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Is America's Test Kitchen leavin HAL

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We recently returned from an Alaskan Cruise (Westerdam), and picked up the newest (April 2020-April 2021) Cruise Planner and nowhere in it can I find any reference to America's Test Kitchen. On page  15 and 22 they speak  "Port to Table"-onboard cooking demos, tastings, wine pairings etc. I will be very disappointed if the ATC-HAL partnership has come to an end, and if ATC is pairing with another cruise line it may be time to make a change.

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I much preferred the guest chefs than ATK; however, no one gives out any samples anymore, so I quit going.  For those of you wondering, some cruises had featured chefs.  Last one I saw was in 2010, so it's been a long time ago.  More recently, before ATK, a chef from one of the specialty restaurants would demonstrate some techniques with various recipes, but eventually this idea was phased out too.  Now, it's ATK, and I haven't seen anything on HAL's website that would indicate Seattle is severing its ties with this group. 

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4 minutes ago, sevenseasnomad said:

I much preferred the guest chefs than ATK; however, no one gives out any samples anymore, so I quit going.  For those of you wondering, some cruises had featured chefs.  Last one I saw was in 2010, so it's been a long time ago.  More recently, before ATK, a chef from one of the specialty restaurants would demonstrate some techniques with various recipes, but eventually this idea was phased out too.  Now, it's ATK, and I haven't seen anything on HAL's website that would indicate Seattle is severing its ties with this group. 

 

I was lucky enough to be on two cruises with a guest chef. The class was fun, and both times we had a great group, with everyone pitching in and working together well despite having just met. The best part was lunch after the class and time to talk with the professional chef. ATK has the same few classes all the time. I know how to cook eggs and I have no intention of making my own pasta. It was more fun when we made an actual meal. Not worth the time or money now IMO. It's another example of HAL trying to piggy-back on the popularity of another entity.

 

 

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I enjoy learning about cooking and different foods.  I do cook (I make a very good Meat Loaf and  Vegetable Beef Soup if I do say so myself).😀

 

ATK has worn out its welcome as far as I am concerned.  I stopped attending when the demonstrations being presented were the same as what I had previously attended.  Salmon again!🙁

 

I also enjoyed the culinary events when the PG Chef would demonstrate the preparation of some of the PG dishes and samples would be served.  That now seems to be partly replaced by the Sip and Savor events where PG produced items are usually served along with spending $5 for a glass of the Cellar Master's chosen red or white wine.

 

Participating in a cooking class is a 5 Star Mariner benefit, but I have never used that.  As a solo cruiser most of the time, I would need a team mate from what little I know to use this perk.  

Edited by rkacruiser

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8 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

I enjoy learning about cooking and different foods.  I do cook (I make a very good Meat Loaf and  Vegetable Beef Soup if I do say so myself).😀

 

ATK has worn out its welcome as far as I am concerned.  I stopped attending when the demonstrations being presented were the same as what I had previously attended.  Salmon again!🙁

 

I also enjoyed the culinary events when the PG Chef would demonstrate the preparation of some of the PG dishes and samples would be served.  That now seems to be partly replaced by the Sip and Savor events where PG produced items are usually served along with spending $5 for a glass of the Cellar Master's chosen red or white wine.

 

Participating in a cooking class is a 5 Star Mariner benefit, but I have never used that.  As a solo cruiser most of the time, I would need a team mate from what little I know to use this perk.  

 

I am not 5 star, so I had to pay for the class, but I went by myself, no problem going solo.

 

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2 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I am not 5 star, so I had to pay for the class, but I went by myself, no problem going solo.

 

 

Were you a team of one?  Or were you paired with someone?

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6 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Were you a team of one?  Or were you paired with someone?

 

We were grouped into teams of 3 or 4, each given something to prepare. Everyone just divided up the work to do their recipe. The first time, I was surprised at how easily teams shared tasks. It felt like I'd been cooking with the others for ages. Second time it was the same way. Now that I think about it, we were almost all singles, not couples, at the class. I think the cook in the family goes to the class and the non-cook doesn't. 

 

It may be different now with ATK. I haven't done any of their classes.

 

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I wouldn’t be sorry to see ATK go. I did attend 2 of the demos on Zaandam and that was 1 too many. It was just too cookie cutter and slick, (“now let’s go to the ATK”...... (video blurb begins and ATK theme plays) and way too much like watching the TV show (which I seldom do anymore at home). Maria, the ATK host, had a great style of presentation, but for me, watching her presentation style was the only highlight.

 

I really enjoyed it when they had a HAL cook present a HAL recipe and chit chat with the CD. That was always fresh and interesting. 

 

If if it’s going, I wonder what they will replace it with....

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1 minute ago, TiogaCruiser said:

If if it’s going, I wonder what they will replace it with....

