MARINKOVITS TRAINED & WORKED IN EUROPE BEFORE BECOMING ONE OF ISRAEL’S TOP CHEFS
JERUSALEM – The five-star deluxe Inbal Jerusalem Hotel has named Andreas Marinkovits its new executive chef, where he will oversee four restaurants, seven kitchens and 35 chefs. Marinkovits, trained in Europe and having worked at many notable hotels and restaurants spanning more than three decades, specializes in classical French cooking techniques with a fusion of Asian-Mediterranean food preparation methods.
Before joining The Inbal, Marinkovits and his former partner, the past chef to seven U.S. ambassadors, owned and operated one of Israel’s most exclusive catering businesses, Flavors Creative Catering. The team was known for their wide range of culinary concepts displayed at exclusive upscale parties and events.
Marinkovits is best known for his culinary leadership at some of Israel’s finest hotels and restaurants. He served in key roles in the Radisson organization, serving as Executive Sous Chef for the opening of some premier hotels in Europe and then serving as the executive chef of its Moriah Hotel in Jerusalem.
He spent five years as the executive sous chef at the Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel & Towers, including a stint running the hotel’s famed Twelve Tribes restaurant.
“Andreas brings a fresh, new excitement to our culinary offerings throughout the hotel. His style, energy and creativity boost our food and beverage offerings to one of the best in the country,” said Inbal Jerusalem Hotel General Manager Rony Timsit.
“The Inbal has long been one of the finest hotels in Jerusalem. I am truly honored to be chosen to lead its culinary operations and expand its horizons to deliver an even more outstanding of service to its guests,” said Marinkovits.
The Inbal Jerusalem hotel is an award-winning, five-star deluxe hotel situated in the heart of Jerusalem overlooking the Old City walls, and minutes away from all the major cultural and historical sites. With its Jerusalem stone exterior, the 283-room hotel is known for its intimate authentic Jerusalem character and impeccable world-class service. Trip Advisor awarded the hotel with their Certificate of Excellence for the last two years in a row, ranking The Inbal Jerusalem Hotel among the top ten percent of leading hotels worldwide. For more information, please visit www.inbalhotel.com
Experience the Destination’s Rich Diversity Through 19 Notable Events
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico – March 6, 2014 – Nominated as one of the top travel destinations for 2014 by Frommer’s, Oyster, Huffington Post and countless other prominent travel publications, Riviera Nayarit is gearing up for an action-packed year providing more than enough reasons to visit. With nearly 20 events spanning cultural immersions, luxury yacht regattas, golf and culinary adventures, Riviera Nayarit will attract a wide range of travelers, who will also enjoy the 192 miles of golden coastline and great resorts.
From the beach bodies of the 5th Annual Punta Sayulita Longboard & SUP Classic to the next generation of culinary masterminds and PGA pros at The Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic, Riviera Nayarit offers plenty of brag-worthy events to experience along with its year-round sunny climate. You won’t even break your wellness routine if you choose to fly down for the Riviera Nayarit Half Marathon and those guilt-free celebratory fish tacos and Margaritas well taste even sweeter once you’ve crossed the finish line.
After an action-packed day, the destination’s selection of luxury resorts, all-inclusive hotels and boutique properties create the perfect setting to unwind. Or opt to de-stress on the beach while overlooking sights such as humpback whales and lush forest settings. Whether with family, on a honeymoon or simply looking to escape, you can expect open arms and a vacation you will always remember in Riviera Nayarit.
Check out the below list for a selection of festivities and events taking place in Riviera Navarit.
Banderas Bay International Regatta – March 12-15
Celebrating its 22nd year of competition, the Banderas Bay International Regatta is among the longest standing and largest regattas on the Pacific Coast. Each day of competition is followed by a night of fun activities with a local flare, such as authentic cuisine, local themed dances as well as an awards dinner. The event aims to encourage young people to explore the art of sailing.
