spoke a bit about his upcoming new competition series on A&E called Cake Toppers. The show includes two rounds of competition where guests compete to create the most over-the-top cakes. 

Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

He also shared with guests his new show that will be premiering on Food Network in June called Big Time Bake. The show will have three rounds and be a continuous six hours of competition where four bakers create cookies, cupcakes and a showpiece cake. The winning baker will get to choose a dream vacation. 

Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

After his demo, Buddy greeted fans side stage that were lined up to meet the world-famous baker for photos and autographs. Buddy loved meeting everyone and engaged with all the guests for an hour.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Flavorful Food with Aáron Sánchez

Up next was Aáron Sánchez “Comida Sabrosa” or “Flavorful Food” where he made Shrimp Mojo de Ajo, or Mexican garlic shrimp and “Garlic Chipotle Love,” a creamy garlic sauce. In between cooking, Sánchez talked about his tattoo shop in NYC, Daredevil Tattoo. Unfortunately, Sánchez said he hardly has any more real estate left on his body for more tattoos.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

He shared his secret to keeping tortillas from breaking apart. Simply put a mixture of half water, half oil in a spray bottle and spritz the tortillas while grilling. Then, put the tortillas in a warmer before serving. While adding cilantro into his “Garlic Chipotle Love” sauce, Sánchez told guests that by taking a Pepcid AC before eating cilantro or having some parsley and tarragon, the odd taste of cilantro will be tolerable for those who don’t love the flavors. This often described as soapy taste that cilantro can have is caused by the consumer having a special gene that can strongly perceive the enzyme stored in cilantro leaves. 

Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Sánchez made a point to mention that food has to be made of humble ingredients. His recipes and ingredient choices always circle back to his own grandmother’s cooking. Honoring his grandma’s and his mother’s legacy helps keep his dishes alive. Sánchez shared that his favorite comfort food to make at home after a long day at work is a quesadilla with kimchi and cheese. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Global Grubs with Andrew Zimmern and Marcus Samuelson

Next on the itinerary was the “Global Grubs” demo with Andrew Zimmern and Marcus Samuelsson. Zimmern made Asopao with Chicken & Shrimp. The dish was inspired by Mexican and Chinese cuisine which Zimmern says are the two most important culinary destinations in the world and always surprise him. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Samuelsson made Brown Butter Lobster, Black Rice, Mushroom Dashi, as well as Green Papaya Slaw and Sesame Aioli. He made a comment about how Zimmern, on Bizarre Foods Season 3, visited his wife’s village in Ethiopia without even knowing it and his wife lost it when she saw Zimmern on TV one night at home. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

My favorite moments during their presentation were both chefs talking about how much New Orleans meant to them as a food city and talking about chefs like Leah Chase influencing their culinary journey.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Imagine The Pastabilities with Scott Conant and Giorgio Rapicavoli

The last cooking demo of the day was “Imagine The Pastabilities” with Scott Conant and Giorgio Rapicavoli. Conant made Gnocchi and Clams with Toasted Bread Crumbs and Clam Sauce. While preparing some ricotta, Conant explained that the reason Italians do not mix cheese and fish is because the aged flavor of the cheese would overwhelm that of the fish.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Rapicavoli made Hand Rolled Little Pici Al Pomodoro. He stated that his biggest influences on how he makes his pasta are his mother and Conant. He brought his kids from audience up onto the stage with him to help him make his hand rolled pasta and show how easy it is to make it. He said if you have played with Play-do you can make pasta. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Feast + Harmony Podcast

Throughout the day the Feast + Harmony Podcast was airing with different chefs. We stopped to listen to the episode that featured Maneet Chauhan and Ana Quincoces. The podcast focuses on the complex relationship between food and the people behind it. Quincoces introduced herself as a Cuban chef who began her career as a lawyer but became a chef in 2008. She was a cast member on the Real Housewives of Miami for the first three seasons as well.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

While starring on reality TV, Quincoces was also working on her new line of sauces and marinades, Skinny Latina. These savory sauces can level-up any dish and are keto-friendly, gluten free, vegan, and all natural. They can be found in a number of big box stores like Walmart and Publix. In 2019, the company and Quincoces were featured on the TV show, The Profit, where businessman Marcus Lemonis helped her figure out better branding ideas and created an investment plan. 

