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The story behind the culinary story

Even though I studied business management, first and foremost I am a trained cook. I also startet on the Royal Viking Star as a cook on the saucier post in 1983.

My first year of apprenticeship in Mellau, Austria 1972.


You would hardly believe it. Food and dishes can tell stories. Especially behind the historical names of dishes often hide very interesting happenings.

Food brings people together, they say. Often people remember it fondly years later.


I ate my first baked potato with sour cream in an Argentinian steakhouse in Stuttgart, Germany in 1974. I saw the first salad buffet and spare ribs at the 'Down Town' in Innsbruck, Austria during my time in the army in 1976. These dishes were foreign to us then. By the way in the seventies we had escargots, frog legs and even turtle soup out of a little gold- colored tin on the menu at the Inn in our little valley in Austria. Crazy.


While waiting for the food, you can ask yourself why a filet Wellington is named that way or what the rice has to do with the Trautmannsdorff Castle in Merano, Italy.


Beef Tartare.

As already described in earlier reports, I began my cooking apprenticeship in 1972 at the Gasthof Adler in Mellau, Austria. At that time Beef Tartare was the big hit in the whole valley of Bregenzerwald. Tatar, Tartar or Tartare, there are different spellings. On our menu you could order it dressed and not dressed and it was always served with toast.

Well, my dear blogger friends. Have you ever wondered, who invented it and why tartare?

Auguste Escoffier had the great idea in 1921 to chop fillet steak and serve it raw with all kinds of spices and sauce tartare. Beef Tartare is named after the Asian steppe people of the Tatars, who are said to have ridden raw pieces of meat crumbly under their saddles. We'll spare ourselves that today and stick entirely to Escoffier, who created a slightly less strenuous version that went around the world and is still omnipresent on menus around the world.

Who was Auguste Escoffier?

Escoffier was a French Chef and lived from 1846 to 1935. He is considered the father of modern French cuisine.

Around 1890, he took over the kitchens of the then world-famous Savoy Hotel in London.

The Savoy Hotel on the banks of the Thames in London.

In 1898, the Grandhotel Ritz Hotel opened in Paris. Escoffier was entrusted with the kitchen direction. His regular guests followed him faithfully and the Ritz in Paris became a huge success.

The Grandhotel Ritz at Place Vendome in Paris.

The Pear Helene and the dessert Peach Melba were also created by the great master Escoffier.


Why Ritz? Who or what is it?

César Ritz was born in 1850 as the 13th child of a mountain farming family in Niederwald, Valais, Switzerland

Niederwald today.

As a boy, Ritz tended his father's sheep. After school, he began an apprenticeship as a sommelier in a hotel near Brig, Switzerland at the age of 15. It wasn't the big break. "You'll never make it," his boss said when he left. "You need a special flair in the hotel business and - excuse me for saying this - you don't have it."

That didn't discourage the 17-year-old Ritz, who admitted to having "a lot of ambition but not much money." He went to Paris, where he worked as a waiter and ended up at Voisin, the hottest restaurant of the day where celebrities gathered.

He had an excellent memory and made it his business to find out what a guest liked: What food, what wine, what music. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, once said, "Ritz, you know better than I do, what I like. Just put together a dinner to my taste."

Ritz later returned to Switzerland to manage the Hotel Rigi Kulm and the Grand Hotel National, both overlooking Lake Lucerne. There, his skills and attention to detail were noticed and recognized.

From then on, he managed Swiss hotels in the summer, and in the winter he followed his clientele from European high society to the Mediterranean, where he managed hotels in Nice, San Remo and Monte Carlo.

Cesar Ritz

In Monte Carlo, he discovered the talent of French Chef Auguste Escoffier, now considered the father of French cuisine. He asked him to manage the kitchen of the new Grand Hôtel in 1880. In 1887, they opened a restaurant together in Baden-Baden, Germany, and moved to London for about ten years, where they managed the Savoy and then the Carlton.