Location: Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta
Regatta Copa Mexico – March 16-20
Over 400 boats and 1,500 athletes from 28 countries gather every two years to celebrate the art of sailing in the Regatta Copa Mexico. Held in Banderas Bay, this event is sure to showcase the beautiful nature of the Bay to guests from around the globe.
Location: La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
The Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic – April 3-6
The third annual Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic will feature gourmet meals and cooking courses taught by distinguished chefs, a series of wine and tequila tastings and festive gatherings at the luxurious St. Regis Punta Mita Resort and Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita. “The Punta Mita Cup,” is a two-day golf tournament on Jack Nicklaus’ two signature courses, Bahia and Pacifico.
Location: Punta Mita
Holy Week (Semana Santa) – April 13-20
Tourists and locals flock the region to celebrate and partake in the festivities of Holy Week.
III Riviera Nayarit TUCANÊ International Beach Polo Cup– (May 1-4)
Do not miss the third edition of the international beach polo cup that will take place on Nuevo Vallarta beach, where you can see several of the world wide best players and be part of the surrounding events we have prepared.
Location: Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta in Nuevo Vallarta
Wind Festival Riviera Nayarit 2014 (May TBD)
Riviera Nayarit is a leading wind and kite surfing destination in Mexico. Its annual Riviera Nayarit’s Wind Festival annually attracts over 150 of the finest windsurfers in the world. This is also an exciting spectator sport so everyone will enjoy the competitions as well as the festivities during the event in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Bucerias.
Location: La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Bucerias
53rd San Blas International Fishing Tournament – May 28-June 1
Riviera Nayarit opens its marlin and swordfish season with the International Fishing Tournament of San Blas. Organized by Nayarit’s Sport Fishing Club, the tournament turns 53 this year, and celebrates by offering millions of pesos in prizes, as well as six cars, outboard boat motors, fishing gear and more.
Location: San Blas
Day of the Marina (Navy Day) – June 1
Mexico’s history has shown the importance of being able to patrol and defend the country’s coastlines, in order to prevent invasions. Many such conflicts have occurred in Mexico’s past. To commemorate their Navy, Mexico celebrates Navy Day with various water based ceremonies, parades, and festivals, several of which take place in San Blas.
Location: San Blas
Independence Celebrations – September 15 & 16
Riviera Nayarit will have many events throughout the area celebrating the independence of Mexico. Come join the festivals, fairgrounds, and of course, the traditional “Grito,” a traditional call-and-response in memory of historic individual leaders of the revolution and to Mexico itself, to which the crowd responds with: VIVA!
Vallarta-Nayarit Gastronomy Event – October 1-4
This event is full of culinary professionals and tasting opportunities which source some of the best ingredients from the region.
Location: Nuevo Vallarta
Deep Sea Fishing Tournament at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle – (October Dates TBD)
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle was an old fashioned fishing village until the luxury Marina Riviera Nayarit was opened in 2010. This world class marina has over 340 slips for 31’-400’ yachts from all over the world. Sport fishermen from around the world come to this annual fishing tournament and try to beat the 717 pound marlin that was caught during the first tournament of La Cruz.
Location: La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
Day of the Dead – November 2
Even though it isn’t one of the most traditional celebrations in this region, cemeteries in every community brim with color bestowed by the floral arrangements to remember those who have passed away.
20th Festival Gourmet International – November 14-23
Over thirty renowned guest chefs from all over the world participate in this annual event together with chefs from the exclusive resorts and restaurants of Riviera Nayarit. This 10-day event features over 15 Riviera Nayarit restaurants and guest chefs who present exclusive menus, chef’s tables, and a complete celebration for the palate.
Location: Nuevo Vallarta, Punta Mita, Tepic, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
Riviera Nayarit Half Marathon – November 17
Runners from all over the World come to Riviera Nayarit to participate in this annual 21 kilometer half marathon. Its coastal race route has been recognized as one of the most beautiful in the world by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Last year it attracted over 550 runners.
Location: Nuevo Vallarta
Chili Cook Off & Taste of Nuevo Vallarta – December 7
Chili Nayarit Style! Individuals, teams and professional chefs from local restaurants try their hand at making the best chili in all of Riviera Nayarit.
