S.A.L.T. Lab: An Unlikely Trio Steps Into the Lab….
S.A.L.T. Lab, the interactive culinary workshop that just debuted on Silver Moon, has, in its first two months of operation, introduced numerous passengers to culinary nuances onboard its electrifying test kitchen during its maiden Mediterranean season. At the Lab, culinary enthusiasts are exposed to dishes and native ingredients of the region in which the ship sails. And, in this case, chefs have celebrated the cuisines of Greece and Cyprus, where the new Silver Moon has been sailing since its launch in June 2021.
This unusual trio consisted of Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Fain, Silversea President and Chief Executive Officer Roberto Martinoli, and Royal Caribbean Group Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty, all onboard to celebrate Silver Moon’s christening on July 28. And these executives may not be as accustomed to chilling out on a cruise as the rest of us. The stealth cooking class, a total surprise to the trio, was arranged by Silversea Cruises’ Chief Commercial Officer Barbara Muckermann and S.A.L.T.’s Director, Adam Sachs.
The chance to dig their hands into S.A.L.T. Lab was a rare opportunity to have a bit of guest-like fun. “I’m looking forward to two things,” Fain says, wielding a hefty knife. “I’m looking forward to learning a great deal and I’m looking forward to not cutting my finger off.”
The mission? Create a fig and goat cheese tart (see our recipe below) that would, in the process, says David Bilsland, chef and culinary trainer, give them a feel for Silversea’s innovative new culinary initiative. The dish is not terribly complicated but the challenge, Bilsland tells us, is that hosting a hands-on workshop for top executives is like “when one boss comes to dinner versus when all of your bosses come to dinner at the same time.
“The whole thing took less than 10 minutes, so it was a whirlwind. I think we hit the brief perfectly in that it was quick, simple, and elegant. The guys had fun and left understanding the magic of the S.A.L.T. Lab.”
To create your own S.A.L.T. Lab fun at home, try out its Grecian-inspired recipe for honey and fig tart with goat cheese and thyme.
Honey & Fig Tart with Goat Cheese and Thyme
- 100g unsalted butter
- 100g clear honey
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Pinch of sea salt flakes
- 8 fresh figs, halved lengthways
- 350g butter-puff pastry
- 150g goats cheese
- 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Greek yoghurt to accompany
Melt the butter with the honey in the frying pan over a medium heat. Let the mixture bubble for 4-5 minutes, until it starts to caramelize.
Carefully stir in the lemon juice and salt.
Take the pan off the heat while you pack in the fig halves, cut side down. Put the pan back on the heat for 3 minutes until the figs start to soften, then leave to cool for 15 minutes.
Set the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
Roll the pastry out and dock all over with a fork. Lay the pastry between two baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes. This will create a puff pastry crisp, called mille-feuille. Allow to cool.
Spread the goat cheese over the pastry and sprinkle with chopped thyme.
Place on a large plate and spoon over the caramelized honey and figs. Serve warm with Greek yoghurt.