Dinner with Celebrity Guest Chef Mitchell Tait

2019 HAL World Cruise

Monday, March 4, 2019


Developing an interest in the culinary arts at an early age, Mitchell Tait began working in award-winning kitchens at the age of 16.  He apprenticed at Zest Restaurant in New South Wales and went on to augment his experience across Australia.  Because Australia is a nation of large-scale immigration, it has a unique blend of culinary contributions and adaptations from around the world, including Indigenous Australians, Europeans, Asians and Pacific Islanders.   Modern Australian cuisine is a fusion of contemporary adaptations, influences and interpretations.  Before moving to London to increase his culinary experience, Chef Mitchell was the Executive Chef at Auckland’s “three-hatted” restaurant, Clooney.  All the while, he has been forming and refining his own food philosophy and personal style.  Chef Mitchell’s contemporary cuisine is inspired by the unique nature of his surroundings and letting the ingredients speak for themselves.

As guest chef aboard the MS Amsterdam, Chef Mitchell has presented demonstrations of his art in the facilities of America’s Test Kitchen with host Abby Koch.  He has stressed the benefits of using locally sourced products and indigenous herbs and spices.

After attending his demonstrations and the introductory Sip & Savor event, we were delighted to attend the 5-course dinner prepared by Chef Mitchell in the MS Amsterdam’s Pinnacle Grill.

I’ll let the photos tell the story:

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Abby Koch, the host of America’s Test Kitchen, introduces the Guest Chef, Mitchell Tait.
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Chef Mitchell demonstrates his techniques and discusses his culinary philosophy.
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We get our first “tasting” of Chef Mitchell’s style at the introductory Sip and Savor event.
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Wine Master Jacques has selected an Argentinian Malbec by Diseno to accompany the tasting.
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We are treated to an heirlloom yellow tomato consomme with peach and green herbs. This is complimented with the fruity, full bodied Diseno Malbec.

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Of course, the piece de resistance is the 5-course dinner at the Pinnacle Grill prepared by Chef Mitchell.

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Sommelier wine selections were not included in this dinner, so we chose a Cabernet Sauvignon by Spellbound to accompany the meal.
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Spellbound’s Cabernet Sauvignon has a good fruity flavor, pleasant aroma, and smooth body.
The first course was the Heirloom Tomato consomme.
The first course was the Heirloom Tomato consomme.
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The grilled scampi, with that flavorful and savory cream, may have been my favorite of the evening.
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But the Slow Cooked Egg Yolk was the surprise of the night. This is a taste sensation difficult to describe. The first flavor to “pop” is that of the popcorn. The combination of corn, butter and macadamia evoke the contentment of viewing a good movie!
Nectarine Sorbet
Nectarine Sorbet
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The Roasted Venison Loin was dressed with beetroot, a trending Australian ingredient. Enhanced with plum and black garlic, this was quite tasty.
Dessert was a deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake.
Dessert was a deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake.
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Kudos to Chef Mitchell for a great meal and to Abby Koch for another interesting, rewarding and satisfying experience!