Location: Nuevo Vallarta
Anniversary of Bahia de Banderas – December 11
Every year, the original municipality of Riviera Nayarit celebrates its establishment with a large celebration. Shows, civic activities and competitions make the region brim with color.
Location: Valle de Banderas
About Riviera Nayarit
Mexico’s newest destination, Riviera Nayarit, stretches along 192 miles of pristine Pacific coast framed by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains just ten minutes north of accessible Puerto Vallarta International Airport. The region extends along the entire coast of the Pacific state of Nayarit including the resorts of Nuevo Vallarta, the historic colonial town of San Blas, exclusive Punta Mita, picturesque fishing villages, miles of serene beaches and spectacular Banderas Bay. Riviera Nayarit offers countless activities, such as: PGA golf courses, luxury spas, whale watching, turtle release, zip lining, surfing, bird watching, international cuisine, and the local artwork from the traditional Huichol tribe. Riviera Nayarit is recognized as a “Virtuoso Preferred Destination.” The region attracts and satisfies vacationers of all tastes and budgets with its wide range of accommodations including chic luxury resorts, eco-tourism boutique hotels and quaint B&B inns. For more information, visit www.RivieraNayarit.com or follow Riviera Nayarit’s Fan Page on Facebook.
Sonoma Valley, California – Heart of Sonoma Valley Association (HOSVA) is geared up for their premier event of the year – Savor Sonoma Valley happening Saturday & Sunday, March 15 & 16 from 11 AM – 4 PM both days. Twenty-Six Wineries throughout Sonoma Valley will be showcasing barrel wines, sampling new releases, and offering award-winning wines paired with food creations prepared by local chefs.
Meet winemakers, sample barrel wines, mingle with wine lovers in caves and on crush pads, enjoy live music, tour wineries, and savor a wonderful wine country weekend.
“The much anticipated teaming up with local chefs and restaurants creates a truly special weekend of delicious foods paired with the amazing variety of wines produced in our valley,” Said Executive Director of HOSVA Josie Gay.
Admission is $65 per person for a weekend pass, which includes a souvenir wine glass and access to event tastings at all participating wineries. Advance ticket purchase is recommended, as tickets are limited. Tickets and information may be obtained at www.heartofsonomavalley.com or by calling (707) 431-1137.
Wineries: Arrowood Vineyards & Winery, Benziger Family Winery, B Wise Vineyards Cellar, Chateau St. Jean Winery, Deerfield Ranch Winery, En Garde Winery, Enkidu Wines, Eric Ross Winery, Imagery Estate Winery, Kaz Winery, Kenwood Vineyards, Korbin Kameron, Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Little Vineyards Family Winery, Loxton Cellars, Mayo Family Winery, Moondance Cellars, Muscardini Cellars, Nakedwines .com Wine Studio & Tasting Lounge, Pangloss Cellars, Paradise Ridge Winery, St. Anne’s Crossing Winery, Talisman Wines, Ty Caton Vineyards, Valley of the Moon, VJB Vineyards & Cellars
Spanning 10 city blocks there is something for everyone: festival fare, arts & crafts, live music, street entertainment, the Blueberry Patch kids zone and variety of quality exhibitors.
Brooksville, Florida (March 2, 2014) – Join the fun at the 2014 Official Florida Blueberry Festival, Saturday, April 12th from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 13th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The City of Brooksville is located in the heart of the central blueberry growing region in the sunshine state of Florida.
Florida’s blueberry harvest lasts only 3 month starting in the month of March and ending in May. Florida is the only state in America producing blueberries during these months. The 2013 harvest reaped approximately 20 million pounds of the plumiest, sweetest blueberries found anywhere.
The festival celebration hosted approximately 50,000 visitors in 2013 and the committee is expecting to have a record year in 2014. The downtown venue is shaded by the mystic iconic live oaks, brick streets adorned with beautiful flowers and colorful umbrellas. Spanning 10 city blocks there is something for everyone: festival fare, arts & crafts, live music, street entertainment, the Blueberry Patch kids zone, Blueberry Theatre and Mountain Zip Line rides.
