It was, perhaps, a little more sharing that even Curtis Stone had hoped for.
The world famous Aussie chef was a greedy child who always ate everything on his plate – and still came back for more.
Only a mother can reveal such secrets. That’s what happens when you bring your mum Lorraine Coles on board the cruise ships that houses your restaurant.
More revelations? The famous orange cake was Stone’s concoction – but mum and son used to make beautiful Anzac biscuits together.
Stone’s cruise restaurant Share, on board the Sun Princess, came to Sydney this week and the chef showed off his love for Italian white truffle, liberally shaved on one of his shared dishes, potato gratin.
“Cruise ships have changed so much in the last few years. Previously, it was all about how much you can eat at the buffet. Now people have different expectations, appreciate great food and there’s even Michelin-star restaurants on board cruise lines.
Share restaurant on board three Princess ships, was Stone’s attempt to get family members and friends to “linger and share dishes with someone you care,’’ Stone said.
“You don’t have to worry about getting a baby-sitter, a taxi or uber cab to take you home after dinner. You just walk back to your cabin.
“The atmosphere on board Share is homey and contemporary. When we were working with interior designers on what the restaurant should look like, they asked to come to my house.
“It’s a bit freaky that the same books and knick knacks in my house are now displayed in the restaurant.’’
The meal at Sun Princess started with a share plate of dry-cured Spanish ham and Australian pork sopressata and bethmale cheese with honey.
“I use Tasmanian honey because I like a bit of sweetness with cheeses,’’ Stone explained.
The next course was a garden salad of 12 ingredients including finely sliced baby turnip, radish and Australian prawns with lemon gel and citrus salt – it was so refreshing.
For mains, we shared a cold plate of roasted crab legs, topped with Tobanjian aioli, beef cheek pie with porcini mushrooms and potato gratin with white Italian truffle personally shaved by Stone – they all tasted delicious especially the crab.
For desserts, we had Stone’s signature bread pudding topped with warm toffee sauce. It was a winner.
Passengers can either choose to eat a la carte or pay a fixed price menu of $39 per person at Share restaurant.
Wherever possible, Stone prefers to source good quality produce from Australia especially fresh seafood from Sydney Fish Market. But in the case of white truffle, it has to be imported as it can only be found in a small region in Umbria, Italy.
“Tasting white truffle is like owning your first pair of Jimmy Choo shoes,’’ Stone said. “And white truffle exudes a sexy smell too,’’ he said as he went round each table generously shaving white truffle on 70 invited guests’ potato gratin dishes.
“I’ve spent my morning watching the produce being loaded up – crates upon crates, palettes after palettes. We even have a sophisticated way of storing tomatoes perfectly in the cold store.
Share restaurants are available on the Sun and Ruby Princess. A third ship, Emerald Princess will also have a Share restaurant when she arrives in Australian waters next month after a major refit.