Summertime Cooking At Sea Features Top Chefs Via Cruise Ship

This Summer, Holland America Line‘s Culinary Arts Center program presented by Food & Wine magazine will host five of the world’s most celebrated chefs who will showcase their expertise and share tips with guests.  They will be aboard five of the line’s premium ships in July and August as part of the Culinary Arts program that offers culinary enrichment opportunities for guests on more than 500 cruises annually.

During their cruises, the experts will perform complimentary cooking demonstrations in the Culinary Arts Center, the line’s state-of-the-art show kitchens aboard each ship. The interactive sessions include recipe handouts, food tastings and the opportunity for questions and answers and photos with the culinary celebrities.

  • Chef Kevin Sbraga is scheduled to sail aboard ms Noordam’s 10-day Roman Empire cruise departing July 17. He opened his first restaurant, Sbraga, in 2011 on Philadelphia’s iconic Avenue of the Arts. In September 2010, Sbraga became the first African-American “Top Chef” after winning season seven of the Bravo hit series. He attended Johnson & Wales’ College of Culinary Arts in Providence, R.I., where he studied abroad in Brussels and earned an esteemed apprenticeship with Chef Dominique Michou. He later served as executive chef of Rat’s Restaurant in New Jersey where he created a contemporary French menu inspired by the Provencal region.
  • Food Stylist Denise Vivaldo is scheduled to sail aboard ms Westerdam’s July 21 seven-day Alaskan Explorer cruise. She graduated Chef de Cuisine from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. In 1988, she founded Food Fanatics, a catering, recipe-development and food styling firm based in Los Angeles. Vivaldo has catered more than 10,000 parties and styled food for various television shows including “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Inside Dish with Rachel Ray.” Vivaldo is the author of several best-selling culinary books including “How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business,” “The Entertaining Encyclopedia: Essential Tips for Hosting the Perfect Party,” and “The Food Stylist’s Handbook.”
  • Entrepreneur Sonia Hunt is scheduled to sail aboard ms Oosterdam’s seven-day Alaskan Explorer cruise departing July 22. She is the President of Noie Media, LLC a multimedia production company, and creator and host of “Stirring It Up!” — a lifestyle entertainment show. She has been a healthy living expert on the “Art of Living” celebrity radio show and continues to host and perform cooking demos in celebrity food and wine events around the country. Hunt focuses on helping people with food issues and food allergies, like herself, to “Stay Safe, Live Healthy and Eat Well.” Hunt also is a digital media technology entrepreneur where she creates and builds products and services for global brands in the food and wine, entertainment, technology and consumer electronics industries.
  • Chef Angelo Sosa is scheduled to sail aboard ms Prinsendam’s 14-day Norway and British Isles voyage departing August 8. His most recent project is Social Eatz where he works as executive chef and owner, designing a menu that blends New York City staples with flavors from across Asia. In 2010, he was a contestant on season seven of Bravo’s hit reality show, “Top Chef.” He was then invited to compete on “Top Chef All Stars.” Sosa, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, opened SmithHouse in 2011 in Los Angeles, Calif. In 2009, Sosa was awarded the New York’s Rising Star award for Best New Restaurant Concept for his restaurant Xie Xie, which opened that same year.
  • Chef Angelo Sawyer is scheduled to sail aboard ms Zaandam’s seven-day Alaska Inside Passage cruise departing Aug. 19. He is executive chef at The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, Ohio. The eatery was Ohio’s first “green” restaurant and was named one of the top 10 best new restaurants in the U.S by Bon Appetit magazine and best new restaurant by Cleveland Magazine. In July 2011, Sawyer opened his second certified green restaurant, Noodlecat. In February 2012, he was named one of 20 semifinalists for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category. Sawyer has appeared on the Food Network’s “Dinner: Impossible” and “Iron Chef America,” and was recently honored by Food & Wine magazine as one of America’s best new chefs.

Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Centers are a “world-class show kitchen at sea,” presented by Food & Wine magazine and resemble the elaborate kitchens of celebrity chefs on television cooking programs.

The venues feature a rotating schedule of activities daily including cooking shows, wine tastings, mixology demonstrations, hands-on themed cooking classes for both adults and kids, and other entertainment presentations. All events are taught by celebrity guest chefs or highly skilled culinary and beverage staff during every Holland America Line voyage.

The Culinary Arts Center is part of Holland America Line’s culinary initiatives, which also include a partnership with Le Cirque to present “An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill” and a Culinary Council comprised of renowned international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Marcus Samuelsson, Jacques Torres, Charlie Trotter and the line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin.

Chris Owen is a travel writer from Orlando Florida charged with sharing frank, inside information on cruise vacations with travelers. Certified a Master Cruise Counselor by the Cruise Lines International Association, Chris can be found via the popular travel blog, and on the long-running cruise information website,

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