An extensive variety of free musical entertainment throughout the two day weekend festival will include an outstanding tribute band called Draw the Line, the rockin’ Aerosmith tribute band based out of Boston, Massachusetts. Also performing are The Black Hawks, a multi–platinum selling country group and The Outlaws, a Southern Rock Legend Band.
If you’re looking for fresh Florida blueberries, blueberry shortcake, pies or just a great day out with your family you’ll find it all at the Florida Blueberry Festival.
Gate Fee is $5 per Adult (18+), $3 per Child (5-17) and Children under 5 years old get in for free. Parking in official designated Blueberry Parking Lots will be $4.00 per car, with those proceeds to benefit some impressive and much needed local charities.
Check the website at www.floridablueberryfestival.org for details.
Anacortes, Washington (February 25, 2014) – The 6th Annual Spring Wine Festival is in full bloom and right around the corner, happening on April 12, 2014 in Anacortes, Washington.
The Anacortes Spring Wine Festival brings 30 wineries to Fidalgo Island for one more year of decadent wine tasting, food matching, live music, art, shopping and blooming tulip fields. Visitor’s travel from all corners of the world to behold the amazing Skagit Valley tulip fields in full bloom. Enhancing their journey to the Valley, the April 12, 2014 event date presents the opportunity to indulge in the greater appreciation for the glorious grape in red, white and blush flavors with finishing flavors of vanilla, spice, tobacco, floral, butter and berry on the pier overlooking the beautiful Guemes Channel. Festival attendees’ mark down the finishes that entice them to buy a bottle or case at discounted prices only available at the Spring Wine Festival.
Make a full weekend of the festival by making reservations at area hotels. Many are offering “Wine Packages” that include tickets to the festival, and/or winemaker or wine-pairing dinners featuring wines from the festival. Several area restaurants are also featuring wines of the festival during the month of April.
Check their website (www.anacortes.org) or facebook page (Anacortes Spring Wine Festival) for updates, details, and to purchase tickets. Admittance is $40 advance and $45 at the door (must be 21+).
The event is held at the Port Warehouse Event Center, 1st & Commercial, Anacortes, WA.
For more information on the Anacortes Spring Wine Festival, visit www.anacortes.org , or call 360-293-7911
Chester County, Pennsylvania – The six wineries of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail will be holding their annual event, Barrels on the Brandywine, each Saturday and Sunday in March. Barrels on the Brandywine offers tastes of the newest vintages, developing from the 2013 grape harvest. Local winegrowers and vintners will open their cellars and tasting rooms for barrel tastings, cellar tours, music, food, and other special events.
Passports provide a wine tasting at each member winery and a commemorative wine glass. Visit all six wineries and have a chance to win a Brandywine Food & Wine Festival prize pack.
This event is held at at individual member wineries. Visit the wineries in any order you wish. Groups of 8 or more should contact each individual winery to schedule a time to visit.
Tickets ($25.00) may be purchased through the online store or in the wineries.
Black Walnut Winery, 3000 Lincoln Highway, Sadsburyville, PA
Borderland Vineyard,™ 332 Indiantown Road Landenberg, PA www.borderlandvineyard.com
Kreutz Creek Vineyards, 553 S. Guernsey Road, West Grove, PA www.kreutzcreekvineyards.com
Paradocx Vineyard, 1833 Flint Hill Road, Landenberg, PA www.paradocx.com
Patone Cellars, 1051 Wickerton Road, Landenberg, PA (302)545-7388
Penns Woods Winery, 124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, PA www.pennswoodswinery.com
Prize giveaways, an anniversary luau and the return of the Hawai‘iloa paddle
are a few of the fun festivities planned for the celebration
Download Image here: http://tinyurl.com/kb7y6jc
WAIKIKI, HONOLULU, O‘AHU –2014 marks a special year for Kani Ka Pila Grille as the restaurant celebrates five years of serving up food, fun and fabulous music poolside at Outrigger Reef on the Beach. In honor of the big five, the restaurant is inviting locals and visitors alike to join in on a week of festivities, all culminating in a fifth anniversary luau on Saturday, March 15, which will conclude with a ceremonial return of the Hawai‘iloa steering paddle that has been housed at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach during the sailing vessel’s long refurbishment.
