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Thanksgiving Onboard

By HannahTuesday 22nd November 2016

We love celebrating holidays here at Royal Caribbean. For those that live in the United States, Thanksgiving, which falls on the 24th November this year, is a day for indulging in a huge dinner and spending time with loved ones, so we’ve decided to be a little indulgent ourselves. We’re speaking to our Executive Chef, Darran Yardley-Salisbury, about his favourite dishes to make, and how he ended up working at Royal Caribbean. He’s always cooking up a storm on Independence of the Seas, so look out for his staple dishes!


Hi, Darran, tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently doing!

My name is Darran Yardley-Salisbury. I live in England with my wife and daughter, who has just recently had a baby, so I’m now officially a grandad! I was trained in the British Armed Forces and served with the airborne infantry units. As a chef for 25 years, I have worked all over the world, and have had some great experiences starting and opening new restaurants on a few different ships. I opened Sabor, our Mexican restaurant, on Oasis of the Seas in Rotterdam’s dry dock, as well as on both Navigator and Freedom of the Seas. I am currently the Executive Chef onboard the beautiful Independence of the Seas, having been with Royal Caribbean for six years. As a passionate Chef, I have a team of 236 that run a 24-hour operation, 365 days a year. This is my ninth ship, previously sailing on Oasis, Allure, Liberty, Freedom, Explorer, Brilliance, Rhapsody and Navigator. It’s currently day eight of the current Independence cruise. I only really know what day it is when I see it on the elevator floors – days have no significance when I’m onboard!

Are there any special meals you enjoy making for our lucky cruisers?

I have a dish that I serve here as a little special, which is not on the menu, called Scallop Ceviche. I use this as a kind of ‘amuse bouche’ if we have any special dinners. When I served in the Armed Forces, we used to have an annual dinner that HRH the Prince of Wales would attend; this was one of the first dishes I made for him as an early Chef in 1990, so it’s something that takes me back to my younger days in the industry. Here’s how you make it:

Scallop Ceviche



Belgium endive lettuce Queen scallops 1 Lime 1 Lemon Crème fraiche Salt & pepper Chives Streaky bacon Cilantro


Remove the lettuce leaves from the bulb, place in iced water and trim at the base. Then dice some queen scallops into small squares, around a quarter of an inch each. Cover the scallops in a mix of 75% lime juice and 25% lemon juice and put them into the fridge. Whilst the scallops are marinating, put some crème fraiche in another bowl and add lime juice, salt, pepper, chopped chives, chopped cilantro (coriander), and some finely diced streaky bacon that has been cooked until golden brown. Mix together and set aside. After around 45 minutes, remove the scallops from the fridge, strain off the juice and mix together with the crème fraiche mix. Then spoon the mixture onto an endive lettuce leaf, garnish with a sprinkle of diced bacon and add a little chopped cilantro to finish. We have a similar recipe that we use with red endive lettuce – this has a more bitter taste. We add some orange juice to the scallops and make a sweet orange dressing to balance the bitterness. Both recipes are amazing! Find out more information on our restaurant and drink options onboard our ships.

What is your favourite dish to make?

Yorkshire Puddings I am actually from Blackpool in Lancashire, but we still make the best Yorkshire Puddings on the High Seas! I used to make Yorkshire Puddings with my mum on a Sunday at home, when I was around 7-years-old. Although it’s not a particularly special recipe, it’s certainly special to me. My dad would tell my mother that the football was on and ask if I wanted to join him, but I used to stay in the Kitchen with my mum instead, baking fresh Yorkshire puddings for the whole family. The recipe I use is actually hers, introduced to me in the early 80s. She has since passed away, but every time we make them onboard it takes me back to Sunday afternoons at home with her. We always used to eat the first batch – Mum and I would dip them in the gravy that she had made from the fresh meat juices… heaven! Darran's famous Yorkshire Puddings - He makes up to 4000 every Thanksgiving onboard! Darran's famous Yorkshire Puddings - He makes up to 4000 every Thanksgiving onboard! Do you have any special plans for Thanksgiving Onboard? See the attached menu for the Thanksgiving Menu onboard this year – this will be what is offered in our Main Dining Room on 24th November. We have foods from around the world available. There’s a live cooking station available every evening; ‘Live Pasta Cooking’, ‘Mongolian Stir Fry’ and ‘Mixed Grill Night’, to name a few. We also have a rotating nightly theme; Greek, Mexican, French, Caribbean, German, English, Spanish, Italian – the location will depend on the demographic of the guests!


Do you have any queries about what food will be available when you sail with us? Get in contact before you sail to make sure you’re dining to the best of your ability!


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