In 1898, the world's first truly luxurious hotel - the Hôtel Ritz - opened on Place Vendôme in Paris. It was followed by the Ritz Hotel in London in 1905 and the Ritz Hotel in Madrid a year later.

Cesar Ritz, Max Pyffer (Swiss architect) and Auguste Escoffier.

When Auguste Escoffier was a chef at the Ritz in Paris, he employed a young Vietnamese man as a kitchen assistant. He later called himself Ho Chi Minh.

That was probably too much capitalism for the young Asian. He was later founder and leader of the communist party in Vietnam. He won the long lasting war against the USA and Saigon is called Hoh Chi Minh City since then.

I always say. You can make a career in the hospitality industry.


Caesar's Salad

In December 1983 I started as a cook on the luxury cruise ship Royal Viking Star . From then on, I also got to know the American cuisine that we so disdained.

Mr. Riezler in the Bergen Lounge on the Norwegian Grand Buffet in charge of carving the 'Steamship' on the Christmas Cruise.

I made my first bow when I enjoyed a Caesar's salad on the ship. I first saw the dark green, crisp romaine lettuce then. Caesar's Salad could be ordered by our passengers as a 'Special Order' and was prepared at the table (including the marinade) by the head waiter at dinner.

For the dressing, whisk an egg yolk with olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, anchovy fillets, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan cheese, salt and freshly ground pepper to form an emulsion, just like a mayonnaise. Romaine lettuce leaves are mixed with the dressing and sprinkled with croutons toasted in garlic oil and Parmesan shavings.


But who is or was Caesar?

The Italian-American Cesare Cardini first operated Caesar's Place restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. Located on the U.S. border (south of San Diego in Southern California), the city was particularly frequented by U.S. citizens during the Prohibition era, as serving alcohol was legal in Mexico. According to Cardini's daughter Rosa, on July 4, 1924, the American national holiday, there was a run on the restaurant that the kitchen could hardly cope with. The chef decided to offer a new dish, the Caesar Salad, based on the salad that was still plentiful.

Cardini moved in 1930 to his newly built Hotel Caesar's nearby, which became a popular meeting place for Hollywood stars such as Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and W. C. Fields.


Already in my 2nd contract with Royal Viking Line, I bought romaine lettuce seeds in Anchorage, Alaska and took them home. My mom grew the lettuce and it grew like any other lettuce.

When we have romaine lettuce at the vegetable wholesaler from time to time, it is definitely not the same variety as in the USA. Most of the time you have to resort to other leaf lettuces, which of course do not give the same result.

A tip from me. A good variation is young fresh spinach. With it, you can make a very tasty alternative with a Caesar marinade.


I also found out in the galley onboard the Royal Viking Star, that the Frankfurter Würstchen are also called Franks in the United States. What the US citizens probably don't know is the following: In Vienna, Austria the little sausages are called Frankfurter Würstchen, however in the city of Frankfurt, Germany they are called Wiener (Vienna) Würstchen. Food is really a funny subject.



I made an even deeper bow to American cuisine when I learned about the wide variety of hot and cold sandwiches available daily as an alternative main course at lunch on Royal Viking Line.

My favorite sandwich to this day is the club sandwich with fries.

Recipe for 4 people:

12 slices of toast (whole wheat toast is fine), 12 slices of breakfast bacon, 12 slices of chicken breast fillet, 12 slices of cucumber, 2 hard-boiled eggs, 8 leaves of lettuce, 1 tomato.

about 100 g mayonnaise, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, salt, pepper.


How did it all start with the sandwich?

The snack owes its name to John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was a famous English statesman around the middle of the 18th century. He is said to have been a fanatical card player and because he didn't want to interrupt his game because of a meal, he is said to have ordered that his meal simply be placed between two slices of bread. He could then comfortably eat that on the side without having to put down his cards. His fellow players found this quite practical and then also asked for bread "like sandwiches". A later biographer of the Earl, however, has corrected this version somewhat in favor of the nobleman: not because of the card game, but because he was so busy as a statesman, he is said to have asked for the sandwich.