From Sunday, March 9, to Saturday, March 15, 2014, everyone is invited to enjoy the celebration at Kani Ka Pila Grille, including a special menu by Chef Aurelio Garcia, nightly prizes, and a grand prize giveaway — all leading up to the anniversary luau on March 15. That same day, Outrigger Reef on the Beach will present its popular O Ke Kai series with members of the Friends of Hokule‘a and Hawai‘iloa on hand to provide information, answer questions and demonstrate the ancient art of canoe- building.
“It’s our guests and customers who have made this five-year milestone possible, so we are thrilled to celebrate the anniversary of Kani Ka Pila Grille with them,” said Dean Nakasone, general manager of the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. “We welcome everyone to come and take part in the fabulous food, lively entertainment and special celebrations all week long and at our luau.”
The restaurant’s festivities will kick-off on Sunday, March 9 with nightly events at Kani Ka Pila Grille. The poolside restaurant will feature a special menu that includes a shrimp cocktail appetizer, prime rib with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables, raspberry sorbet and a cocktail for just $40 (+ tax).
In addition to enjoying top-notch entertainment provided by some of Hawaii’s most legendary musicians, guests will have the opportunity to win a host of prizes including entertainers’ CDs, gift certificates from Outrigger Reef on the Beach merchants and Kani Ka Pila Grille gift certificates and logo items. To top it off, guests will have the opportunity to participate in a grand prize giveaway to win a two-night stay at Outrigger Reef on the Beach and a $100 gift certificate to Kani Ka Pila Grille.
On Saturday, March 15, starting at 9 a.m., Outrigger will host its popular O Ke Kai Series, “Celebrating Hawaii’s Great Voyaging Canoes,” which supports the continuing efforts of the Friends of Hokule‘a and Hawai‘iloa to ensure that traditional Hawaiian canoe-building and restoration skills are passed on to future generations.
The festivities will continue that day with the anniversary luau from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring a grand Hawaiian Buffet filled with local favorites including laulau, kalua pig, poi, haupia and more. Guests will enjoy live entertainment provided by award-winning Hawaiian artists, including Cyril Pahinui, Kawika Kahiapo, Weldon Kekauoha and special guests Maunalua and Melveen Leed.
The celebration will conclude with the celebratory return of the Hawai‘iloa canoe steering paddle at 12:45 p.m.
To purchase tickets for Kani Ka Pila Grille’s fifth anniversary luau, please call (808) 924-6081. Tickets are $30 per adult and $17 for children ages four to 10. Tax and tip are inclusive. Validated valet parking at Outrigger Reef on the Beach is available for up to five hours for just $6. Starting on March 1, entry forms for the grand prize giveaway will be available at Elephant Walk, Freaky Tiki Tropical Optical and Hawaiian Accessories located at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. Entries must then be dropped off at Kani Ka Pila Grille by 11 a.m. March 15, 2014. The winner’s name will be pulled during the Kani Ka Pila Grille anniversary luau (you do not need to be present to win).
Kani Ka Pila Grille is a casual poolside restaurant that offers delicious island dishes in a relaxed and open dining atmosphere. The fun begins each evening at 6 p.m. with live entertainment including legendary Hawaiian artists such as Cyril Pahinui, Weldon Kekauoha, Kawika Kahiapo, Kaukahi, Manoa DNA to name a few. Kani Ka Pila Grille is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For reservations or restaurant information, call (808) 924-4990.
