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The Culinary Center

For those enthusiasts seeking enlightenment beyond that found in a library or a lecture, Riviera offers the only custom-designed and truly hands-on cooking school at Sea. At The Culinary Center, you will learn how to prepare a variety of exquisite dishes at your own fully equipped workstation in a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen. Master Chefs from around the world offer guidance and inspiration to fine-tune your techniques, but you will actually prepare the dishes yourself. It’s the ultimate way to learn and truly absorb every step of each recipe, especially since at select ports you may accompany the instructor chefs while shopping for fresh ingredients ashore at local markets on our exclusive Culinary Discovery Tours™.

Onboard Classes

Amore Italiano
It's hard to find a traveler who, when asked, "What is your most memorable meal?" doesn’t include an Italian dish on the list. This class was designed around the favorite Italian dishes of our faculty from the major regions of Italy. You'll master favorite dishes from Liguria, Tuscany, Venice and Puglia. Learn about the various olive oils of Italy and sample some local wines. Learn to appreciate the regional differences in Italian cuisine and how to prepare an authentic Italian feast at home.

At Home in Sicily
Enhanced over the centuries by Greek, Italian, Arab, French and Spanish culinary influences, Sicilian cuisine exemplifies the inventive use of local and seasonal ingredients. Join in a celebration of pasta, fish and rice dishes from the home kitchens of our Sicilian faculty. Plus, learn what makes Sicilian olive oil and wines so popular.

Bundles of Love
Who doesn't enjoy a bite of food with something special inside? From sweet to savory, this class is a fun way to spend two hours and taste lots of delicious food. You'll travel the world in this class, making dishes from around the globe, all celebrating these tasty little bundles. Dishes will vary by season, and you'll master a range of recipes that call on a variety of cooking techniques.

Cote D'Azur
Known as the French Riviera, the southeastern coast of the Mediterranean is a rich culinary region extending from the Italian-French border in Liguria to the sunny beaches of Saint-Tropez. As a result of spending much time in this region, our faculty have selected their favorite recipes from Liguria and Provence, creating a class celebrating dishes you can easily replicate at home. Prepare dishes that capture the magnificence of the fresh produce, lavender fields, abundant seas and aromatic herbs of this enchanting Mediterranean coastline, and enjoy a glass of the region's whimsical rosé.

Cuban Family Table
Explore Cuba via family-treasured recipes from the kitchens of home cooks who have passed their secrets down over generations. Learn the key to mouthwatering pastries, rich stews, succulent meats, savory rices, creamy beans and abundant desserts. Plus, learn the secrets of the perfect mojito, and the daiquiri – made popular by Ernest Hemingway – and travel back in time with us to Old Havana!

Global Gourmet
We believe that one of the main reasons to travel is to taste the cuisine of the places you visit. By doing so, one gains an appreciation of the ingredients, traditions and family life of the people and place. This class was designed to help you better appreciate the cuisines of the world, and to explore the spices, cooking techniques, ingredients, vessels and preparation of foods from around the world. Come along and take a trip around the world with us – prepare and sample great food, and dream about where you want to travel next!

Happy 80th, Jacques Pépin
Help us celebrate the glorious career of our Executive Culinary Director, Jacques Pépin, regarded in the chef community as the master of technique. We've selected recipes for this class that embrace Jacques' lifelong passion for culinary technique. Prepare delicious dishes while practicing the basic techniques that chefs have learned from Jacques Pépin over the past six decades. Drink a glass of Jacques' favorite champagne as a toast to the master, and send a happy birthday photo to him at the conclusion of each class!

I Primi
We all love ordering pasta when travelling in Italy or for a night out, but how about eating pasta in the true Italian tradition – at home! This popular class covers the basics of pasta: fresh vs dried, cookery and sauces. Gather around our chef station and experience the joy of making fresh pasta, then roll out pasta dough at your station and make two sauces. You'll also make a dish with dried pasta and see a chef demonstration of advanced pasta techniques.

