Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

154 INTERVIEW A taste of the world Silversea Cruises is offering immersive culinary experiences as part of its S.A.L.T. programme. Alice Chambers asks Ilaria Edoardi how guests can learn about the destinations they visit through food Travellers are seeking more immersive experiences, according to Cruise Line International Association’s 2023 The State of the Cruise Industry report. Recognising this demand, Silversea Cruises is continually enhancing its Sea and Land Taste (S.A.L.T.) programme, which first launched in 2021 and enables guests to learn about local food and drink as they travel to different destinations. “S.A.L.T. emerged as a way of adding a layer of depth to the cruising experience,” says Ilaria Edoardi, a food anthropologist and product development specialist for S.A.L.T. at Silversea Cruises. “The idea arose from food being a key connector between people and places. This programme was a very bold move due to its scale – it is incredibly differentiated but that’s the best way to really showcase authentic food-centric experiences.” Silversea’s newest ships – Silver Moon, Silver Dawn and Silver Nova – all have three S.A.L.T. venues, and each one offers a different level of food immersion. Edoardi describes the programme as a pyramid with S.A.L.T. Kitchen as its base. The venue serves two locally inspired menus: a Voyager menu reflecting the region the ship is sailing in, and a Terrain menu inspired by that day’s port of call. “This is a venue that most people will experience at least once with different levels of engagement,” she says. The next layer of the pyramid is S.A.L.T. Bar, which showcases authentic spirits, wines, beers and cocktails from a destination, allowing guests to experience a little more of the local gastronomy. Next is S.A.L.T. Lab, a venue that hosts lectures, workshops and cooking classes to increase guest engagement. And at the top of the pyramid are shore excursions. “Our shore excursions allow guests to deeply engage with food and experience the process of making the dishes themselves,” says Edoardi. “One of the excursions we host in Italy is with Franco Pepe, an Italian chef who specialises in pizza. First, we go to see his producers and suppliers and get the freshest mozzarella and then he cooks one of the best pizzas you can get right in front of us.” Other notable restaurant experiences include visiting chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León at their Central restaurant in Lima, Peru, or gathering ingredients from permaculture gardens and enjoying a private dinner at Mirazur, a “ Shore excursions allow guests to deeply engage with food and experience the process of making the dishes themselves”