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Cruising with Keller: Seabourn Cruises

Humans need food to keep their bodies going. For many millennia we just caught it and ate it, picked it and ate it. More recently we herded it and ate it or grew it and ate it.
Food was fuel. It is not recorded when the first human grunted “Boy, that tastes good!”
However our modern obsession is very much built around the pleasure of food. The flavours, the nuances, the sources, the techniques.

Seabourn Cruises This Magnificent Life Thomas Keller
Older folk grew up with France as the shining beacon … a trip to Paris and its environs was considered obligatory. The Michelin Guide cheerfully drove us around the countryside, ticking off one, two and three star establishments and many Cafés Routiers in between.
Chefs became celebrities. The English -speaking world anointed its own, mostly working from Gallic cookbooks. The cuisine of Asian spices arose, in pure form and in fusion. Then the Spanish and the Scandinavians took centre stage. Michelin stars are sprinkled all over the world’s tablecloths.
The USA produced many champions including Baird, Trotter, Puck, Childs, Waters, Bourdain and … Keller.

Seabourn Cruises This Magnificent Life Thomas Keller
Thomas Keller of The French Laundry, Bouchon, Per Se, ad hoc and more, with a bowlful of Michelin stars between them.
After launching our tastebuds on many adventures on land he is now taking his talents afloat.
Seabourn, one of the world’s most loved small-ship fleets, has now partnered with the great man to create new menu items and a Signature Restaurant, first on the Seabourn Quest then following on the rest of the fleet including the new ships, Encore (2016) and Ovation (2018).

Seabourn Cruises This Magnificent Life Thomas Keller

Welcome aboard, Thomas

Seabourn has already set high standards on the seas, being awarded ‘Best Culinary Cruise Line’ for the past two years in the Saveur Culinary Travel Awards.

Keller is happy to be taking to the high seas.

“We look forward to sharing our best practices and repertoire with Seabourn’s outstanding culinary team.”

Seabourn Cruises This Magnificent Life Thomas Keller
In Sydney recently, TML had a preview on board the Odyssey. Luncheon was taken in The Restaurant, the main dining room capable of serving all of the 400 or so guests if they chose to forgo the many other eating venues available.
Two Keller creations were served, to start and close the meal.

Seabourn Cruises This Magnificent Life Thomas Keller
Terrine of Moulard Duck Foie Gras.
Subheaded: Truffle “Pain de Genes” Compressed Asian Pears and Sicilian Pistachio.
Meltingly soft and velvety, but intense in its central flavours, tickled by the zing of the tiny additions.
Mondavi Chardonnay 2014, buttery and toasty was a finely chosen companion.
TML had the lamb as a main. Magnificently pink and moist. A glass of Lodi Zinfandel 2013 attended sturdily.
For dessert, Thomas thrilled us again.

Seabourn Cruises Thomas Keller This Magnificent Life
Champagne and Granny Smith Apple Trifle.
Vanilla Custard and Cream Chantilly.
Splendidly chillingly soft. Not as rich as it might sound, but the building of the sweet sensations in the mouth was remarkable.
These were just two glimpses of the man’s attention to detail and delivery of fulsome flavours. Much more awaits you.

Make a reservation now

We’d go on a Seabourn cruise if they only served tomato sandwiches, but from today the levels of pleasure have never been higher.
Please keep your eye on Seabourn sailings to make sure you taste the finest of the Keller repertoire.
Go to and check out Thomas’s adventures in food at

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Ian MacTavish

Mr MacTavish is a celebrated writer and one of Australia's more respected Wine reviewers, appearing regularly in national magazines, in print and on line. So far, he has never been heard to say 'no' to a wee dram.

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