“Taste the Dream – Wine and Dine at Sea”, the signature culinary extravaganza of Dream Cruises, will return this year with the launch of “A Taste of the Palace”, featuring regal menus by two internationally acclaimed celebrity chefs, Chef Darren McGrady and Chef Ivan Li. Making their debuts on the award-winning Genting Dream and World Dream cruise ships, Chef Darren McGrady was the former British Royal Family chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as Princes William and Harry; while Chef Ivan Li of Family Li Imperial Cuisine hails from a family of imperial high court officials who served the courts of the Qing dynasty in China.
Mr. Michael Goh, President of Dream Cruises and Head of International Sales, Genting Cruise Lines said, “Taste the Dream – Wine and Dine at Sea is the signature culinary program of Dream Cruises that redefines haute cuisine at sea with the best of the East and West. The program debuted last year with our ocean and sailing-inspired thematic collaborations with the region’s top celebrity chefs, which were well received by discerning guests. This year, we are delighted to present “A Taste of the Palace”, where our guests will indulge in an immersive experience of regal gastronomy at sea, comprised of wine-pairing tasting menus, enrichment talks, interactive workshops and more.”
From October 2019 to January 2020, The Palace guests booking the “Taste the Dream – Wine and Dine at Sea” voyage package on board Genting Dream and World Dream will enjoy a series of special complimentary offerings, including the full experience of “A Taste of The Palace” exclusive regal menus curated by Chef Darren McGrady and Chef Ivan Li, as well as admission to thematic performances and activities, such as Peking opera, British garden tea party, fascinator-making workshop, tribute concert to The Beatles and more. The all-inclusive, all suite luxury private enclave of The Palace – the signature luxury “ship-within-a-ship’ concept of Dream Cruises, features over 140 suites, European butler service, all-inclusive privileges and more.
During this special sailing, all cruising guests of Genting Dream and World Dream will have the chance to taste a selection of regal recipes by Chef McGrady and Chef Li, which will be served in the inclusive restaurants on-board. Guests can also enjoy beverages that are favored by Queen Elizabeth II at Bar City on both cruise ships, as well as meet-and-greet sessions with Chef McGrady and Chef Li, who will share stories of food and drink in the imperial courts of the East and West.
The Queen’s Feast by Chef Darren McGrady
During Chef Darren McGrady’s tenure at Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace for fifteen years, he cooked for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and their guests on a regular basis, catering banquets for Foreign Heads of State including Presidents Bush, Clinton, Reagan and Ford. Chef McGrady also travelled with the royal family to Windsor Castle, Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle, as well as on the Royal Yacht Britannia on royal tours around the world.
Now based in Texas, Chef McGrady is an accomplished author, culinary consultant, event planner, public speaker, as well as owner of a private catering service for fine dining. Chef McGrady will make his Hong Kong and Singapore debut with Dream Cruises, where he will embark on Genting Dream from Singapore for a 3-night cruise on November 11-13, followed by two back-to-back sailings of World Dream on December 29 to January 3, with departures from the dual-homeports of Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
As guest chef of “A Taste of The Palace”, Chef McGrady will present two seasonal degustation menus, a vegetarian menu and an a la carte menu, featuring some of the regal family’s favorite dishes, such as some of Princess Diana’s favorite courses: tomato and dill mouse, stuffed aubergine with a roasted rosemary bell pepper sauce, as well as Chef McGrady’s bread and butter pudding, which the Princess raved to friends as the best in the world; Gaelic steaks, which is some of Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite entrees; as well as English treacle tart, the favorite dessert of Princes William and Harry.
The Forbidden Banquet by Chef Ivan Li
Family Li Imperial Cuisine was founded by the late Professor Li Shan Lin, whose grandfather, Li Zi Jia, was a highly ranked official of Empress Dowager Cixi in Qing dynasty and oversaw the imperial kitchen of The Forbidden City. Upon retirement, Li recorded what he could recall of the imperial cuisine’s ingredients and cooking methods, which were passed on to his descendants. In 1985, Professor Li founded the first Family Li Imperial Cuisine, which has since been catering to a prestigious guest list of celebrities including Jackie Chan, Robert Rubin, former United States Secretary of the Treasury and Edward Heath, former British prime minister. As the torch bearer of his family legacy, Chef Ivan Li is now the second generation owner of Family Li Imperial Cuisine, as well as the winner of 2014 Diner’s Club Lifetime Achievement Award.
Chef Ivan Li will set sail on World Dream in October to present three tasting menus from Family Li Imperial Cuisine. From October 13 to 20, guests who embark on the 5-night and 2-night cruises with departures from Hong Kong and Guangzhou will be treated to some of the most iconic dishes in the court of Qing dynasty, such as Tofu of Jade, a green pea mash created especially for Empress Cixi that has a distinctive hue of jade green; as well as Chinese-style Leopard coral grouper confit, a slow-cooked fish course prepared to perfection and favored by the emperors of the Qing dynasty.
Vegetarian options are available for both The Queen’s Feast and The Forbidden Banquet.