 

What they should replace it with is the comedy show that Princess has used for many years.  The Executive Chef and the Maitre d' are center stage with the Chef preparing a dish.  The Maitre d' provides commentary and the comments between the two of them (along with their actions) are better than many comedians that are employed for "entertainment".  A pastry chef usually then joins them and adds additional "spice".  There are a few crew members from the galley and the MDR on stage right and one can see them "snickering/laughing" at the antics of the Chef and Maitre d'.

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2 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

What they should replace it with is the comedy show that Princess has used for many years.  The Executive Chef and the Maitre d' are center stage with the Chef preparing a dish.  The Maitre d' provides commentary and the comments between the two of them (along with their actions) are better than many comedians that are employed for "entertainment".  A pastry chef usually then joins them and adds additional "spice".  There are a few crew members from the galley and the MDR on stage right and one can see them "snickering/laughing" at the antics of the Chef and Maitre d'.

Sign me up!

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1 minute ago, TiogaCruiser said:

Sign me up!

 

It has been a staple on every Princess Cruise I have ever sailed.  It is held in the morning followed by the Galley Tour.

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What is the cost for ATK on Zaandam and is the cost to participate or just to watch the demonstration?

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Hands on workshop was, I think $30.00...and you get an ATK apron. The demonstrations are free

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From a personal perspective I really hope they give ATK the boot.  As Europeans we found it more than useless.  On a Med cruise they were demonstrating Spanish cooking and featured 'Patatas Bravas' as the dish.  Chef says you must use Yukon Gold potatoes for it!  Hello, what part of the Yukon is Spanish? You don't get Yukon Gold spuds in Europe, so why would they be part of a Spanish staple? 

Youtube would be better than ATK.

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16 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

From a personal perspective I really hope they give ATK the boot.  As Europeans we found it more than useless.  On a Med cruise they were demonstrating Spanish cooking and featured 'Patatas Bravas' as the dish.  Chef says you must use Yukon Gold potatoes for it!  Hello, what part of the Yukon is Spanish? You don't get Yukon Gold spuds in Europe, so why would they be part of a Spanish staple? 

Youtube would be better than ATK.

 

+1 🤙

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+2

 

They lost me when the presentation was about kicking up tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches and the opening statements included calling basil an exotic spice that one should become familiar with.

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I found an article on Travel Pulse that mentions the ATK leaving  "This program will phase out at the end of the year, being replaced with a similar series called Port to Table." It looks like HAL already has this on Maasdam.

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I have been complaining about ATK since shortly after they were started.  The chef demos were so much more interesting!  I asked a question about high altitude adjustment for a recipe (ATK) was trying to make - the answer was "just do what you do for other recipes"...…….I stopped going a couple of years ago.  I hope they take their series off the TVs also.  

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I love Americas Test Kitchen and all the shows are SRO. Why drop something that is so popular on each of the ships I have been on, since it was introduced a few years ago.

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12 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

What they should replace it with is the comedy show that Princess has used for many years.  The Executive Chef and the Maitre d' are center stage with the Chef preparing a dish.  The Maitre d' provides commentary and the comments between the two of them (along with their actions) are better than many comedians that are employed for "entertainment".  A pastry chef usually then joins them and adds additional "spice".  There are a few crew members from the galley and the MDR on stage right and one can see them "snickering/laughing" at the antics of the Chef and Maitre d'.

 

Yes! Cunard does this, too, going all the way back to QE2. Last one I went to on QM2, they were doing "sugar work," showing how they make the blown sugar and pulled sugar decorations. Not something you'd be likely to do at home, but interesting and entertaining, and I think they wanted to do something out of the ordinary for the Christmas cruise. It wasn't meant to be a comedy, but the chef de cuisine (? head chef?) at the time was a natural entertainer. The deomos are always fun to watch. The silliness quotient varies with the personalities involve, but they all know how to connect with an audience and manage to entertain without losing the info about cooking. And they do give out recipes. 

 

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Years ago they used to have competitions between a chef and the captain, or between the CD and/or chef/captain.  They were really fun to watch.

 

I liked it when HAL had the demos and we were able to taste samples of what was prepared.

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I wouldn't be sorry to see ATK go either!  Enjoyed the days of the Guest Chefs and also when the Departments did cooking competitions against eachother complete with a panel of Judges.  We also participated in a couple of the Cooking Classes where after the Class we then went into Pinnacle and were served the dishes and Wine. 

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38 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Years ago they used to have competitions between a chef and the captain, or between the CD and/or chef/captain.  They were really fun to watch.

 

I liked it when HAL had the demos and we were able to taste samples of what was prepared.

The last time we saw that was on the Westerdam a few years ago on the Hawaii/Polynesia cruise with Captain Van Eerten competing against Cruise Director Mario.  They put on a memorable show :classic_biggrin:

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16 hours ago, jwh said:

What is the cost for ATK on Zaandam and is the cost to participate or just to watch the demonstration?

It was near $60 on the Rotterdam in February.  It had been worth the cost in the past but our ATK instructor was horrible.  She was late and did not help other's that were struggling.   The last time I will pay for it.   

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