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What is ''Test kitchen" like has anyone done this.


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We love "Americas Test Kitchen" on P.B.S and the Create channel at the end of each show they show a Holland America ship and say something about the show on board. Was wondering what is it ,does it cost extra and how did you like it. B.T.Y. it is the best cooking show of all time and oddly is also called "Cooks Country  Kitchen " sometimes although it is the same show .Thanks in advance.

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American Test Kitchen used to be offered most HAL ships.  I enjoyed the presentations.  When we did the Voyage of the Vikings on the Zuiderdam in August, 2019, the America's Test Kitchen chef said the program was being discontinued.  She said they were using up all their recipe cards, and no new ones had been sent.    Once HAL returns to the seas, I do not think ATK will be offered.  Check your ships activities on the HAL website.

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Hate to mention it, but America's Test Kitchen is one of those concepts that HAL invested a lot of time and money into, then cheapened to the point that it was meaningless.  First, they rebuilt the Wajang theater into a kitchen where about four groups of four could learn to prepare recipes with an excellent instructor.  We prepared and cooked the recipes, but for safety reasons we were not allowed to eat them.  For that part we adjoined to the Pinnacle Grill, where the same recipes were prepared by the chef and served to us there, with wine.  The instructor told interesting stories about her experience cooking special meals for Hollywood stars.  Six months ago we attended America's Test Kitchen on the Westerdam.  It was a mostly video demonstration of cooking, something anyone could watch on their TV at home.  No audience participation.  I was disappointed.

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Every presentation I went to on any number of HAL ships was packed to the point of SRO. It was very popular.  It has gone from the HAL ships.  It was more popular than the Culinary Arts thing that preceded it.  HAL is still a sponsor of "Cook's Country."

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No more test kitchen.  In the end it was reduced to video shows that one could probably watch at home.  I found them to be  professional by also sterile.

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22 hours ago, Himself said:

Every presentation I went to on any number of HAL ships was packed to the point of SRO. It was very popular.  It has gone from the HAL ships.  It was more popular than the Culinary Arts thing that preceded it.  HAL is still a sponsor of "Cook's Country."

I liked the "Food & Wine" presentations, and we could taste what was prepared.  Occasionally a ship officer would come to "help" and that could get hilarious.  This was before ATK.  I attended some of their presentations, but thought they seemed canned - no way would they give alternate suggestions for subsitutions (like high altitude or diabetics) and it was a constant push to buy very expensive cooking tools. One lesson was completely about cooking eggs.

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Cook's Country is a program by America's Test Kitchen.  It is based on the magazine of the same name, which focuses on regional U.S. cuisine.  The America's Test Kitchen show has a broader focus.  They are two different TV programs, though most of the cast is the same.

 

They had a partnership agreement with HAL that expired at the beginning of this year, so the ship programs went away.  I enjoyed them and am sorry that they're not onboard anymore as I find them a great resource in general.  One of the instructors told me that the egg class was one of her favorites because it was very practical, and she had learned a few things from it herself despite having culinary training and spending many years working in different kitchens

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5 hours ago, BJzink said:

I liked the "Food & Wine" presentations, and we could taste what was prepared.  Occasionally a ship officer would come to "help" and that could get hilarious.  This was before ATK.  I attended some of their presentations, but thought they seemed canned - no way would they give alternate suggestions for subsitutions (like high altitude or diabetics) and it was a constant push to buy very expensive cooking tools. One lesson was completely about cooking eggs.

I agree about the Food & Wine presentations. I really enjoyed them, and many were full.   It was with them that we got to cook some of the food and then have the chef prepared version in the Pinnacle Grill.  Sometimes we had wine while cooking, which made for a very fun class, and sometimes the wine was with lunch.

 

I tried a few ATK classes, but never made it completely through one,  I found them pretty boring, especially when they added the videos.  The one "private" cooking class we signed up for, we did not do.  Somehow, our names were not on the instructors list, and she was very rude when we showed up for the class.  She finally said she set up the food for us too, but we could tell she did not want to do that, so we left.  That left a bad taste in my mouth, pun intended.

 

I was not disappointed when the association with ATK ended.

Edited by Quartzsite Cruiser
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23 hours ago, BJzink said:

One lesson was completely about cooking eggs.

LOL - and then there was the presentation that started out  describing basil as an exotic spice.

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1 hour ago, Homosassa said:

LOL - and then there was the presentation that started out  describing basil as an exotic spice.

I remember that!  She said something about "Be daring, try a bit of Basil"  Hilarious!

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On 7/5/2020 at 7:52 AM, dolittle said:

We love "Americas Test Kitchen" on P.B.S and the Create channel at the end of each show they show a Holland America ship and say something about the show on board. Was wondering what is it ,does it cost extra and how did you like it. B.T.Y. it is the best cooking show of all time and oddly is also called "Cooks Country  Kitchen " sometimes although it is the same show .Thanks in advance.

No more, but you can do a kitchen tour..

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On 7/6/2020 at 12:52 PM, Quartzsite Cruiser said:

The one "private" cooking class we signed up for, we did not do.  Somehow, our names were not on the instructors list, and she was very rude when we showed up for the class.

 

Or thought you signed up for is probably a better description. Sounds like somebody screwed up, and probably not the ship.

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16 hours ago, KroozNut said:

 

Or thought you signed up for is probably a better description. Sounds like somebody screwed up, and probably not the ship.

Evidently, whoever answered the phone at Guest Services when I called to make the reservation forgot to add our names to the list.  At least, they did not have a record of our rsvp.  
 

That night there were two ATK aprons on the bed after dinner.  We gave one to our daughter and son-in-law and the other to his mother, who loves the tv show.  We didn’t need a reminder of the class that wasn’t. 

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