About Outrigger Reef on the Beach
The oceanfront anchor of Waikiki Beach Walk®, the Outrigger Reef on the Beach is ideally situated between beautiful Waikīkī Beach and exciting Waikīkī. The hotel is a haven of elegance, gracious hospitality and unparalleled commitment to Hawaiian culture. The property’s two towers offer large guest rooms and superbly appointed suites. There are two beachfront restaurants, the poolside Kani Ka Pila Grille offering casual dining plus stellar island music every evening, an array of specialty stores and shops, a day spa featuring specialty services and products by Aveda and a collection of services, all with no resort fee! The adjacent Waikiki Beach Walk® is O‘ahu’s spirited and stylish entertainment destination, home to shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and accommodations spanning a nearly eight-acre area in Waikīkī. www.outriggerreef.com
Foodies who are also cruise enthusiasts can now choose travel experiences tailored to their twin passions.
From August through October 2014, the new Cruising with the Chefs, founded by Lisa and Rodney George of St. Louis, Mo. and Naples, Fla., offers three culinary cruises with celebrity guest chefs exclusively aboard Oceania’s Marina and Riviera ships. The cruises showcase the ships’ Bon Appétit Culinary Centers, the only hands-on culinary centers at sea.
Each 2014 cruise is “a cruise within a cruise, with rock-star chefs,” according to Cruising with the Chefs’ Rodney George. The 2014 chefs are:
· Paul Virant, chef-owner of Michelin-starred Vie in Western Springs, Ill., cruising from Istanbul to Venice, August 5-15;
· Brian and Shanna O’Hea, chef-owners of The Kennebunk Inn and its restaurant, Academe Maine Brasserie and Tavern, cruising from Amsterdam to Barcelona, September 2-14;
· and Christy Rost, a PBS chef, author, and entertaining guru, cruising from Athens to Barcelona, October 2-12.
Itinerary highlights include cooking classes with the guest chef and chef-led shore excursions with special entree to local markets and restaurants. At featured ports-of-call, each chef will integrate local, fresh ingredients and indigenous culinary traditions in their classes and hosted meals. Personal time with the chefs at welcome and farewell receptions, as well as wine tastings, are other amenities of each Cruising with the Chefs experience.
Founders Rodney and Lisa George, passionate cruisers and foodies, personally host guests and work with guest chefs on designing itineraries adapted to each chef’s philosophy and style of cuisine.
Guests choose basic pricing based on cabin categories offered by Oceania, and from a range of a la carte culinary experiences offered by Cruising with the Chefs.
Paul Virant’s and Christy Rost’s cruises are both aboard Oceania’s Riviera, and range from $4,299 to $6,699 per guest for the Paul Virant cruise, and from $3,799 to $6,099 for the Christy Rost cruise. Pricing for the Shanna and Brian O’Hea cruise aboard Oceania’s Marina ranges from $5,499 to $6,899. Prices are per person.
The cost includes free round trip air transportation from 26 major North American gateways; private sail-away reception hosted by the guest chef; farewell cocktail party, and fine dining in four specialty restaurants.
Most sailings also include pre-paid gratuities, gourmet culinary program created by renowned master chef Jacques Pepin, port-intensive itineraries with overnight visits and extended port stays, Canyon Ranch Spa Club, staff-to-guest ration of 1 to 1.5, and 24-hour butler service in penthouse suites and above.
Optional culinary experiences include small group classes with guest chefs in the ships’ Bon Appétit Culinary Centers ($69-$79 per person); off-the-ship visits to local markets; packages of shore excursions at 25-40% off standard prices; wine tastings ($25-$50 per person); seven-course dinner in the 24-seat La Reserve restaurant, prepared by Oceania’s executive chef with wine pairings by Wine Spectator ($95 to $165); and travel protection group insurance.
“Cruising foodies seek enlightenment beyond a library or lecture,” said Cruising with the Chefs’ Rodney George. “Our cruises offer once-in-a-lifetime journeys with acclaimed, well-known chefs aboard Oceania’s Marina and Riviera, among the most elegant and sophisticated ships at sea.”
To book a Cruising with the Chefs cruise, call 877-776-4300 or email Rodney@CruisingwiththeChefs.com.
For more information visit CruisingwiththeChefs.com.
