The Evolution of Cruise Ship Cuisine

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Photo by Wendy Littlefield


Last week I found a menu in a file I'd saved from our first trans-Atlantic trip together, on the Queen Elizabeth 2 . It was pure serendipity that it turned up on the eve of our trip. Since we are moving from a big house to a pied a terre I have been obliged to go through boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff in the attic to winnow down to the bare essentials. The Cunard file (including the pictures of us on our QE 2 trip) was in the absolute last box I vowed to go through before chucking out the rest unexamined.

I showed the QM 2 chef Karl Winkler the menu. The executive chef at the time was J.M. Bainbridge. Karl and Chef Bainbridge were good friends. Karl took over when Bainbridge retired.

Though the restaurant we dined in on the QE 2 was called "Tables of the World," the fare was far more classically English (think beef Wellington) than the food today. Here's a look at how the menu has changed over time:

Dinner at Tables of the World Restaurant on the Queen Elizabeth 2

Monday, 27 August 1979

Tempting Starters :
Chilled pineapple or Tomato Juice
Selected smoked salmon with capers
Chilled honeydew melon
Sliced Bismarck Herrings with Onions

From the Cauldrons :
Chicken Gombo [spelled that way]
Creole (clear chicken garnished with peppers, rice, tomatoes, and okra)
Brandied bisque of King Crab
Iced beef bouillon

From Sea or River :
Fillets of Plaice, Meuniere
Farinaceous
Macaroni au Gratin

The Main Fare :
Escalope of Calf's Sweetbreads, Demidoff (sautéed in butter and cooked in a sherry flavored sauce with sliced vegetables)
Roast sirloin of beef, Yorkshire Pudding, Horseradish Cream

From the Grill :
Split spring chicken with Saratogas (potatoes)
The accompaniments: Green peas, Eggplant Provencale, Boiled and Roast Potatoes

The Cold Table :
Roast Chicken
Roast Sirloin of Beef
Sugar Baked Ham
Corned Brisket of Beef
Fresh Brawn [what is that?]

Crisp and Fresh :
Mixed Green or Florida Salads with French Mayonnaise, Roquefort, Thousand Island Dressings

Sweet Revelations :
Blackberry coupe
Chantilly
Bavarian Cream Pie
Vanilla and Raspberry Ice Creams
Blackcurrant Sherbet
Fresh fruit from the salver
A Selection of British North American and Continental cheeses served with crackers

Drink of the day: Bali Hi $1.95 (dark rum, orange curacao, pineapple, lemon, and orange juice, soda added over the rocks)

Red and White wine vin ordinaire : Carafe $5.40; Half carafe $2.70; By the glass 90 cents [this has gone up!]


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