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Top Chef at Sea Header Pic

Beginning in July of this year, you can step aboard select Celebrity Cruiseships and discover new ways to thrill your palate, master culinary skills, and take your vacation to the next tantalizing level!

For dedicated foodies, there are four Top Chef Signature Sailings, where you’ll be joined by some of the show’s most popular and talented chef’testants.  Rub shoulders with the chefs and sample some of their creations at special Meet & Eat gatherings (featuring hors d’oeuvres prepared from the chefs’ recipes) on vacations in Bermuda, Alaska, Europe, and the Caribbean.  With as many as four chefs per sailing, you’ll have the opportunity to get the low-down on what it was like to be on the show and find out what they have in store next.

Four theme cruises:

• Celebrity Summit – July 27, 2014 – 7N Bermuda cruise

• Celebrity Solstice – August 15, 2014 – 7N Alaska cruise

• Celebrity Infinity – September 19, 2014 – 12N France & Iberian Discovery cruise

• Celebrity Reflection – November 15, 2014 – 7N Eastern Caribbean cruise

Programming on the cruises:

• Cooking demonstrations — at least two per sailing per chef — complimentary

• The show’s famous Quickfire challenges – at least two per sailing – complimentary

• Top Chef-inspired menu in the main restaurant once per cruise

• Private cooking classes – at least one per sailing per chef – for a fee (Price- COMING SOON)

• Chef-hosted specialty dining dinners – at least one per sailing per chef – for a fee (Price- COMING SOON)

• Other exclusive complimentary events

Contact me for further details at my website to book your next YUMMY vacation!

Top Chef Flyer for Celebrity


So this week I was privileged to have lunch with John Delaney, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales, at One Market Restaurant in San Francisco to celebrate Seabourn’s 25th Anniversary.  This is a great luxury cruiseline that plans on adding new ships to their fleet over the next 2 years.

What I really like about Seabourn for my clients is their service, attention detail and overall a great vacation experience that cannot be offered elsewhere.  There is so much included in cruising with Seabourn that you don’t have with the other mass market cruiselines.  All of the dining venues are included – so no surcharge for a specialty restaurant!  Complimentary wine, spirits, sodas & bottled water, even in your own mini-bar in your stateroom!!!  Not to mention, ALL of the staterooms are suites!

What I think really makes them magical are the dream touches they provide – such as Caviar in the Surf!

Also, what makes them stand out are special COMPLIMENTARY excursions such as An Evening at Ephesus:

So, now that you are ready for that perfect vacation – give me a call and let’s discuss planning it!

Have you ever wanted to go Italy with just your girlfriends? 

Can’t get your girlfriends to commit to the trip to Italy?

Looking for that “special” Mother’s Day Gift?

Wanted more from your trip to Italy than just touring churches?

Well, Ciao Bella’s Women’s Travel Getaway Club is for you!!!  This May we have a FANTASTIC CUSTOM trip to Italy full of great adventures, food, wine, culture, art and did I mention wine???  This is your chance to experience Italy unlike any other trip out there…


So after you have had a chance to review the complete itinerary at, please give me a call at (650) 906-6000 or e-mail me at, to discuss booking this trip of a lifetime.

It’s true!  Mickey Mouse & pals know a good thing when they taste it!  A new wine bar at the Italy Pavilion at Epcot Center coming in early May.  I am so glad Disney has not left us adults out when visiting their properties… 😉

 Tutto Gusto seats approximately 100 people and will feature décor inspired by an Italian wine cellar with stone walls and floors, and vaulted ceilings and a fireplace in the dining room – not to mention a selection of more than 200 Italian wines and more than a dozen small-plate menu items!   The downside is that it is only open from 11:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., so no late night sipping in the park…

But wait!  They will not just limit it to serving wine, but Italian Beer too!  They didn’t leave out the Moretti fans out there.

Best of all, Tutto Gusto is part of the Disney Dining Plan.  WOO HOO!!!

I don’t know why it is lately that I am driven passionately to blog about food???  Maybe it is the scrumptious delights I keep reading about over at my pal Megan’s blog at

With good travel, must come good food!