Details about the ships and chefs
Paul Virant, August 5-15, 2014, Istanbul to Venice
“I’m thrilled to be working with Cruising with the Chefs on my first trip to Italy, and I’m especially excited to explore the urban cultures of Venice and the eclectic food scene in Istanbul. The experience for me and the Riviera’s guests will open my eyes to a whole new arena of food and cooking, so it will be great to come back home with a broader knowledge of flavors and techniques to use in my kitchen,” said Paul Virant.
Since opening his flagship restaurant Vie in Western Springs, Ill., in 2004, Chef Paul Virant has risen to nationwide acclaim for his contemporary Midwestern cuisine. His philosophy of local, seasonal eating stems from techniques he learned on his family’s farm in Missouri that continue to spark his creativity today. In addition to Michelin-starred Vie, he brings his culinary prowess to the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood as partner and executive chef of Boka Restaurant Group’s Perennial Virant, which he opened in 2011, followed by the J. Parker, the rooftop lounge and bar, both located at Hotel Lincoln.
Virant’s accolades include: a just-announced nomination for James Beard Foundation’s 2014 Best Chef: Great Lakes; a 2013 finalist and a 2011 nominee for James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Great Lakes; 2007 Best New Chef by Food & Wine; 2007 Jean Banchet Award for Culinary Excellence as Top Celebrity Chef; and 2005 Best New Chef by Chicago magazine in 2005. He has also competed on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” Vie earned its Michelin star in 2011.
Brian and Shanna O’Hea, September 2-14, 2014, Amsterdam to Barcelona
“The cruise experience is a great way for us to connect with our guests while relaxing, seeing new places, and enjoying one of our favorite things – food,” said Shanna O’Hea. “We can’t wait to share this experience with people who are as excited as we are to be cooking and tasting our way from Amsterdam to Barcelona. It’s an incredible experience to be able to visit multiple parts of the world in total luxury, sample local cuisine, and introduce new cooking styles into our everyday lives.”
Brian and Shanna Horner O’Hea are the chef-owners of The Kennebunk Inn and its restaurant, Academe Maine Brasserie and Tavern. They love to travel and have participated in culinary events around the world, including the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair, and the Kennebunkport Festival. They have been guest chefs on Holland America Cruise Line. The O’Heas run MaineLobsterPotPie.com, which ships fresh Maine seafood overnight across the United States. Their signature Lobster Pot Pie and Lobster White Truffle Pizza have been featured in Oprah Magazine, and on Food Network and the Travel Channel.
Christy Rost, October 2-12, 2014, Athens to Barcelona PBS chef, author, and entertaining guru
Christy Rost’s expertise in cooking, decorating, and celebrating home and family is featured nationwide each year on PBS stations and Create TV in her one-hour Holiday production A Home for Christy Rost: Thanksgiving, which serves as an introduction to Christy’s forthcoming national television series, Celebrating Home with Christy Rost, which is currently in pre-production.
Chef Rost’s Mediterranean cruise aboard Oceania’s Riviera with Cruising with the Chefs allows her to share personal stories about her relationship with Julia Child. Guests who accompany Chef Rost on a shore excursion in Marseilles will have the opportunity to “retrace the steps of Julia Child” during a brief visit to the Vieux Port. Julia Child and her husband Paul lived in a small apartment overlooking this colorful harbor while she was writing portions of her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
“I’m excited to partner with Oceania Cruises and Cruising With The Chefs for this one-of-a-kind, culinary cruise,” said Rost. “I’ve cruised many times, but the Riviera’s exquisite appointments, Oceania’s emphasis on superb food and wine, and the sincere personal warmth of her staff, far surpasses my expectations. For one whose focus is on Celebrations, Oceania’s Riviera offers an exceptional opportunity for me to celebrate with my guests while spoiling them at every turn.”