Welsh Rarebit (or Rabbit)

Another dish that we had on the lunch menu at Royal Viking Line was Welsh Rarebit. I always thought what a funny name that was.

This dish is a total misnomer: It contains no rabbit, and might not even be from Wales. It turns out, calling something "Welsh" in 17th and 18th century Britain was actually a way of saying that it was of poor quality—a rather snide jab at the country of Wales itself. So by this theory, a "Welsh Rabbit"—as this dish was initially called, according to the Oxford Dictionary—would be a rabbit dish where the ingredients were so poor, there was no meat in it at all. It's dry British humor at its finest.

And for those of you who've never had the pleasure, Welsh Rarebit, is actually a fondue-like cheese sauce over toasted bread. And if you ask me, it's pretty decadent.


The Lobster Show.

On the three Royal Viking Line ships, according to old tradition, there was the Captain's Gala Dinner on the first day at sea in the evening.

Then fresh lobster was on the menu. But not just any lobster. Only the best was good enough. It had to be the two and a half pound cold water lobster caught off the coast of the U.S. state of Maine, halved to make two nice portions. This was flown live around the world, no matter where the Royal Viking Line ships happened to be.

Out of 720 passengers, around 600 always ordered lobster. That was our experience. So we usually ordered 320 lobsters.

The Captain's Gala Menu.

It was prepared classically, thrown alive into salted water, then halved and served with wild rice, green asparagus with hollandaise sauce. It was served with melted butter and half a lemon.

The kitchen brigade of the Royal Viking Sky.

The lobster show took place in the soup kitchen. The pressure vessels were filled with the fire hoses, as they supplied sea water.

The hot bath begins.

Service for 720 passengers.

Black turns to red.

The Lobster Show is done.

We always had many Jewish guests on board. A Jewish commandment says not to eat anything that crawls on the ground. But our Reformed US Jews did not consider the bottom of the sea to be the ground.


Crêpes Suzette

Probably the most famous flambé dessert classic par excellence. Unfortunately, you can hardly get it here anymore. It requires trained service staff, a serving trolley and guests who have a little time on their hands.

At Royal Viking Line, pampered regulars liked to order crêpes Suzette, which were then prepared at the table by the head waiter.

Headwaiter Roman Feurstein from Mellau, Austria onboard the Royal Viking Star.

Crêpes is already clear, that are paper-thin pancakes, but why Suzette?

Crêpe Suzette is a French dessert. It is a thin crêpe in an orange liqueur-orange juice sauce that is flambéed. Besides curaçao, Grand Marnier or similar orange liqueurs are also used.

The recipe was allegedly invented by accident. The most famous anecdote describes that on January 31, 1896, the British Crown Prince, later King Edward VII, was a guest at the legendary Café de Paris in Monte Carlo. The 14-year-old apprentice cook Henri Charpentier was doing his apprenticeship there and was supposed to make pancakes for him and 18 guests at the table on the occasion of a New Year's Eve celebration. But while Charpentier was preparing the sauce, a liqueur suddenly caught fire. The apprentice didn't make a face, inconspicuously tasted whether it tasted good, dipped the crêpes into the inflamed marinade, added more liqueur and sugar, and explained to the astonished prince that this was a new recipe. Edward tasted and was delighted.

Spontaneously, Charpentier is said to have invented the title Crêpes Princesse in honor of the then Prince of Wales, who flatteringly waved it off, saying instead the crêpes should bear the name of his beautiful companion - and that was Suzette that day. Charpentier later worked in renowned hotels, even learned from the great master chef Auguste Escoffier - and became personal chef to John D. Rockefeller.


Waldorf Salad.

This salad even made it over the Atlantic and during my apprenticeship we had it on the menu sometimes.

The original Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

The Waldorf salad, which features apples, celery, grapes, and chopped walnuts over a bed of greens, is named after the establishment that birthed it: the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. According to The New York Times, the dish was dreamed up by maitre-d'hotel Oscar Tschirky. When the hotel served it at a charity ball for Saint Mary's Hospital for Children in 1893, it was met with rave reviews. Today, it's still served at the Waldorf and on menus all over the country.

