Dinner with Celebrity Chef Jonathan Rogers

2019 HAL World Cruise

Saturday, February 23, 1019

 

As we approach New Zealand, the passengers of the MS Amsterdam are treated to a delicious 5-course introduction to the local cuisine-–British-based dishes, focusing on local ingredients, Pacific Rim influences and, as is Holland America’s custom, accompanied with the famous wines of New Zealand chosen by our Wine Master, Jacques Torres.

Celebrity chef, Jonathan Rogers, is the head chef at Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown, NZ.  He is a native New Zealander who began his career in Auckland, NZ and perfected his British-New Zealand style in British Columbia, Canada.  He uses seasonal local produce of the highest quality along with local herbs to create his distinctive menus.

Chef Rogers boarded the MS Amsterdam in Bora Bora.  We immediately began our immersion into New Zealand’s cuisine with cooking demonstrations in the on-board facility of America’s Test Kitchen, hosted by Abby Koch.  At an evening event sponsored by both the Wine Master, Jacques and the Culinary Hostess, Abby we were introduced to a sampling of the wines and flavors of New Zealand.

The grand final was the spectacular dinner this evening.   New Zealand has a lively and innovative culinary scene that takes advantage of its abundance of amazing seafood as well as the lamb and venison.  We began with a Yellowfin Tartare embellished with edible flowers.  How cool is that!  When the Poached Pear with hazelnut crumble and vanilla crème fraiche was delivered to our table, we were heartbroken to see the meal end!!!

1 (640x332)
Abby Koch, America’s Test Kitchen Hostess; Jacques Torres, Wine Master of the MS Amsterdam; and Celebrity Chef Jonathan Rogers, of Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown, NZ
America's Test Kitchen aboard the MS Amsterdam.
America’s Test Kitchen aboard the MS Amsterdam.
3 (640x479)
Our firs introduction to Chef Rogers was a cooking demonstration in America’s Test Kitchen.
4 (460x640)
Next, we were treated to a sampling of Chef Rogers’ culinary style at a Sip & Savor event.
5 (537x640)
But the main event was a 5-course dinner accompanied with the fine wines selected by Wine Master, Jacques.
The first wine was Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough area.
The first wine was Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough area of New Zealand.
This is a lovely, crisp wine with a fruity aroma and citrus finish.
This is a lovely, crisp wine with a fruity aroma and citrus finish.
8 (640x360)
The Deep Sea Roasted Langoustine was divine! Chatham Island sourced langoustine with carrot and shellfish dressing.
9 (248x640)
Our surprise wine of the evening was a Archery Summit Dundee Hills Pinot Noir from Oregon.
This is a full bodied wine with a berry aroma and a fruity finish.
This is a full bodied wine with a berry aroma and a fruity finish.
11 (640x358)
The Duck Breast was to die for!!!  The pickled apricots were a delicious accompaniment and the thyme jus a delicate enhancement. The caramelized fennel was, I’ll confess, not my cup of tea!!!!
The Kiwi Sorbet was made with Manuka Honey.....yummy!
The Kiwi Sorbet was made with Manuka Honey…..yummy!
Our final wine was from Washington State, Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon.
Our final wine was from Washington State, Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon.
14 (640x360)
The New Zealand Lamb Loin was served with pickled walnuts–really good; roasted radish–not my favorite, and rosemary jus–perfect enhancement!!!!

 

Chef Rogers will leave us in Auckland.  It was a pleasure to meet him and taste his creative dishes!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s