Drink + Dine

Culinary Cruisin’ with Chef Chris Crary

November 10, 2014
Written by: Yasha Wallin

What happens when HYDE Sunset Kitchen + Cocktail’s Executive Chef Chris Crary sails around Europe for two weeks? A creative culinary adventure, complete with rare (and in some places illegal) menu ingredients, one massive cruise ship and 2,500 happy diners. Already influenced by Asian, Italian and Spanish flavors, Chef Chris will bring this additional overseas experience back to the kitchen at HYDE Sunset for us to feast on. Below, Crary shares a few highlights from the trip:

Favorite thing from the cruise: Being able to be in such a large kitchen and helping to serve a mass amount of people. We served 2,500 people for 12 days. To put it in perspective, there was 1,000 lbs. of romaine lettuce. It was pretty unbelievable.

Most interesting ingredient cooked with: Foie Gras. We just started to be able to serve it in LA again, so that was fun to eat and cook with.

Cruise stops: We started in England, and then traveled to Spain, Portugal, and France. On the boat we had cooking classes, demos, quick fire challenges, and private dinners.

Best city for food: Bilbao, Spain. There were delicious tapas (small plates) served everywhere. And great wine! We had long lunches, then a siesta and a late dinner.

Best thing you ate: Egg Torta. Served room temperature, perched on top of a small counter top bar in one of the quaintest cafes in Bilbao, Spain. It had the perfect consistency, with its melty cheese, barely cooked egg, and al dente salty potatoes it made for the perfect bite.

Anything from the trip that inspired new dishes for HYDE Sunset? A pear and Roquefort cheese stuffed puff pastry that was served on the ship. It was the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy.

Funny memories: There was a life size cut out of me that made its way around the boat. I kept finding it in random places and one of my demo’s was delayed because it had to be taken out of the HR Director’s room. (Apparently someone was playing a joke on him)

Best thing you drank: Red sangria at 11 am outside of a small café. Each pitcher was filled with fresh fruit, spices and what had to be a soft locally grown rioja.

City you fell in love with and why: I fell in love with Port and Douro Valley in Portugal. It’s amazing views, beautiful lush green mountainous ranges and of course the copious amounts of masterfully crafted Port wine.