But for all your food lovers out there, I have another dish, that was first created in the kitchen of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It happens to be one of my absolute favorites.


Eggs Bendedict.

You're hardly alone if you thought Eggs Benedict was named after famed traitor Arnold Benedict or Pope Benedict XIII. According to Atlas Obscura, this brunch staple got its name from Lemuel Benedict, a wealthy playboy of the Gilded Age who ordered the components of the meal on one (presumably hungover) morning at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Benedict's original request included regular bacon instead of the Canadian bacon we've come to expect on today's menus. But the maître-d'hotel, Oscar Tschirky—the same man who came up with the Waldorf salad—tinkered with the recipe to create the dish as we know it.

A poached egg laying on Canadian bacon and an English muffin, topped with sauce Hollandaise.

On Silversea Cruises we served it with a garnish of smoked salmon and caviar.


Confrérie de la Châine de Rôtisseur.

La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1950. The Chaîne is based on the traditions and practices of the old French Royal Guild of Roose Roasters, whose authority gradually expanded to the roasting of all poultry, meat, and game. It is dedicated to the culinary arts, promoting and developing their gastronomic values, while at the same time widening its focus to table art.

In 1988 the Royal Viking Star was overnight in Hong Kong. That evening some of us got knighted. We were admitted by the Hong Kong chapter of the Châine de Rôtisseur and had a nice dinner.

Top service was provided by these gentlemen.

Me together with the service team.

Roman, Freddy, Francis, Roland and Massimo.

Sous Chef Manfred Schönleitner.

I got inducted. Next to me Captain Jan Fjell-Hansen.

The Dinner table.

The new members. Sous Chef Manfred Schönleitner, Executive Chef Peter Leypold, Maitre d' Hotel Sigi Hirschmann, Chief Steward Trainee Theo Savva and Chief Steward Klaus Riezler.


Paul Bocuse

In 1987, Royal Viking Line decided to commission a new ship. The Royal Viking Sun was built in Turku, Finland in 1988. That spring I was working on a special project in the main office in San Francisco. We had a Culinary Director in the main office at that time, Daniel Durand from France. He was in charge of menu planning for the entire fleet and was boss of the chefs on board.

During that time, the Vice President Hotel Operations Erling Frydenberg moved to the newly formed cruise line Crystal Cruises. He was replaced by the Director Operations, Frenchman Christian Sauleau.

Now Daniel Durand had an ally and could unpack his old idea again.

He wanted an alternative restaurant on the new ship, run by Paul Bocuse. Guests were to pay extra for it and could make one reservation per cruise. There was to be a fixed menu, with no alternatives.

The Chef of the century Paul Bocuse.

I was present at the decisive meeting in San Francisco. My concerns were not taken into account at that time. I knew our passengers all too well. Royal Viking Line had a very high standard of food quality at that time. I couldn't imagine that guests would pay extra to visit the Royal Grill. I also knew that a fixed menu was not the way to go.

Finally, long after the keel was laid, the Royal Grill was commissioned from the shipyard. A restaurant with a kitchen on the upper deck. Some of our chefs were now allowed to travel to Lyon and learn the trade in the hallowed halls of Paul Bocuse.

The Royal Viking Sun left Finland in December 1988 and made a stopover in London. There was a huge party there, with Princess Anne and Dynasty beast Joan Collins on board. After a smooth Atlantic crossing, the ship was christened in San Francisco by movie star James Steward and his wife Barbara.

The Royal Grill with waiter Philippe Brébant.

Waiter Philippe Brébant and Paul Bocuse.

Business at the Royal Grill was very slow from the beginning. The guests paid 45 US dollars for the menu in the beginning, later this was reduced and in the end the guests were invited. Eventually, the Royal Grill became a fitness studio. Of course, Paul Bocuse was hardly ever on board, but we were allowed to use his great name.

