All About S.A.L.T.: Deconstructing Silversea’s New Culinary Program
S.A.L.T. is an acronym for Sea & Land Taste, Silversea’s new immersive culinary program. S.A.L.T. debuted in the Mediterranean in the summer of 2021 on Silver Moon (and will roll out in spring 2022 on Silver Dawn).
And where better to launch a program all about the roots of deliciousness than in Greece, where the endless bounty of the sea meets the ancient culture and traditions of the sun-baked coast? Greek food is all about rustic simplicity, forgoing stuffy formality for an easy-going, elemental robustness that’s not easily forgotten by anyone who’s had the pleasure of traveling between the country’s beautiful islands and ports.
S.A.L.T. is all about connecting our guests to the places we’re going through the lens of food and the people, rituals and flavors behind its culinary traditions. The program is overseen by Adam Sachs, a three-time winner of the prestigious James Beard Journalism Award and former Editor-in-Chief of Saveur magazine, is utilizing his journalistic experience and knowledge of food to share the world’s most engaging culinary stories with Silversea’s guests. Adam shares his insights on the most popular questions he receives.
What is S.A.L.T.?
S.A.L.T., which stands for Sea & Land Taste project, is an immersive culinary program which has launched on our newest ship, Silver Moon. S.A.L.T. is all about connecting travelers to the places they’re visiting through the lens of food and drink culture. By bringing onboard regional chefs, producers, authors and others to share their passion and expertise through talks and hands-on demos and cooking lessons in our new S.A.L.T. Lab, we’re able to extend the learning experience and give our guests more context for understanding local food culture.
By connecting customized shore excursions with fascinating lectures and hands-on onboard cooking experience and local specialties, wines and cocktails, we’re really connecting the dots between all these elements in a way that allows the guest to come away with a better, deeper understanding and appreciation for the taste, cultures and foodways of the places we’re visiting.
How does Silversea’s S.A.L.T. approach differ as you sail to regions with varied histories and dining cultures? How does it explore the ports of call that we visit?
Wherever we go, we’re looking for amazing experiences, ingredients and traditions and, most of all, great stories that really help us unlock the history and tastes of the places we visit. In the Caribbean and Latin America that will mean looking at food in ways that go beyond the dishes we typically find in tourist-friendly restaurants, learning about the history of trade and culture that influences the food of the place.
When we return to Mediterranean and Europe, the trick will be to always dig deep and find new angles and areas of investigation in a region that feels very familiar to many. Happily there’s no end to the dishes, ingredients and tastes to explore.
How is it distinctive? How does it enrich your cruise experience?
What sets S.A.L.T. apart is the narrative approach we take to creating a holistic, immersive culinary experience. What that means is identifying the compelling food stories of a region and then seeking out the chefs, authors, experts, winemakers and producers who best represent that culture and cuisine. With this approach through our different venues we’re able to really tell a cohesive and engaging story of the food and tastes of the region, from the excursions and onboard learnings, to tastings and discussions. As well, the local drink specialties in S.A.L.T. Bar and regionally focused menus in S.A.L.T. Kitchen extend the program onboard.
What is S.A.L.T. Kitchen?
An industry first, S.A.L.T. Kitchen on Silver Moon is a modern, luxurious restaurant that changes menus constantly based on where we are in the world. Menus range from regional specialties that reflect the route as well as a daily changing roster of dishes that reflect the local tastes and dishes of each port on the journey. Looking beyond just what’s on the plate, the experience of dining at S.A.L.T. Kitchen focuses on telling the stories behind those local dishes and ingredients.
If S.A.L.T. is about telling stories about food, history and traditions, who will we learn from?
Wherever we go, we are asking the questions: Who are the best producers and experts in this region? Who can best tell the stories behind the dishes and ingredients of the places we’re visiting? All of our guides for S.A.L.T. Experiences will be experts in not just the history of the place but also its food culture.
In addition to chefs, both local and expats returning to the places that inspire them, we are reaching out to local historians, cookbook writers, farmers, winemakers and experts of all kinds.
Do you have to be a hardcore “foodie” to enjoy S.A.L.T.?
I’m not a fan of the word “foodie.” It’s a bit self-infantilizing but more than that is it’s just too general a term to describe a world of different ways we can be engaged with food. Some people might love to bake but not have an interest in adventurous culinary travel. Others might love to tour restaurant kitchens and vineyards but have no interest in cooking themselves.
The great thing about S.A.L.T. is that through different venues and experiences we engage with and really reach a wide range of guests with varying degrees of interest and enthusiasms. You can stop by S.A.L.T. Kitchen and Bar for a quick taste of local cuisine or, if you’re really interested in the culture, you can explore traditions and techniques behind those tastes. You can design your own intensive culinary journey by signing up for S.A.L.T. Experiences and classes and lectures in S.A.L.T. Lab. There’s really something for every level of curiosity.
Tell us a bit more about S.A.L.T. Lab
S.A.L.T. Lab is meant to be a kind of hub for all forms of culinary discovery, from hands-on cooking instruction from visiting chefs and experts as well as our own S.A.L.T. hosts. It’s also the venue for intimate talks and discussions, a place for like-minded food-focused travelers to meet and discuss their next adventures, borrow a cookbook or just stop by for a taste of local ingredients.
S.A.L.T. Lab isn’t designed as a cooking school in the traditional sense. It’s really a welcoming space, a hangout for guests to explore the culinary offerings and history of the places they visit.
How does S.A.L.T. Bar reflect the ports we’ll travel to? How is it different from the ship’s regular bars and lounges?
S.A.L.T. Bar is an intimate, inviting space to explore and celebrate the tastes and terroir of a region through its specialized spirits, wines and local beers. In addition to signature cocktails designed for each leg of the journey to reflect local flavors of the ports we visit, we’ll have drinks that are exclusive to S.A.L.T. Bar as well as guided wine tastings and mixology classes.