|LOS ANGELES, July 1, 1998 - On August 4, 1998, Crystal Cruises'
Corporate Executive Chef Toni Neumeister will add yet another impressive
distinction to his resume of credentials: a guest chef performance at the
renowned James Beard House in New York. This coveted culinary opportunity
marks the first time a representative from the cruise industry has been
invited to cook at the James Beard Foundation's historical culinary center.
Widely respected as the "Carnegie Hall of Cooking," the James Beard House is the former residence of the man considered to be the father of American gastronomy. Today, the James Beard House offers its members the opportunity to enjoy private dinners planned and prepared by some of the country's top chefs, among them: Madeleine Kamman, Jean-Louis Palladin, David Bouley, Wolfgang Puck and Charlie Trotter.
"The James Beard House takes great pride in recognizing and celebrating the industry's greatest emerging and established culinary talents," said Mildred Amico, program director for the James Beard Foundation. "We salute Chef Neumeister for bringing a new level of excellence and acclaim to cruise ship cuisine. His demonstrated innovation and dedication exemplifies the James Beard Foundation's standards of excellence."
Chef Neumeister's reputation for imaginative, sophisticated shipboard cuisine is illustrated in the menu he has created for the James Beard House dinner. "My inspiration behind this menu was twofold," explained Chef Neumeister. "First, the menu was designed to incorporate a respect for the culinary traditions of the past, a recognition of contemporary food trends, and a look to the future as we approach the new Millennium. Additionally, each course is a blend of cultures and flavors, reflecting a global vision and Crystal Cruises' worldwide presence."
Entitled "Cooking Within the Destinations," Neumeister's creative six-course menu features items that clearly demonstrate this inspiration. Some of the line's most popular worldwide destinations are depicted in the meal's opening courses: Sauteed Sea Scallops on Mediterranean Vegetable Salad and Crispy Herbs and Alaskan Crab and Brie Soup. Following these international starters, he exemplifies contemporary cuisine with Pan-fried Halibut on Wilted Greens, Chanterelles accompanied by French Asian Truffle Sauce.
Next, the palette cleansing Rosemary Infused Sake Sherbet prepares the diner for the lamb entree while paying homage to Crystal's Japanese parent company, international shipping line NYK. The Chef returns to the past with a traditional, back-to-the-roots entree of Roasted Rack of Lamb on a Gratin of Potatoes, Leeks, Apples and Celery with Glazed Garlic and Shallots. The meal concludes with New Age White Chocolate Cheesecake on a Soft Forest Berry Gele -- featuring a futuristic presentation of a classic dessert.
Joining Crystal Cruises in 1995, Master Chef Neumeister oversees all
shipboard culinary and wine programs for Six-Star rated Crystal Harmony
and Crystal Symphony, both of which boast the highest number of professional
chefs at sea. His prior professional experience includes serving as Corporate
Executive Chef for Silversea and Royal Viking cruise lines as well positions
with numerous, highly-rated European hotels and restaurants. During his
tenure with Crystal Cruises, he is credited with enhancing the luxury cruise
line's food services and wine program to an unparalleled level of sophistication
and innovation. One testament to Crystal's industry wide culinary acclaim
is the popular Crystal Wine Food Festival which draws some of the world's
most celebrated guest chefs, sommeliers and wine experts. Under the supervision
of Chef Neumeister, this prestigious program has drawn the participation
of such illustrious industry experts as Thomas Keller, Alex Patout, Jacques
Pepin and Andre Soltner.