The menu of the Royal Grill.



The Roman family Antonio Lefebvre d'Ovidio belongs to the old Italian landed gentry. Antonio Lefebvre commissioned a small luxurious cruise ship, which entered service in 1994. The ship had a capacity of 300 guests and 250 crew members. The Silver Cloud has only outside suites with balconies, the bathrooms are made of marble and almost all drinks and gratuity are included in the ticket price.

Silver Cloud.

The ship was initially equipped with hotel management from the former Cunard Line. However, they could not bring the desired success. My former boss was hired as Vice President for the Monaco office and I as Hotel Director. This was in spring of 1995 when the sister ship, the Silver Wind was just being completed.

The ship had a beautiful self-service restaurant on the upper deck that was very popular with guests at breakfast and lunch. In the evening, however, the Terrace Cafe was closed.

Terrace Cafe.

I made a concept in which authentic menus from different Italian regions were offered on five evenings per cruise. These menus were then also served, because there was to be no self-service in the evenings.

Our Roman owner family was a great help. Through their contacts, we soon had a fruitful collaboration with two of the most legendary hotels in Italy.

The Cipriani Hotel in Venice.

The Villa d'Este at Lake Como.

Now some of our chefs were allowed to learn the finer points of Italian cuisine there and we were able to take off with our concept.


But what does that have to do with carpaccio?

A lot.

In the fall of 1950, Contessa Amalia Nani Mocenigo walked into her favorite restaurant, Harry's Bar, in Venice. But on this day, she ordered only a glass of water and sipped it gloomily. Giuseppe Cipriani, the head of the house, wanted to know what was bothering her. The Contessa's doctor had put her on a strict diet that forbade boiled and fried meat, so all of Harry's specialties were off limits to her. The chef went to the kitchen and returned shortly with a large plate. Paper-thin slices of raw beef tenderloin, fanned out and served with a white sauce.

According to Cipriani's original recipe, to prepare it, strongly cooled (never frozen) fillet of beef is cut raw with a very sharp knife into very thin slices, salted, peppered and set aside for a few minutes. The meat is served with a cold sauce made of mayonnaise, Worcester sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper and a little milk (so that the sauce is not too thick). This sauce was not invented especially for the carpaccio, but was common in Harry's Bar before.

And how did it get the name? Ciprani thought of the Venetian Renaissance artist Vittore Carpaccio, whose paintings were on display in Venice, when arranging the red meat and white sauce. His paintings contained mostly red and white paint, so Cipriani dedicated his spontaneous creation to the famous painter.

Painting by Vittore Carpaccio 1465 - 1525, Early Renaissance.


The now world-famous Harry's Bar in Venice was opened in 1931 by Giuseppe Cipriani. Its namesake was the young U.S. student Harry Pickering. Pickering came to Venice in the 1920s with an aunt to combat his incipient alcoholic illness, but was jilted by that same aunt after an argument - penniless. Giuseppe Cipriani, then working as a barman at the hotel where Pickering resided, took pity on the young man and lent him 10,000 lire - a considerable sum for the time - to enable him to return to the U.S.A. A few years later, the young man, now cured of alcoholism, returned to Venice, sought out Cipriani and not only returned his money but also gave him another 30,000 lire to enable him to set up his own business. Cipriani opened his bar on May 13, 1931, naming it "Harry's Bar" in honor of his backer. Very soon the bar became famous for its cocktails and many small dishes.

Harry's Bar in Venice.


The Bellini was invented in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, the head bartender at Harry's Bar. He named the cocktail Bellini because of its pink color, which reminded Cipriani of the color of a saint's robe in a painting by painter Giovanni Bellini. The drink became a seasonal specialty at Harry's Bar in Venice, one of the favorite venues of Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis and Orson Welles. The original recipe uses white peach pulp and juice from Verona, crushed rather than blended, mixed slowly with Prosecco to avoid excessive gas loss, and served in a flute.

Painting by Bellini.

Giuseppe Cipriani's family became very wealthy and later owned other hotels in Venice besides the Cipriano Hotel.