In 2016, Quincoces was a finalist on season 12 of Food Network Star. She has also appeared as a judge on Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef Latino. Despite her hard work and cooking skills, Quincoces considers herself to have a type triple A personality which keeps her from opening up her own restaurant, as she fears she would be too nitpicky and controlling of its aspects. 

Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Just a few years ago Quincoces and her daughter Beba created a podcast called Mami Issues. On the podcast the pair talk about celebrity news, all things Bravo, and their own personal issues. New episodes are released each week, dishing out new gossip and keeping up on their favorite celebrities. 

Quincoces has cited her Cuban heritage as having a big influence on her culinary choices. Her parents emigrated from Cuba to Miami in 1959. Quincoces talked about how she will not travel back to Cuba until it is a free country. She also mentioned some of the best places to eat in Miami like Joe’s Stone Crab and Caffe Vialetto. 

Maneet Chauhan spoke on the Feast + Harmony Podcast as well, sharing some insight on her personal inspiration and the challenges of competitive food shows. She told guests that Indian food to her is love. She also shared the contrast of how foods are referenced in India compared to the US. In India, there is no such thing as curry powder and what Americans know as chai tea is just called tea. 

Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

When asked about how she maintained balance in her life, Chauhan stated that balance is overrated and that even she does not have complete balance in her life. 

She then touched on how odd or not frequently used ingredients can cause a challenge for contestants on competitive cooking shows. She explained that sometimes on Chopped, a bad dish is the fault of a bad ingredient and not necessarily the chef cooking. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

During all of the informative cooking demos and podcast episodes, the lunch buffet with special curated dishes by Maneet Chauhan, Ana Quincoces, and Alex Meyer was available to guests. Chauhan made Tandoori Airline Chicken Tikka Masala with Saffron Methi Pulao, Quincoces made Asopado De Arroz Con Pollo, and Meyer made Tuna Stuffed Marinated Peppers with Basil Pesto. 

Dinner with Anne Burrell and Aarón Sánchez

In the evening, dinner was served featuring meals by chefs Aarón Sánchez and Anne Burrell. Sánchez cooked up some Mexican Shrimp and Grits and Mexican Chocolate Molten Cake, paired with Burell’s Wilted Romaine Salad and Big Brown Braised Short Ribs.

Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The wine selection was three different wines: a chardonnay, rosé, and malbec. The wines were, respectively: Borro Salvatore Ferragamo The Lamelle, Hampton Water by Bon Jovi, and Terrazas De Los Andes “Reserva.”

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Our winning dish of the day was the Mexican Shrimp and Grits by Aarón and we think Anne won the battle of the short ribs for the week.

Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Each day there was a special curated drink menu. Today’s menu featured Monk’s Cure by Lauren Noblitt which included bourbon, Strega, lime and honey. The Sailing Paloma by Gabe Urrutia was a blend of Blanco tequila, Mexal, lime, mango, and grapefruit soda. Lastly, curated by Gio Gutierrez was the Puerto Rican Daiquiri made with Bacardi Coconut, Bacardi Carta Blanca, coconut water, lime and pineapple. Gutierrez also offered a mocktail verson of his daiquiri. We tried the Bacardi Coconut for our before dinner cocktail and loved it.

After dinner there were multiple events for guests to attend like the daily Headphone Dance Party and a special Cruise Cravings & Concoctions Party. Guests could also attend a Robert Irvine Live: Culinary Chaos show or another round of The Newly Flame Game. 

Culinary Chaos With Robert Irvine

I attended the Robert Irvine Live: Culinary Chaos show at 10pm. During the 1.5 hour show, Irvine is given a series of challenges to see if he can create a winning dish. Several audience members were pre-selected to participate in the challenges alongside Irvine. He mentioned that this is a show he performs while on the road as part of the United Service Organization (USO.) Irvine travels to military bases across the globe and participates with military members for a fun night of Culinary Chaos.

Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

This was a great show and was a highlight of the cruise for many attendees with Robert’s infectious energy and heartfelt stories about how important the military members and first responders are to him and the country. The show was also broadcast on the TVs in the guest cabins so people who didn’t attend in person and could still watch.

Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Chefs Making Waves Day 2 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

After such a long day with a very full stomach, I settled in for the night to rest up for our first destination tomorrow, the Great Stirrup Cay, a private island belonging to the Norwegian Cruise Line. 

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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