Here's what Silversea's S.A.L.T. programme is all about
Silversea’s Sea and Land Taste (S.A.L.T.) programme has been designed by Adam Sachs, former editor in chief of Saveur magazine, and aims to offer guests an immersive culinary experience which reflects the destination they are travelling to. Connecting travellers to the region they are sailing in by sourcing authentic ingredients which are then prepared with respect to tradition and tell the story of the area the food originates from. From market trips and special dinners in the S.A.L.T. restaurant, to cooking demonstrations with local guest chefs, S.A.L.T. takes travellers further than ever before in destination experiences, bringing the flavours of the destination directly to the table. The programme will be looking for the best producers and experts in the region, reaching out to local historians, cookbook writers, farmers, winemakers and experts of all kinds, who can best tell the stories behind the dishes and ingredients of the places being visited.
The S.A.L.T. Kitchen is one of the main dining rooms, offering open dining for all guests on board to experience the S.A.L.T. programme every evening of their voyage if they so wish, without having to book or make reservations. The restaurant is decorated in soothing creams, taupes and greens, with each table being adorned with a herb pot and the walls adorned with local artefacts. The menu changes daily and reflects the country or region the ship is sailing in for that day with guests offered local wines or beers that are perfectly paired to the food on the menu.
Next door to the Kitchen is the S.A.L.T. Lab, a small demonstration kitchen with cooking stations for guest participation. On our Greek island cruise we attended two classes, one focused on Phyllo pastry where we made spanakopita and saragli and another where we made lamb moussaka. The classes start with an introduction from the head chef, David before the demonstration and guest participation begins. At the end of the hour-long demonstration there is time to taste the labours of your hard work before removing your aprons and leaving the team to tidy up the mess you have made - surely this is the best way to do cooking!
On the other side of the S.A.L.T. Kitchen is the S.A.L.T. bar, a quirky little bar which has the feel of a combination of an exclusive London Gentleman’s club and a basement Jazz club. The sultry decor and moody vibe is offset by the glorious shiny bar housing an array of unusual bottles. Headed up by the magnanimous Carlos, the menu features an array of unusually, specially crafted cocktails with the ingredients and preparation poured over as much as a Michelin star meal. The feature cocktail is the Selene, the Moon which is a delicious combination of gin, maraschino, lemon, apricot, peaches and citrus topped with an eye-catching smoke filled moon bubble which sits atop the glass. Although this is delicious and definitely worth a try there are a range of other, just as well crafted cocktails with names like Sweets for my Sweet, From the Flames, Symposia Spritz, Noble Art, and even the non-alcoholic cocktail Fork in the Road. And to make it even better Silversea have invested in a rather magnificent drinks trolley for Carlos to take around the ship during the day and offer guests unusual cocktails made from his mobile bar.
S.A.L.T Talks (Yasmin Khan - Cyprus)
S.A.L.T. Talks expands upon the idea that food is a story by inviting guests on board with knowledge and experience of the region to hold talks in the Theatre for guests to attend. We were joined on our sailing by Yasmin Khan to share her extensive knowledge of Cypriot cuisine and three of her favourite recipes which were demonstrated to us by Cyril from the S.A.L.T. Lab. As we listened to Yasmin’s talk and watched the cookery demonstration we were all given a glass of local Cypriot wine to try and a taster of two of the dishes that Cyril was creating.
The highlight of the S.A.L.T. programme is S.A.L.T. Ashore, which offers a bespoke experience designed to immerse guests in a way that goes beyond a normal excursion, capturing a destination’s food culture in a unique and curated way. Many of the destinations have been hand picked by Adam Sachs who uses local experts to find authentic restaurants, loved and visited by the local residents. We were lucky enough to experience this on the Greek island of Paros, where we visited a local hillside farm for a tour around the small organic farm, walking amongst the many olive, pomegranate and fig trees, numerous herbs and the exotic greenhouse plants before sampling some of the food grown on the farm or from surrounding farms, all freshly prepared by the owners family. Our excursion continued with a visit to a gorgeous little secluded beachside taverna where we were greeted by the husband/wife owners who gave us refreshments to enjoy whilst they demonstrated some of the dishes we would be eating later that day, including making real phyllo pastry. After the cookery demonstration we were seated at two shore side tables and served a meze of salads and small plates of delicious Greek food to savour over as we watched the sun set over the sea. It really was a truly wonderful experience, with the most romantic setting, the warmest hosts and the most delicious authentic Greek food of our voyage. If the other S.A.L.T. Ashore experiences are like this sign us up!