Show 515, March 4, 2023: Chef Amar Santana of Vaca and Broadway. Cheftestant for Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 20 London Part One

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Bravo’s Top Chef” debuts its 20th season with “World All-Stars” in London, on Thursday evening, March 9th. The new season of the Emmy-winning series feature 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs will battle it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) will be one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants.

Chef Amar is a “Top Chef” veteran and characterized as a fierce competitor. In a spectacular and memorable finale he was judged the 1st runner up for “Top Chef” Season 13 – California narrowly missing the coveted top spot. He was then invited back for “Top Chef” Season 18 – Portland as a member of the elite judging panel.

Chef Amar takes a break from his busy kitchens to join us with a preview of “Top Chef” Season 20 – London.

Sail in style with Chef Amar on a premium Douro River Valley (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) cruise for 7 nights (starting November 5th.) around Porto, Portugal (the City of Bridges) on a Uniworld boutique river cruise. Also a visit to Spain’s glorious city of Salamanca. On-board cooking classes with Chef Amar will feature fresh, regional produce. Also learn the art of Spanish winemaking and Ports from Porto with visits to some of Chef Amar’s favorite wineries in the region featured on the Wine Lists at Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana.

Show 515, March 4, 2023: Chef Amar Santana of Vaca and Broadway. Cheftestant for Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 20 London Part Two

Amar Santana at the Finale of Top Chef

Bravo’s Top Chef” debuts its 20th season with “World All-Stars” in London, on Thursday evening, March 9th. The new season of the Emmy-winning series feature 16 of its greatest competitors, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. The chefs will battle it out throughout scenic London, before the grand finale in Paris. Orange County’s own Chef Amar Santana (Vaca adjacent to South Coast Plaza and Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach) will be one of the esteemed returning Cheftestants.

Chef Amar is a “Top Chef” veteran and characterized as a fierce competitor. In a spectacular and memorable finale he was judged the 1st runner up for “Top Chef” Season 13 – California narrowly missing the coveted top spot. He was then invited back for “Top Chef” Season 18 – Portland as a member of the elite judging panel.

Chef Amar takes another break from his busy kitchens to join us with a preview of “Top Chef” Season 20 – London.

Sail in style with Chef Amar on a premium Douro River Valley (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) cruise for 7 nights (starting November 5th.) around Porto, Portugal (the City of Bridges) on a Uniworld boutique river cruise. Also a visit to Spain’s glorious city of Salamanca. On-board cooking classes with Chef Amar will feature fresh, regional produce. Also learn the art of Spanish winemaking and Ports from Porto with visits to some of Chef Amar’s favorite wineries in the region featured on the Wine Lists at Vaca and Broadway by Amar Santana.

Show 479, June 18, 2022: Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, Head of Culinary Arts, Princess Cruises Part One

Rudi Sodamin

Chef Rudi Sodamin is the newly installed Head of Culinary Arts for Princess Cruises. Sodamin also serves as the Master Chef for sister line, Holland America Line.”

“Throughout his career, Sodamin has been the driving force behind revolutionizing culinary practices and elevating the perception of fine dining in the cruise industry. An internationally-respected food authority, Sodamin is likely the most highly-decorated chef working on the world’s oceans and is widely considered one of the most innovative, energetic, and influential chefs in the hospitality industry. Among his most recent accomplishments has been the highly successful launch of Rudi’s Sel de Mer restaurant onboard three Holland America Line’s ships.”

“I see food as the way to our guests’ hearts, and the individuals on the Princess Cruise culinary team bring great heart to what they do and take tremendous pride in their work,” said Sodamin “My goal is to grow that pride and lead the culinary workforce to new performance heights through innovative approaches to teamwork and creativity, collaboratively creating new signature interactive dining experiences, and motivating this talented team to new levels of culinary artistry.”

Chef Rudi Sodamin is our guest with a fresh Alaskan salmon at the ready.

Show 479, June 18, 2022: Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, Head of Culinary Arts, Princess Cruises Part Two

Rudi Sodamin

Chef Rudi Sodamin is the newly installed Head of Culinary Arts for Princess Cruises. Sodamin also serves as the Master Chef for sister line, Holland America Line.”

“Throughout his career, Sodamin has been the driving force behind revolutionizing culinary practices and elevating the perception of fine dining in the cruise industry. An internationally-respected food authority, Sodamin is likely the most highly-decorated chef working on the world’s oceans and is widely considered one of the most innovative, energetic, and influential chefs in the hospitality industry. Among his most recent accomplishments has been the highly successful launch of Rudi’s Sel de Mer restaurant onboard three Holland America Line’s ships.”

