Saturday, May 25, 2024

Chefs Making Waves Day 3 & 4 Recap: Ports Of Call In The Bahamas, Beach BBQs, Karaoke, A DJ Set With Michael Symon And More

On day three of Chefs Making Waves, a food, wine and spirits festival on the sea, we made it to our first port of call destination, the Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) private island, Great Stirrup Cay. The island is a 268-acre island that is part of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. NCL purchased the island in 1977 and transformed it into a private island for their cruise ship passengers.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Great Stirrup Cay

The island has many activities for guests to enjoy all day until all aboard at 5pm. The weather was beautiful and the sun was out in full force. Chefs Andrew Zimmern and Marc Murphy led a Beachside BBQ Buffet at the Great Stirrup Cay Pavilion. Zimmern had a slew of recipes for everyone on the beach. The NCL crew grilled up Char Chile Shrimp, Smoked BBQ Chicken, Lamb Tacos with Bacon Fat Tortillas and Tomatillo Salsa, and a refreshing cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup. The BBQ Chicken with Zimmern’s special BBQ sauce was my favorite dish of the lunchtime BBQ. Murphy curated two dishes for the Beachside BBQ: a French Onion Soup Burger and a Porchetta Sandwich with Italian Salsa Verde.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Chefs Making Waves Day 3 & 4 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

If guests preferred to stay on the boat, a curated buffet was offered with meals from Robert Irvine and Eileen Andrade. As everyone prepared to sail away again, #NoFilter performed for a Sail Away Soirée, getting guests ready for the fun events of the evening. Anne Burrell even jumped on stage with #NoFilter to warm up for karaoke later in the evening. A round of Celebrity Chef Sing-Off was hosted by Zimmern and Burrell. 

Dinner featured wonderful dishes by duo Marcus Samuelsson and Scott Conant. The menu was full of flavor on Wednesday night. Samuelsson made Hamachi Crudo, a Japanese appetizer made from Yellowtail, and Brown Buttered Lobster with Black Rice and Mushroom Dashi. Conant made “Brasato” Barolo, or beef braised in wine, and Salted Caramel Budino, a custard-like dessert. The wine selection featured two wines: La Crema, a chardonnay, and Duckhorn, a merlot. Scott’s budino was our winner for the evening meal.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Chefs Making Waves Day 3 & 4 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Once dinner was over, the International Street Eats Party hosted by Aáron Sánchez and Maneet Chauhan began. Guests enjoyed food and dancing together again, while also indulging in some Late-Night Bites made by the hosts. One of the biggest fan favorites of the cruise was the Chorizo and Sweet Plantain Empanadas that was prepared with Aaron’s recipe.

At Port In Nassau

Thursday was the last full day of the cruise and the port of call was in Nassau, Bahamas. The beaches were beautiful and the water was crystal clear. For lunch, a buffet curated by chefs Aáron Sánchez and Giorgio Rapicavoli was available to guests at their leisure as they got back on board hungry from their day on the beach. Sánchez made delicious Chili Colorado Enchiladas and Rapicavoli made a light but flavorful Watermelon & Feta Salad with Greek olives, mint, and Lemon Vinaigrette. 

After everyone boarded the boat for one last time, #NoFilter sang guests back to their rooms before another round of Celebrity Chef Sing-Off with judges Andrew Zimmern and Anne Burrell. I went to the Sing-Off this time and had a lot of fun watching everyone sing and enjoy themselves at the 6 p.m. show before dinner. Twelve different guests were invited on stage to do karaoke. Guests chose to sing songs from all different genres and artists including “Mack The Knife,” “Cowboy Take Me Away,” “Rebel Yell,” and a song from the musical Waitress who won guest Emma Smith first place. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Chefs Making Waves Day 3 & 4 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Chefs Making Waves Day 3 & 4 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Chef Michael Symon joined the cruise when we docked in Nassau, teaming up with Marc Murphy for a curated dinner experience to end the trip.

Chefs Making Waves Day 3 & 4 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Murphy made a Little Gem Shrimp Salad and Symon made Cavatelli Pomodoro. Both chefs created two dishes together with the guests’ choice of Salmon or Roasted Pork on a bed of Polenta with Giardiniera, and Butterscotch Budino with Crushed Amaretto Cookies. Two wines were paired with these dishes: Los Vascos Domaines Barons De Rothschild Lafite, a sauvignon blanc, and Louis Jadot, a pinot noir. Symon’s Cavatelli Pomodoro was the star of the meal on Thursday.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Chefs Making Waves Day 3 & 4 Recap
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Thursday’s theme was “Cabana Cubana.” Salsa dance classes were offered throughout the evening and the Cabana Cubana Party started at 10pm with guests Gio Gutierrez and Ana Quincoces. At 11pm, Michael Symon took to the DJ booth with his own curated playlist for guests to enjoy at the Headphone Dance Party. The partygoers were fueled by Late-Night Bites provided by Quincoces and Eileen Andrade. Quincoces created Fritas Sliders with Guava Ketchup and Smoked Paprika Chips, as well as Chicken Ropa Vieja Empanadas. Andrade made Tostones with Ropa Vieja and Garbanzos Fritos. 

Guests were raving all week about the late night food options after a night of dancing in the atrium and silent disco.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Throughout the day, guests sipped some creatively curated specialty drinks. Lauren Noblitt offered up her Corazon De Melon with Bacardi 8, Bacardi Superior, lemon, cantaloupe, and strawberries. Gabe Urrutia mixed his Cubana Cabana with Anejo rum, honey, lime, and Club Soda. Lastly, Gio Gutierrez crafted his Havana Especial made with Bacardi 8, pineapple juice, lemon, and maraschino liqueur.

Looking back at all the memories we made and wonderful experiences we had with chefs and their amazing food, I can’t help but say that the first Chefs Making Waves was a success! Overall the chefs said they wanted the cruise to be an opportunity for attendees to get to know them and see their real personalities versus their TV personas. I think everyone would agree that this was a unique opportunity to do that while enjoying some fun in the sun onboard the Norwegian Pearl.

The pre-sale for Chefs Making Waves is open so make sure not to miss out on this unique experience in 2025.

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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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