Celebrity Cruises, Equinox: a kitchen tour and Provence

Arriving in Provence

The last full day on board of Celebrity Cruises, Equinox. I invited my fellow foodie travelers to have breakfast in my balcony. A bit of a party it’s always a good idea to get the day started, another room service perfection.

scrambled eggs, bacon, ham harsh brown, truffled omelette, fresh fruits  and more!

After breakfast, we made our way to a very private tour of a nearby organic vineyard about 30 minutes away from the port of Toulon, in Ollioules.  Provence is well known for rose wines, and I was looking forward to visiting a  vineyard for the first time.  Domaine  de TerreBrune is based in Bandol appellation area. With great terroir: clay and limestone, a very old stony soil in which the roots of the vine rundown deep to fetch their nutrients in the fissures of the limestone bedrock.
Organic viticulture with absolutely no chemical herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers. All grapes are harvested by hand.Wines ferment in underground, temperature-controlled, gravity-fed cuves. All wines are unfined and unfiltered.
The mediterranean climate is optimal for slowly ripening of the grapes. Giving it finesse and minerality to their wines.  Their wines can be bought at Field Norris & Verdin.

We tasted red wine and rose wine, before heading to the vineyard restaurant La Table du Vigneron, which we were told is well known and respected in the area. This Provencal restaurant uses seasonal ingredients.

Domaine TerreBrune situated in the Bandol Appellation area


Lunch in Provence – La Table du Vigneron

Elegant and mineral-driven rose, with dried berry and cherry flavors and floral notes and tar on the finish. 50% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 25% Cinsault. Ages for 6-8 months in barrel before bottling
tartare of figs in syrup sauce, duck and potato galette
Saint Pierre (fish), kind of risotto with fennel, sweet potato, oyster cream and asparagus
selection of local cheese and bread
Fiadone, Corsican speciality curd cheese (brousse) and lemon creamy cake with red fruit coulis and toasted almonds, an acquired taste – I liked it!
After our feast, we went back to the ship for a private tour of Silhouette’s kitchen galley and cookery demo by , this is another tour available for guests on request.

Kitchen tour, Equinox

One of the highlights of Celebrity Cruises Equinox is the multiple dining venues,  including added-fee speciality restaurants like fine dining Murano, Silk Harvest and Tuscan Grille, with menus crafted by James Beard-featured chefs, the different cuisines makes for a very impressive gastronomic experience. We toured the Silhouette kitchen galley with state of the art equipments and a military planning and organisation. The care they put into avoiding cross-contamination between raw and cooked food and special dietary requirements amazed me. There are 14 restaurants and over 160 chefs preparing food efficiently and under severe US health and safety guidelines. Celebrity Cruises ships have been awarded the most energy-efficient class of cruise ships on the seas to date, with round-the-clock remote monitoring of its vital energy-saving electric propulsion systems.

Cookery demo

Victor’s blackened cajun spiced aji Tuna, with forbidden rice cooked with chicken stock and white sesame see vinaigrette topped with crisp spiced onions was light and very tasty dish. The vinaigrette consisted in miso, mirin, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, pickled ginger, white pepper, rice vinegar and white sesame seeds.

final dish: delicious flavours, textures and very attractive colours
Michael Fernandez, Konstantinos Vogliatzoglou, and Victor – executive chefs at Celebrity Cruises
And that my friends is the end of this awesome trip. The next day we disembarked early morning in Barcelona to board the flight to London and back to reality. Until next adventure!
Thanks so much to Celebrity Cruises and Great British Chefs for hosting this trip. all views are mine and I retained, as always,  full editorial control over this article.