If you’ve always wanted to get a taste of Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone’s cuisine close to home; you’re in luck.
The 41-year-old California-based expat launched his new 125-seat cruise ship restaurant Share By Curtis Stone on three Princess Cruises liners.
Stone, who rose to fame as a regular on Oprah Winfrey, has restaurants only in the US — Gwen dining room and butcher, which opened in July on Sunset Boulevard in LA; and Maude in Beverly Hills.
Share is described as “a fresh approach to fine dining”.
Business Insider ate aboard the Emerald Princess recently, while the ship was berthed in Sydney. All three liners have slightly different menus.
Here’s a look at the meal:
Turn right, and the reception desk is stocked with Stone's cookbooks and crockery so it looks like your nan's sideboard.
He says 'I've shared family photographs for the walls and even selected the books on the shelves -- they're the same books you will find in my living room at home.'
It's a busy, organised mess, with lots of photos and mirrors and nooks and crannies, bookshelves, artifacts and knick-knacks to look at.
I can imagine wandering around the space to have a good sticky-beak with a small glass of Dow's 20-year old tawny port from Portugal would be a great way to digest after the meal. But I am getting ahead of myself.
It's $39 per person for 6 courses; one selection from each course of starter, salad, pasta, sea, land and dessert. Wine starts from about $10 for a glass of house red or white, and go all the way up to $480 for a bottle of Penfolds Grange.
There's San Daniele prosciutto with picked baby onions and castelvetrano olives. Tiny aromatic mustard seeds pack a huge punch that risks drowning out the subtle prosciutto. The braided bread was a nice touch.
Plump, chewy pasta pieces swam in a ricotta-based soup with whole roasted sunchokes, pickled beets, shavings of rich Castelmagno blue cheese and brussels sprout leaves. Sunchoke is a type of Jerusalem artichoke.
This dish was charred, crisp and wonderful. The creamy soup was rich and decadent -- definitely not something you'd eat every day.
Lightly seared scallops sat astride a sesame and chickpea puree that tasted like the most heavenly, creamy hummus, garnished with feta, capers and za'atar spice mix.
A seared and sliced New York steak steak sat on top of a sunchoke puree, braised leeks and crisp onions for our land course. It was cooked to a perfectly pink medium-rare.
The puree had a slightly sour artichoke taste with a faint tomato flavour.
For the most important course, a sweet toffee cheesecake was drizzled with a surprisingly tart red wine reduction, crisp red apple chip, raisins and macerated grapes. The cheesecake teetered on the edge of being too sweet, but the reduction and unusual texture of the grapes brought it back from being cloying. After the meal finished, we realised our table had missed out on salad. At least that left room for dessert.
It's 290 metres long, has 19 decks, 4 pools with 7 whirlpool spas and has a crew of 1200 to service 3,082 passengers staying in 1,539 rooms.
It's huge. Cardio machines line the floor to ceiling windows, and around to the left there is a large fitness studio where I'm told classes like aerobics, yoga and pilates are held several times a day.
Including a burger and hot dog grill, pizzeria, gastropub, crabshack, ice-cream bar and buffet restaurant. This is one of the lounge bars.
A season of 'Magic To Do' -- a full-length musical adaption of Broadway hit songs -- was playing.
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