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Chef's Table - Spoilers, Photos and Review


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Hi Everyone! If you've been following my review on the Dream, you already have seen all of this. I thought I'd create a separate thread just for Chef's Table so those who don't follow my review can still see it! Enjoy!


Prior to getting on the ship, our friends Steve and Kim had sold me on the idea of Chef's Table, not for myself but for Latanya. (my partner). I am not a foodie and have a sensitive tummy when it comes to interesting foods. Also, I don't drink alcohol.


Chef's Table is something you can add on for $75 per person. You'll see all of the courses that are currently included below (and pictured). Also included is bread, wine, champagne, sparkling water and apple cider.


I'll note now incase I forget that they went somewhere special to bring me sodas and included them since I don't drink alcohol (I didn't ask - they offered!)


I didn't tell Latanya about Chef's Table because it was a surprise gift for her. Unfortunately, they put a letter in our room about it on Day 1 and when we walked into the room, she got to it before I did. She was very surprised and I spent a couple hours ticked off that she knew already. But I soon got over it.

(If you're doing Chef's Table as a surprise for someone, make sure you get in the stateroom quick and get the letter and hide it!)


Okay, so day 4, December 13th... we head to the Song Lounge where we meet up with Steven and Kim and a couple other people from our roll call as well as another 2 couples that we didn't know.


They sit everyone in a round robin kind of format, encouraging you to interact and get to know one another. The host introduces Chef Trevor Fernandes to us and he explains that our first few items will be served to us here.


I prayed that nothing RAW would be on the menu because I cringe at the thought of eating RAW food.


The first dish comes out and it's Ahi Tuna Tartar with a Wasabi Crisp




I didn't want to be rude and disrespect the Chef.... so I decided to try it. It wasn't my favorite, but it was edible. I actually didn't mind it. Latanya gobbled hers up. She absolutely loved it. It wasn't very "fishy". :-)


The next dish that was brought out to us was a Steak Taco. ABSOLUTELY DEVINE!! YUM!!




The Steak Taco was followed by a Duck Potsticker. I LOVE potstickers and this particular one was finger lickin' good. Yes, I understand we're eating upscale food and I am using words like finger lickin' good. Deal with it. :-P




The potsticker was followed by HANDS DOWN, the BEST Dessert I have ever had on a ship and up there with the best I've ever had in my life! - Avacado Cheesecake! This dessert was delicious and simple yet complex in flavors. It was so light and creamy and just absolutely delicious. I'd die if I had the recipe!



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After we had the cheesecake, we were told to follow them to an elevator where we were led in through a back way into the Galley. We walked past numerous employees hustling and bustling through the daily grind, running back and forth to the main dining room to serve the guests.


We were taken to a long table in the galley (kitchen) where we were seated. Each of us had a rolled up menu in front of us as well as a name card.




We also had.. YUMMMMM-TASTIC Olive Bread! OMG.. so delish!!




Vaibhav, a Patissier (Pastry Chef) from India brought out crispy bread sticks that he had made for us and offered them to us.






Balazs, assistant waiter from Hungary took care of filling our glasses.




Then our first main course was brought out to us. Latanya and I were served our dishes from this point on by Emiliano, Assistant Cook.


Norweigan Salmon Tartar with Avocado Mousse and Salmon Caviar




I won't lie.. I actually liked this Raw Dish. The flavors were punchy but light. It was a blast on the palette! I can't believe I actually liked a RAW food dish! Props to the chef!

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Up next was a Fire Roasted Tomato and Poblano Chili Bisque with Grilled Corn and a Cilantro Drizzle.




I am a tomato soup fanatic! The flavors were dancing in harmony on my tongue! I LOVED this soup!


Latanya with assitant waiter, Balazs




Assistant Cook, Emiliano waiting for the others to join him so he could bring our dishes to us. (I'll pause for a moment here to say that for the 10 of us that were sat at Chef's Table, there were easily 10 people that scurried around us, working diligently to replenish bread, drinks and bring us food as well as help during the prep of our dishes.




The next dish was Rock Shrimp and Apple Beignets with a Tapioca Crunch and Lemon Aoili. This was actually my least favorite of all the dishes served this evening. While it wasn't bad, it just didn't have the wow factor of the others for me personally.




By this point, we were all getting full. So Chef had a scheduled break and asked us to all get up from the table. We followed him into the kitchen where he showed us how the food comes out when it's ready and how it goes to each station for the waiters to assemble the plates of food.


This photo shows the large vats that they use to make all of their soup stocks! Holy cow! You could fit a couple human beings in each one! :-D



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Then Chef took us over to meet Mario D'Silva, Pastry Chef from India. Mario makes the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake that so many of the die hard Carnival fanatics just cannot get enough of.


On his table were the items he used to make the WCMC.




Chef Trevor jumped in with Mario and together, they started making a fresh batch to cook for us.








We were then taken back to our seats. Right beside where we were sitting, another assistant cook was putting the final plating touches on our next dish.


I'd like to take a minute to stop here and point out something very important!


It is CLEARLY STATED that cameras are not allowed in the galley. I called the Steakhouse and asked them if I could bring my camera just to take photos of my food and promised not to use it to take photos of the galley. They said for me to take it with me and ask the Chef when I got there. As soon as Trevor walked into the Song Lounge to meet us, I asked him if he minded if I took photos of just my food (close in shots of my plate). He smiled and said I could take photos of anything I wanted while I was in there.


