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Old 09-26-2013, 12:17 AM   #1
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Does Sea Food Work Too? Chef's Table, Carnival Valor

I mean, the sea has "roads", right? I'm hoping so! Anywho, I am a veteran cruiser, Carnival is perhaps the only line I strategically avoid, BUT, that said, I ended up on this one and it WAS AMAZING.

Simply from the food stance, we were able to do the Chef's table, all I can say is wow. For Carnival, I was WELL impressed, certainly above and beyond anything I was expecting. We were able to do a galley tour w/ assorted amuse, champagne, prior to being seated into our own private room off of the main dining room. Every course, over the 8 courses, was accompanied by the Sommeliers choice of wine, a Chefs debriefing of the plate, and overall, was just really impressive and an awesome dining experience at a mere $75 per head. . . I know first hand, I would have done the same food/quality, for double that, NOT including wine. A real bargain, and again, super impressed as everything was fundamentally correct.


The start:

Chorizo stuffed Date, Piquillo Sofrito

kalamata w/ Parmesan Core, Candied Orange Zest

*EDIT* Img warning from the site, only 8 allowed, view full set to see this course. . .

Focaccia, Mascarpone Cream, Prosciutto Crudo

Langoustine & sundried Tomato jam fritter



Tomatoes "Our Way"



Tuna Bahn Mi: lemon Bread, Sesame Crisp, Miso Cream, Avocado Gel



Cornish Hen: Sous vide, Citrus jus, Parmesan & Balsamic Caviar



Soup & Salad: Spinach, Green pea Puree, Turnip & Apple Bisque, Beet Ribbons



Salmon: Herb pesto, Cured tomatoes, carrot, Mushroom earth, Condensed Beets, Citrus Streusel



Wagyu: Short Rib, potato pebbles, pumpkin Fudge w/ Tomato Dust



Dessert: Chocolate at 88F, Pistachio, Mango, Carrot Cake, Mascarpone Cream, Guava & Caramel Praline




View the full set here:

Chef's Table 2013 - a set on Flickr

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Old 09-26-2013, 06:22 AM   #2
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Great looking food, Jono! And as always, great photography!

Good to see you around again.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:20 AM   #3
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Wow, Jon! Almost too pretty to eat. Glad you enjoyed yourself.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:42 AM   #4
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That looks really amazing. The price including the wine is so reasonable too, I have eaten similar food at "The Fat Duck" Heston Blumenthal's restaurant in Bray, England and the cost was 250.00 (including wine) per head (five times the cost of yours) https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Th...&bih=559&dpr=1
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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TAT, those plates look lovely! But the portions look so small I'd probably go looking for the all-night buffet as soon as I got out of the elegant dinner! Besides, you two had a fun vacation. Welcome home.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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A gourmet dinner with eight courses, including wine, for $75 is a great deal. I've attended similar dinners that cost much more. Part of the experience is the whole "food as art" thing and putting together a meal like this is a lot of work.

As for the small portions, when you eat eight small portions it can be surprisingly filling. Granted, it's not an all-you-can-eat dinner at the trouser buster buffet, but it's not supposed to be.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:34 PM   #7
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Beautiful dishes, Tatt!
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:43 PM   #8
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While I don't consider Carnival high end, they have been a great experience for me for the last 5 cruises. The regular dining room food is usually quite tasty and the steakhouse has always been outstanding.

Have yet to try the chef's table but it looks wonderful!

I avoided Carnival until 2007 and honestly I was quite surprised by the experience, not nearly the horror show that many make it out to be. Their ships can't measure up to many, but they are nice in their own right.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
A gourmet dinner with eight courses, including wine, for $75 is a great deal. I've attended similar dinners that cost much more. Part of the experience is the whole "food as art" thing and putting together a meal like this is a lot of work.

As for the small portions, when you eat eight small portions it can be surprisingly filling. Granted, it's not an all-you-can-eat dinner at the trouser buster buffet, but it's not supposed to be.
Exactly, the difference between eating, and dining. As a Chef and industry member for over 20 years, it is nice to be on the receiving end of the kitchen.

8 courses, including rich food, yet all in a cohesive manner, add up to a full stomach. A buffet was the LAST thing on my mind after the dinner. A Bourbon and sleep was all that was on my mind.

I'd challenge anyone to find an 8 course, with wine pairings for each course, for $75 (50 quid), and it be to the level this was. This was NOT something we were "taken for", we signed up for it, I wanted to be there.

I respect that it might not be for everyone, but neither is skydiving. What works for me, might not work for you.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:21 PM   #10
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Beautiful pics, Tatt! Now show the pics of the kitchens...LOL!! Can't keep him out, even on vacation!
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