Holland America Line’s new cookbook, “A Taste of Elegance,” written by the cruise line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, is now available in bookstores. A sequel to “A Taste of Excellence,” it contains recipes from the ships’ dining room and alternative dining venues, including recipes from Tamarind, the new pan-Asian restaurant aboard ms Eurodam.
Sodamin passes on his “kitchen wisdom” in helpful hints throughout the cookbook, from purchasing ingredients to preparing the dishes. They cover such subjects as buying zucchini, toasting nuts, peeling tomatoes or cooking shrimp.
The recipes, of course, are the heart of the cookbook. To name but a few: Entrees — a Land and Sea combination of Filet Mignon and Shrimp from the Pinnacle Grill restaurant; Vietnamese-Style Lamb with Mint from ms Eurodam’s Tamarind Asian restaurant; Rigatoni with Cauliflower, Parley and Hazelnuts from Eurodam’s Canaletto restaurant (soon to be on ms Oosterdam, ms Veendam, ms Noordam and ms Amsterdam).
One entire chapter is devoted to sauces and dressings to enhance the flavor of dishes. In an introduction to that chapter, Sodamin notes that the recipes he shares “are ways to make even the simplest salad, meat or poultry presentation into something exciting and memorable.”
Sodamin introduces each book chapter with a narrative explaining more about the recipes that follow, suggestions to those who would make them, and how they are used on the ships. Sodamin also writes a forward to the book, his tenth cookbook, about the life of a master chef. He recounts how he discovered a love for cooking at an early age and wrote his first cookbook at the age of 23. He says a prime responsibility as Holland America’s master chef is to “cook up ideas.”