Alaska cruise season is on now through September. As part of Princess Cruises’ award-winning “North to Alaska program” Rudi oversees their “Wild for Alaska Seafood” effort. This industry-first, location-based seafood initiative features an extensive menu rotation of fresh Alaska seafood dishes, along with destination-inspired cocktails including flights of Alaska spirits sourced from local distilleries. Also on offer are hand-picked, sommelier selection premium wine pairings to go with Alaska seafood dishes.

Chef Rudi was aboard the newly launched Discovery Princess for the elaborate “Naming Ceremony” on April 29th in the Port of Los Angeles. Rudi discusses the wide variety of dining options abord the Discovery Princess. Included in the cruise fare are The Main Dining Rooms (Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan,) World Fresh Market buffet and Gigi’s Pizzeria. Specialty restaurants (with a modest cover charge) range from Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria (where all the pastas are prepared fresh daily) to Crown Grill (the fine-dining steakhouse.)

“I see food as the way to our guests’ hearts, and the individuals on the Princess Cruise culinary team bring great heart to what they do and take tremendous pride in their work,” said Sodamin “My goal is to grow that pride and lead the culinary workforce to new performance heights through innovative approaches to teamwork and creativity, collaboratively creating new signature interactive dining experiences, and motivating this talented team to new levels of culinary artistry.”

Chef Rudi Sodamin continues as our guest with a platter of Alaskan King Crab legs at the ready.

Show 295, October 27, 2018: Chef Pierre-Marie Leprince, Director Guest Culinary Experience, Princess Cruises

Pierre-Marie LeprinceDistinguised and honored chef Pierre-Marie Leprince, a native of Brittany, France, is Princess Cruises’ Director of Guest Culinary Experience. He has been honored as a “Master Chef of France.” He is only one of 4 chefs around the world associated with a cruise line to be so honored.

With Princess Cruises leading the way the glory days of distinctive dining at sea have returned. No matter what a guest might be craving, there is a delicious, freshly-prepared option available aboard each Princess Cruises ship.

We chatted with Chef Leprince earlier this year after visiting his well-equipped research kitchen in Santa Clarita for a tasting and he now encores with us to discuss our cruise dining experience aboard Ruby Princess.

Show 295, October 27, 2018: Kelly Rose, Entertainment Director, Ruby Princess, Princess Cruises

A relatively new position with the Princess Cruises’ family is the post of Entertainment Director. On Ruby Princess this is Kelly Rose. In the role of Entertainment Director she is responsible for the entire entertainment operation. The Cruise Director (a direct report) hosts the main shows or events.

In this new elevated position Kelly concentrates on all the administrative sides of the job and all guest entertainment schedules. She is moving around the vessel to watch how all venues are running. She also keeps a firm eye on overall guest satisfaction.

Show 98, November 22, 2014: Executive Chef John Suley, Celebrity Cruises

John Suley of Celebrity CruisesCelebrity Cruises and their executive chef, John Suley, are always innovating when it comes to dining on Celebrity’s modern fleet of 11 cruise ships. Now the coveted white truffle, “the diamond of the kitchen,” will be featured on very special menus on select Caribbean sailings in late November and early December.

Celebrity acquired two coveted white truffles (weighing 700 grams) at the recent World White Truffle Auction in Grinzane Cavour, Italy. The rare truffles are only available a few months of the year. Chef Suley returns to the show to talk about the mouthwatering dishes he’ll create which will showcase the extraordinary white truffles.

“Chef Suley and his culinary team will use the highly coveted truffles acquired at the auction to create an exclusive dining experience onboard Celebrity Equinox during a 10-night Caribbean cruise departing on Friday, Nov. 21st from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Truffle-themed dinners will be available onboard Celebrity ships for select Caribbean sailings in late November and early December.

Plus, the winning delicacies will also be featured at the James Beard Foundation’s legendary James Beard House in New York on Monday, Nov. 24th, for a special truffle-and-wine-pairing event.”

Show 92, October 11, 2014: Rene Tuinman, Hotel Director, ms Zaandam

ms Zaandam by Holland AmericaThe “SoCal Restaurant Show” was aboard Holland America Line’s ms Zaandam last week on the Vancouver, BC to San Diego sailing of a longer 22-day Inca Discovery Tour ending in Valparaiso, Chile. Over the next few weeks we’ll be giving you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the key people who oversee this 716 room floating luxury hotel with some 1,400 guests aboard.

A key manager aboard the ms Zaandam is the Hotel Director. He’s basically responsible for everything other than moving, navigating, and maintaining the ship. He actually supervises more of the 615 crew members aboard than the Captain! Think of a luxury hotel General Manager who also oversees the preparation and serving of over 8,000 meals per day ranging from the casual to fine-dining.

Rene is also responsible for housekeeping, the cabin attendants and Shore Excursions.