Fettuccine Alfredo.

One thing I learnt from my Italien friends. Nobody in Italy knows a pasta, called Alfredo.

The dish we know as fettuccine Alfredo was almost "fettuccine Ines." According to Italy Magazine, Italian restaurateur Alfredo di Lelio first made the butter and Parmesan pasta dish in 1908 for his wife, Ines, when she struggled to regain her strength after giving birth.

Di Lelio later added the item to the menu at his restaurant in Rome, where two famous American silent film movie stars—Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks—tried it and brought the recipe home with them. And though we've come to call it "fettuccine Alfredo" in the states, the dish is known as "fettuccine al burro" or "fettuccine burro e Parmigiano" in Italy. (Just in case it wasn't clear, yes, "burro" means butter.)


Poisson Cru.

In the fall of 1998, the young cruise line Seven Seas Cruises asked me to fly to Tahiti for a few months on the Paul Gauguin to check things out. There were some problems there and guest satisfaction had recently dropped. I accepted this troubleshooter function and flew to the other side of the globe in the South Pacific.

The Paul Gauguin usually made week-long cruises around the French Society Islands, with an occasional detour to the Marquesas Islands. There is also the burial place of the painter Paul Gauguin.

The weekly schedule with departure on Saturday evening from Papeete.



The Paul Gauguin has a so-called fold-out Marina, a platform at the stern that can be used for water sports activities. In addition, a professional diving instructor offers diving courses. I made it there in 4 months to a scuba diver with several PADI certificates, owned to our Instructor Henri from Quebec, Canada.

A Bregenzerwälder in the South Pacific.

A tingling adventure. Shark feeding before my eyes at a depth of about 30 meters.

Bora Bora.


The cruise company has leased a small island in this area called Motu Mahana. The Motu is deserted and only the operating family lives on the island. This family had to set up the deck chairs, prepare the bar and start the grill every Thursday.

Motu Mahana.

After a few weeks I had made friends with the family on the Motu. Once I was invited to lunch. There was Poisson Cru. A delicious dish in this heat. The tuna had been caught in the morning. The son climbed a palm tree and brought down two coconuts. The fish was finely sliced, marinated with sea salt, coconut water and lime juice, finished with carrot strings and fresh coriander and that was it.

In Latin-American countries this dish is known as ceviche.

Poisson Cru.

Our bar service in front of the motu in the water.






The Paul Gauguin still works with the starred chef Jean-Pierre Vigato from Paris. The latter runs the restaurant Apicius in Paris, which had 3 Michelin stars when I was there.

The Apicius in Paris.

At our alternative restaurant on the Paul Gauguin, you could make a reservation and then enjoy the Vigato menu.

The Vigato Restaurant on the Paul Gauguin.

Decadence and madness.

The Vigato menu called for fresh North Sea cod in an intermediate course, which was already fished out at the time and correspondingly expensive. Our 20 kg weekly delivery was flown around the world from Oslo to Papeete week after week. The CO2 footprint sends its regards. Of course I denounced this immediately and put pressure on them. Our head office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida contacted Monsieur Vigato. But the Primadonna master did not agree to any changes in the menu.


Dishes without assignment.

Dishes can always be assigned somehow. Be it geographically or historically.

In 2000, I was project manager for the Seven Seas Mariner, which was to be built in France. According to the latest trend, we already needed five different restaurants to choose from for our 750-guest ship. Fleet Executive Chef Bernhard Klotz and I had already fixed the main dining room, the pool grill, the self-service restaurant and the posh French restaurant.

I really wanted something new that didn't exist before. I wanted a restaurant that was unclassifiable. The architecture should not give away where you were and the menu certainly not.

Our Norwegian interior designer, Fleet Executive Chef Bernhard and I agreed on the 'Latitudes' after several meetings. Latitude is latitude, sounds nautical and can be anywhere. That was the name for our crazy restaurant. Unfortunately, I can't find a photo that shows our restaurant.