About Oceania’s Marina and Riviera
Sister ships Marina and Riviera are among the most elegant and sophisticated ships to debut in the past 50 years. Designer touches range from the Lalique Grand Staircase to the Owner’s Suites furnished in Ralph Lauren Home, showcasing the finest residential design and furnishings. Comfortably mid-size, Marina and Riviera retain the same warmth and charm of their acclaimed consorts Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. While the country club casual ambiance and level of personalized service remain the same, they offer even more choice and enticing new amenities. As the first ships designed for lovers of fine dining and travel experiences, Marina and Riviera offer guests multiple dining venues, of which six are open-seating gourmet restaurants with no surcharge. La Reserve by Wine Spectator offers enlightening wine and food pairings. The new Bon Appétit Culinary Center is the only hands-on cooking school at sea. Similarly, artists-in-residence teach fine arts in Artists Loft, a new enrichment center. Intimate lounges abound and accommodations in every category are exceptionally spacious with lavish bathrooms.
Two new dining destinations at the Story Bridge Hotel are set to sizzle this summer, as the venue gears up for its annual Australia Day festivities and the infamous cockroach races.
Deery’s Restaurant & Smokehouse has had a Hollywood makeover from its decor to menu, serving up new culinary creations to compliment the crowd favourite chargrilled steaks. Next door, The Main St. Bar & Eatery will please casual drinkers and diners – with a menu that covers everything from simple bar snacks through to their hunger satisfying tasting boards.
While we often see the food of a destination as an emblem of its culture, the recent turn towards locally produced organic foods has also emphasized that the taste of food and wine can also be emblematic of the land itself.
The foods at Fiji’s Laucala Island Resort, thanks to the efforts of new executive chef Anthony Healy, are now giving visitors a true flavor of Fiji itself.
The resort is putting authentic Fijian food into both its service culture and its marketing. Healy is a proponent of the “farm-to-resorts” movement. Healy forages the forests of Fiji to find the freshest and truest ingredients for the resort’s kitchen. The resort’s main restaurant, Plantation House, features Healy’s daily menus that are based solely upon what’s been collected and received from fishermen earlier that same morning.
Every day, Healy and his staff forage for mushrooms and other local edibles. Healy also uses organic produce that is grown on a 240-acre hydroponic farm with 15 different types of fruit, 35 varieties of vegetables and more than 50 Fiji Vanilla plants.
The resort catches 80 percent of its seafood within a mile of the shore to preserve the offshore habitat of the South Pacific, with fish ranging from rock cod and tuna to mahi-mahi, crayfish and coral trout. These combined efforts allow the resort to operate as 80 percent self-sustainable, while guests’ overall on-island experience is enhanced through cooking classes and explorations led by Healy.
“Here we maintain ‘paddock-to-plate’ like nowhere else in the world,” said Healy. “Our menus are very much based upon what is available on that particular day; there is no back-up option of ordering from suppliers. I have grown up in the hospitality business, but no place has given me this degree of creative liberty. On Laucala Island, my freedom to craft authentic, natural dishes is infinite.”
Laucala’s kitchen also manages 18 beehives in different locations allowing the honey to vary in taste and scent. Animals such as poultry, cattle (including Wagyu), pigs, quails, ducks, goats and coconut crabs, are also raised on the farm. Each species of livestock is kept on a specially designed diet to make for the healthiest and happiest animal possible, which includes the island’s commitment in ensuring all products remain 100 percent hormone and chemical free.
At Laucala guests can join Healy on tours of the farm and hydroponics area, with the ability to pick and taste ripe produce as available. The tour is part of a cooking class that ends with guests dining on their collected ingredients. The Fijian lovo, or earth oven, cooks food with pre-heated rocks and moisture from leaves or banana stumps. The resort presents a lovo during every guest’s stay on a Fijian Cultural night, when they introduce the Kava ceremony featuring dances and prepared routines from 40 performers.
The Laucala Resort sits on a 3,200-acre island in the Fijian archipelago. The all-inclusive resort has 25 villas. Once owned by the Forbes family as a private island escape, Laucala Island was purchased in 2002 by Dietrich Mateschitz, CEO of Red Bull Drink Company, and launched in 2011 as the southern hemisphere’s largest private island resort.
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