Spanish feast

By Jimmy McIntyre

Jimmy McIntyre discovers the tastes of the Mediterranean as the guest chef aboard Silversea’s Silver Whisper cruise liner. MiNDFOOD reports.

I need to tell you about the most amazing trip from which I have just returned. I was invited as a guest chef on board Silversea’s Silver Whisper cruise ship. This required me to perform a one-hour cooking demonstration in front of 100 eager passengers and also cook a four-course dinner in the restaurant for 200 guests.

My wife, Philippa, and I enjoyed a night’s accommodation in Nice, followed by a 12-day cruise from the south of France to Southampton, England. We made stops in a number of exotic places including Barcelona, Malaga, Lisbon, Oporto, Bilbao and Honfleur.

It was a foodie’s dream. La Rambla in Barcelona is in the heart of the city. We stumbled upon the stunning Boqueria market, full of fresh local produce including the famous Ibérico ham and the plumpest figs I have ever seen. The produce is beautifully presented and there is obvious pride in it. The seafood was incredibly fresh with many species I had not seen before. We saw numerous unusual shellfish, truffles and myriad mushrooms, dried and fresh.

I was due to do my cooking demonstration the next morning and was greatly inspired by the markets. The participants would taste my interpretation of the classic Spanish fish dish ceviche, and a stunning sweet chilli sauce recipe that is to die for.

The class went like a dream. If you would like a taste of the experience, come along to one of my cooking classes at Otahuna Lodge or try cooking the ceviche and chilli sauce recipe.

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