Taste your destination with Coral Expeditions
When you cruise with Coral Expeditions, you’ll not only enjoy a small-ship adventure led by expert guides. You’ll also experience a deep connection to your destination thanks to a unique sense of culinary immersion.
How many of your holiday memories revolve around food and wine? Often, a standout dish becomes forever associated with a destination, or perhaps it’s about those lifelong friends you made while sharing a bottle of wine with a meal.
These are the types of memories the team at Coral Expeditions aims to create from the very first day you step aboard.
The Captain’s Welcome Drinks on the first evening see you on deck, sipping your choice of drink and grazing on canapés as you watch the sun dip below the horizon.
Then, as you head into the dining room, the view is still there to enjoy through floor-to-ceiling windows. As you take a seat, perhaps with new friends, your cruise attendant, who’ll soon know you by name, is on hand to offer a pre-dinner drink from the selection of wines, beers and spirits included, or as part of one of the available packages.
Having chosen from the Table d’hote menu, it’s time to savour three incredible courses that deliciously celebrate the freshest produce and signature wines from your destination.
While this whole process feels seamless, it is the result of months of research and planning by Coral Expeditions’ hospitality team.
“I’ll start from the region and what it is best known for,” explains Matt Winter, Hospitality Operations Manager, “and then I’ll start to look at what is available and what is in season. A highlight of what we do, is that our guests can know and recognise that it is local produce not your average everyday item.”
This means the produce drives the menu, rather than the other way around, with the reason being, Matt says, “The expedition is a whole. As we highlight the places we visit; we like to highlight that the places we visit are also the places we get the produce from.”
And it’s not just the main menu items, Matt and the team watch out for smaller items they can use. “We also look for a unique thing made locally, like herbs, spices, homemade products, or market products, that even individual suppliers or local people can contribute as part of the menu.”
Matt also emphasises the importance of being eco-friendly with the produce he chooses.
“I look at sustainability of fish because that’s a huge thing,” he explains. “Not just going to industrial farms, but looking for the sustainable ecosystem with proteins and fish. As much organic produce as we can get. As much local farm perishables as we can get.”
delights of the apple isle
One of the itineraries that Matt finds particularly exciting when it comes to creating an immersive culinary experience is Tasmania.
“The things I particularly like are the spices from the region,” he says, “and the jams and chutneys we find from the local suppliers – it’s not something you buy everywhere, it’s that one time you’re getting it from someone who just makes it for us.”
Of course, the Tasmanian menu also features the produce for which the state is famous, including dairy and beef.
“The most popular one is King Island Dairy,” Matt says, “Everyone knows their cheese. Grandvewe as well for their sheep’s cheese, which we pair with our local wine selection and the wines Tasmania is known for.
Cape Grim is known around Australia for the incredible meat grown there. We use Meander Valley Pork for sustainable pork and our poultry are sourced from free-roaming chicken farms.”
Tasmania is also known for deep-water fish, and, Matt adds, “We work with the local fishmongers.”
And what’s a meal without a beautifully matched wine. “Our dinner menu comes with wine pairing notes also,” Matt explains, “they’re not all Tasmanian wines, but all are from Australia or New Zealand. Wines are paired not just with the proteins, but with the sauces and accompaniments to capture the whole taste experience.”
One of Matt’s personal favourites from the Tasmania menu is the pink ling, which, he says, “is a delicate southern fish, with dukkha made onboard, mountain pepper berry and other local spices and then paired with a Tasmanian Sauvignon Blanc.”
While Matt might have his favourites, satisfaction in curating the menu stems, he explains, “from the whole process and what the guests want to experience. It’s the whole thoughtful process to
get it to the plate, and onto the plate to the table.”
Each dinner sitting is finished off with an indulgent dessert before tea, coffee or perhaps a port. Relaxed and satiated, you’ll find yourself drifting out to the deck to watch the moon and enjoy a dance, or heading to the lounge to watch a movie.
As you holiday your way through Coral Expeditions’ diverse itineraries, there are certain quality constants you’ll come to love. Among them is their deliciously considered approach to menu curation that creates a deep connection to your chosen destination.
Visit Coral Expeditions website to book your next trip now