So why talk about food in Sonoma, when it is known for the wine?  Answer = Because we will be here all day if I let myself discuss that topic!

Our Saturday started out with a drive from San Francisco up to the Dry Creek Valley area of Sonoma with some good friends!  ****Waving at Neil and Michelle****

After doing some tastings at a few wineries and a nice nap, we were off to search for dinner in downtown Healdsburg.   After a few attempts at a couple of places, we were led to Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar.   It is rare that you end up at a restaurant and EVERYTHING on the menu sounds great! They serve the food small plate or tapas style.   Rumor has it we were supposed to share with each other, but we each loved our dishes so much that giving up even 1 shrimp was not going to happen!

Here’s the menu:

You can see why it was hard to ONLY choose 2 per person!

You can see why it was hard to ONLY choose 2 per person!

One of the dishes I chose was the Pan Roasted Shrimp with Chilies, Lemon & Garlic:



Another dish on our table was the Tuna Tartare, Jalapenos, Cashews, Ginger, Coconut Milk:


Can’t wait to head on back!

Just when our culinary adventure could not get any better — IT DID!   On our way back home we stopped in Santa Rosa and had lunch at Guy Fieri’s Johnny Garlic’s.   WOW, WOW, WOW!!!   It was one of the most silent meals Neil & I ever have had together.  The food was amazing!   Don’t be fooled by the bad bleached spiked hair – this guy (no pun intended) can cook!

I chose the 1/2 order of Volcano Chicken:


and, Neil dove right on into the Chipotle Pasta with Hot Links & Caesar Salad:


So the next time you are up in Sonoma, by all means do drink your way through the valleys!   However, don’t forget to eat too!

Just when you didn’t think the wonderful dining experience on a cruise can get any better!   Princess Cruises now takes gourmet to a new level -Chef’s Table!   In putting together today’s blog, I found my tummy grumbling…

Designed as a unique treat for “foodies,” Princess Cruises has introduced a new Chef’s Table experience on select ships, and will expand the program across the fleet. Chef’s Table offers a select group of gourmands the rare opportunity to be welcomed into the ship’s galley to enjoy a full evening of memorable sights, tastes and conversation hosted by the executive chef.

While many passengers are able to enjoy galley tours during the quiet off-hours, the Chef’s Table experience takes interested diners behind the scenes during the height of dinner preparation where they’ll also enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a special multi-course tasting dinner paired with selected wines at a special table in the dining room. 


The chef previews the details of the menu he created for that evening, and the group is welcomed to their special table in the dining room.

Here’s an example of what your dinner menu can be for the evening:

Hors d’oeuvres and Champagne in the Galley

  • Blue Crab Margarita with Avocado and Mango
  • Foie Gras Terrine on Toast, Apple Chutney
  • Fontina Mini Quiche with White Truffles
  • Buckwheat Blinis with Caviar and Creme Fraiche

Dinner, accompanied by Red and White Wine

  • Asparagus Risotto with Lobster Tail and Claws
  • Lip-Smackin’ Bloody Mary Sorbet (topped with a splash of Grey Goose Vodka)
  • Trio of Beef, Veal, and Pork Tenderloin on Medieval Spiked Flambe Roastie
  • Jus, Salsa Verde, Bearnaise Sauce, and Cafe de Paris Butter
  • Dirty Rice with Corn and Pine Nuts, Grilled Asparagus and Charred Cherry Tomatoes
  • Potted Stilton with Port Wine and Walnuts, Rosemary Biscotti
  • Iced Amaretto Parfait, Vanilla Plums and Brandy Snap Tuile
  • Coffee or Tea and Homemade Gourmandises

The multi-course menu is specially created by the chef, and is not offered anywhere else on the ship. During the dessert course, the chef rejoins the group at their private table to participate in a discussion about the evening’s meal, answer questions, and share culinary secrets perfected during many years of experience at sea and on land.

Additionally, each couple at the Chef’s Table will receive a personalized autographed copy of Princess’ best-selling cookbook, Courses, A Culinary Journey. 

The Chef’s Table experience can be reserved by up to 10 passengers per night, at a cost of $75 per person.  

Contact me about further details on planning your next cruise!

Lauren Liebert

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