Back in 1840, Samuel Cunard, a forward-thinking British entre-preneur with a yen for luxury, launched the world's first regular transatlantic steamship service. His four paddle-wheel steamers crossed the Atlantic in 14 thoroughly indulgent days, marked by stately dinners that made disembarking passengers look longingly back up the gangplank. Cunard went on to become one of the world's premier transatlantic lines: its fleet has included the Lusitania and the Mauretania, the Queen Mary, and the Queen Elizabeth. The famed Queen Elizabeth II is still plying the oceans beautifully, offering the top-notch classic British service that distinguishes all of Cunard's ships. In recent years, Cunard has teamed up with Seabourn, its luxurious Scandinavian counterpart. On each of the eight award-winning ships that make up the two lines, guests enjoy fabulous spas, gorgeous suites, and adventures in fascinating ports of call. But all of that pales in comparison to the food: on every cruise, well-heeled guests sigh in delight as they sit down to dinner, thanks to corporate executive chef Karl Mühlberger.
Mühlberger embarked on his career over two decades ago at the famed Hotel Goldener Hirsch in his native Austria. He worked at the Austrian Michelin one-star Hotel Plomberg, then opened his own one-star restaurant, La Tour, in Perchtoldsdorf. Mühlberger spent time in some of Europe's best kitchens-Alain Chapel, Louis XV, Pierre Gagnaire, Marco Pierre White-and he was chef de cuisine at Belgium's Michelin two-star Hotel Scholteshof, a Relais & Châteaux property, before signing on for an extended tour of duty on the high seas. These days, he oversees the best ship kitchens in the business.
"Seabourn Style" Caviar on Ice with Melba Toast and Buckwheat Blini
Fresh Oyster Gratinée with Salsify Ragoût in Madras Curry Mousseline
Rabbit Loin with Chanterelle Duxelles in Roasted Seaweed
Oxtail Compote with Shallots on Grilled Potato Canapé
Lobster Salad "Mi-Cuit" with Aromatic Mesclun, Crisp Artichokes, and Champagne-Mustard Dressing
"Cappuccino" of Forest Mushrooms with Roasted Sweetbreads and White Truffle Oil Fresh
Turbot Fillet in Vegetable Mosaic with Wilted Arugula and Mâche, Asparagus Pencils, and Sauternes Beurre Blanc
Crépinette of Squab in Vine Leaf, and Roasted Baby Veal Rack with Caramelized Belgian Endive, Foie Gras Croutons, Carrots in Ginger Broth, and Jus of Smoked Boar Ham
Avocado Crème Brûlée with Cilantro Syrup, Exotic Fruit Salsa, and Sweet Coconut Phyllo