He and his staff loved my camera and posed for us for several shots. Emiliano even encouraged me to stand up and take some behind the scenes shots of plating every once in a while. Since Trevor didn't have to allow me to do this, I am extremely grateful. This doesn't mean you'll be allowed to do it so bring a bag to keep your camera in and respectfully ask your Chef. If he/she says yes, then you'll have it with you. If they say no, respect that as well.




Chopped Meditteranean Salad with Shaved Pumpkin and a Feta Cheese Crumble was our next dish!




YUMMY!!!! Flavors were on point!!!

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Up next: Filet of Chilean Sea Bass with Wine Stewed Challots and Chives Vinaigrette, Leaks Emulsian and a Pea Risotto.










The Sea Bass dish was so FILLING! And so delicious! I ate almost my entire plate of food even though I was bursting at the seams. I am being redundant but flavors! flavors! flavors! Impeccable!


Chef Trevor stopped for a couple minutes... to sign photos for us. A photographer came around and snapped a photo of our table with Chef standing at the end. They later gave us these signed photos as well as the WCMC recipe!




Then Chef Trevor posed with us for a photo




A magician came to our table for about 10 minutes or so to entertain us with slight of hand tricks (he was actually pretty darn impressive). They were busy cooking our steaks to order during this time. Yes, more food! Whew!

Edited by italianfemmy
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Aged Filet Mignon was the steak of choice for tonight. You could cut through this steak like it was butter. It was so tender and so full of flavor and absolutely delicious. It was served with Onion Streusel and a Three Pepper Mustard.




Then Chef and a couple his assistants began diligently working on plating our final course: Dessert! Watching the intricate plating that went into this was awesome! I loved being behind the scenes in the galley while everything was going on!









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Our dessert was the WCMC with a sorbet and some other thing that I have no idea what it was!




Chef's Table meal was completed and I must say the following:


- Every single person that we came in contact with in the galley that was not part of serving us for Chef's table smiled and waved at us as if they were so happy to see us in the kitchen. They were carrying tons of plates and still smiling.


- Chef Trevor is an incredible Chef with great vision. Many Chef's I've met throughout the years are pretentious. He was anything but. Chef Trevor Fernades is polite, kind, has a gentle and warming smile and loves what he is doing with his life. His passion is fused in the flavors of his dishes.


- All of our crew from the pastry chef's to the assitant waiters and waiters and assistant cooks were amazing. We never felt rushed. We felt pampered and catered to every single moment of the THREE HOUR... yes THREE HOUR meal.


- $150 for two people when you get not just amazing food but an INCREDIBLE experience built around it was worth every single penny. If you want to book Chef's Table for your cruise, visit John Heald's blog and send him a request. You can also email the Steakhouse for reservations. If you can afford to do it and you love food and upscale experiences, you will not regret the decision to do this!


- We tipped an additional sum of money because we felt blessed to be able to take so many wonderful photos that he didn't have to let us take. We also felt the crew deserved the additional tip because they were amazing people who understood high end customer service.


- The only dishes I didn't care for were the first Tuna Tartar dish and the Rock Shrimp dish. Neither of them were bad though, just not my thing. Latanya loved every single dish she ate. We were so stuffed but were still eating because it was so delicious.


And finally, at the end of the night, Chef and a couple of the Assitant Food and Beverage managers posed for me for a photo:




And to end things off, I asked Chef if he'd get the entire crew together that had worked on our table during the three hours of this evening. With a smile on his face, he said sure and went and rounded them all up for me.




From left to right (and I don't know all of them).


1.) Assistant Waiter, Balazs from Hungary

2.) Uncertain

3.) Emiliano, Assitant Cook from Philippines

4.) Uncertain

5.) Chef Trevor Fernandes

6.) Pastry Chef, Mario D'Silva, India

7.) Uncertain

8.) Vaibhav, Pattisier (Pastry Chef, India)

9.) Uncertain


The people I am uncertain of were catering to the other end of our table. Perhaps some of those folks would know their names if they see this thread.


I hope you all enjoyed our Chef's Table experience!

The following is the photo taken by the ship folks which is horribly scanned by me as well as Chef Trevor's signature and a scanned copy of our Chef's Table Menu!







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Wow! Awesome post. I have never read as much detail about the chefs table until now. Awesome photos (awesome photos in your review also btw). I bet if the chef saw these photos he would be so honored to see shots of his plates

taken by a professional. Thanks for taking the time to post!

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The thing that strikes me about looking at your beautiful pictures is that most restaurants advertise pictures of their food on television and in print ads that look nothing like the food you actually get when you order it at their restaurant. This food is all beautiful, and it is exactly what you are eating - no embellishment needed!

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Thank you for the great review! I am looking forward to our Chef's Table in February.


You take amazing pictures. I looked up your website to see where you are based- I'm bummed that you are in Tampa and not Massachusetts!!


Kellie, I travel all over the place. We just shot a wedding in New York over Thanksgiving. We flew into St. John last year for a wedding too. :-) But yes, having a local photographer is a great and convenient thing!


What do you need one for? Maybe I can recommend someone local to you. I know some photographers in Mass.

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Terrific review of the Chef's Table! The food descriptions and pictures allowed me to relive our experiences. We have experienced it on both the Dream and the Legend and will again on the Liberty the end of Janruary. The menu was the same each time so the second time it was no surprise, but the experience was just as wonderful.


As you said, well worth every penny and the same (wonderful) menu twice a year isn't a problem.

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