Latitudes was a small restaurant with 60 seats. The entrance was kind of Japanese, the colorful windows could have come from a trattoria in Sorrento, the black masks on the walls maybe from Ghana, Africa etc.

All the dishes were practically 'invented' by our great chefs.

I still have pictures of the first menu:




Seafood main course on ice.


Latitudes was very popular with guests. During the last upgrade of the Mariner, all restaurants were overhauled and structurally changed.


Fusion cuisine.

Who is merging with whom here?

In 1998, I was traveling with the Silver Wind as Hotel Director in Vietnam.

The Silver Wind.

On the way to Da Nang, our doctor called me around noon that an elderly gentleman had just suffered a stroke and needed to get to a hospital as soon as possible. The captain pushed the envelope and we arrived in Da Nang at 4:00 pm instead of 8:00 pm. We made all the arrangements and our sick guest was immediately taken to a hospital.

The Dragon Bridge of Da Nang.

We stayed overnight in Da Nang and I went to dinner with some colleagues. There I experienced real fusion cuisine for the first time. Due to the decades of French rule in Indochina, a very special cuisine had formed there. To bring it briefly to the point: Boullabaisse, yes, but with an Asian touch. I was really impressed by it at the time. In addition, they served baguettes with the fish soup.

The next morning, around 7:30 am, two uniformed gentlemen came into my office. They told me that our passenger had died in the hospital during the night. I then informed the wife and the son and wife who were traveling with us. The guests from California were very composed and asked me to arrange the transfer formalities to California.

Around 9:00 am our port agent came on board and told me that our patient was doing much better? Now we sent our doctor to the hospital. He came back and confirmed that the guest was no longer in critical condition. Now it was up to me again to inform the family. The family was totally pissed off, not so much about the misinformation, more so that the dad was still alive.

By the way, the movie 'Indochine' with Catherine Deneuve shows very well the interaction of the French and the Vietnamese, not only in eating.

Halong Bay, Vietnam.


From 2002 to 2005, I had operated the Gasthaus Adler in Egg, Grossdorf, Austria. I have never forgotten the fusion cuisine of Vietnam. Soon there was also in the Adler an Indochina week with delicacies of the finest.

The beautiful very old local Inn, I had carefully renovated and turned it into a gourmet restaurant.


As always, the best part comes at the end.

Any cruise end is celebrated with the Baked Alaska on parade. With this dish I will also finish off my little food and drink story.

Baked Alaska.

This dessert dish consists of cake and ice cream enveloped in meringue, then brûléed on the outside. The unlikely baking method was conceived by an 18th-century scientist named Sir Benjamin Thompson.

Thompson was the first to realize that the air bubbles in the meringue protected and preserved the temperature of the ice cream inside. His method for the "Omelette Norwegge," the treat's name at the time, was later adopted by Charles Ranhofer, a Parisian chef working at Delmonico's in New York. Ranhofer had a penchant for making subtle cultural commentary with his food.

As the legend goes, after the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867, Ranhofer came up with a nickname for the dish: "Alaska, Florida," a play on the contrasting temperatures of the dessert. The name "Baked Alaska" stuck and evolved into the treat we know and love today.


In this sense - Bon appétit and Cheers.


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All my blog posts are free of charge. But I would be very happy about a visit to my little bar in Egg, Großdorf.

Klaus Riezler.



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1 Comment

Klaus - you have a wonderful talent for telling the "story"!!! I so enjoyed this one having worked onboard the RVL ships - in addition to other positions with the company. That is where I learned all about fine dining and my whole world changed! I do recall the wonderful tableside preparations of Caesar Salad, Crepes Suzette and the dramatic Baked Alaska on parade. And the wonderful memories of the Paul Gauguin and French Polynesia - I followed Mark Conroy to Radisson Seven Seas in 95 and was with RSSC until 2010.Latitudes was my favorite restaurant - everything was PERFECT!!! I still love traveling the world and discovering new cuisines and tastes. Thanks for the trip down memory lane an…

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