La Technique Francais
Every professional chef must master the fundamentals of French cooking, and those foundational techniques form the basis of this class. Using La Technique, the chef's bible from Jacques Pépin, we have created a class around mastering the principles of fine French cooking. Even the most accomplished professional chef reviews these techniques on a regular basis, so learn how to enhance your cooking at home while preparing tasty recipes especially selected to help you improve your technique.

Land of Argan
Based on the travels of Executive Chef Kelly in Essaouira, Southwest Morocco, this class provides a foundation in the hottest trending culinary cuisine today. Learn the basics of tagine cookery and gain an understanding of how the many spices of Moroccan cuisine are blended to create the unique and sensual intersection of sweet and savory. Taste Argan oil and learn why it is prized for culinary and cosmetic uses worldwide.

Greek cuisine is so popular with our faculty, we asked them to nominate their favorite recipes from Oceania Cruises' ports in Santorini, Rhodes, Crete and Athens. Travel with us across Greece and learn their secrets for perfect grilling, using warm spices, seasonal vegetables and their secret ingredient – extra virgin olive oil. If you are a fan of healthy food with lots of flavor, this class is a must on your culinary bucket list!

Ottoman Palace Feast
For 400 years, the Ottoman Empire sat at the nexus of the East and the West. The feasts of the Topkapi Palace were amongst the most ornate and complex in culinary history. Immerse yourself in the deep and rich culinary history of Istanbul, and enjoy learning flavorful and elegant recipes you can easily make at home. This is the perfect class if you are traveling to Istanbul.

Patio Pleasures
Tired of the same old patio party fare? It's time to try out some tasty new favorites for outdoor entertaining. Summertime patio dining is all about simplicity and flavor – when the weather is perfect for grilling, and fruits and veggies are at the height of freshness. Learn professional grilling techniques while mastering flavorful dishes that will expand your repertoire and delight your guests.

Pizza Master Class
Based on the award-winning new book The Pizza Bible, this class was designed by the author & producer of this at-home pizza cookbook. Discover the essentials of regional pizza doughs, and make traditional, deep dish and NY-style thin crust doughs. Learn how to grill a pizza on your backyard barbeque and how to make authentic pizza sauce. Gain the confidence you need to host a pizza party at home with authenticity and great taste!

Planet Veggie
It's not surprising that the most popular cookbooks selling today are promoting increased innovation and greater diversity with vegetables. This class is designed to share our favorite recipes using vegetables, grains and alternative flours. Learn how to go meatless without sacrificing on taste. Inspired by world cuisines that rely heavily on vegetables, this class will add several new dishes to your healthy recipe repertoire.

Rock the Wok
The primary cooking technique of Asian cuisine uses very high heat and the vessel known as a wok. In this class, you will explore a number of the diverse cuisines of Asia. You'll master the Asian pantry of ingredients used in these cuisines. Knife skills, mise en place and high heat cooking are the fundamental techniques of this class. You'll also learn how to sear fish and roll sushi, along with the basics of rice wine and sake.

Sweets for the Sweet
Indulge your sweet tooth in this celebration of desserts. In addition to learning how to work with chocolate, you'll master the proper culinary techniques to create elegant and decadent desserts, along with classic treats. You will also enjoy learning about some of the trendiest after-dinner cocktails and tasting dessert wines for the perfect post-meal pairings.

Viva Tapas
The tapas lifestyle is gaining popularity outside of Spain with small plates of savory and delicious food being shared with friends over great wine and conversation. You'll be perfectly capable of hosting a tapas party after this class – complete with our authentic recipe for sangria. Learn how tapas differentiate themselves across Spain, from the inventive gastronomical innovation of San Sebastián to the rustic street food of Barcelona to the beach-inspired treats of Costa del Sol, by rolling up your sleeves and making them yourself!

Wake up to Brunch
Whether gathering together with old friends, spending time with family or simply celebrating the joys of the weekend, brunch makes a fabulous occasion to try out new recipes and savor great food. Master the techniques of egg cookery and classic brunch dishes perfect for incorporating your own signature flair, plus learn entertaining tips and tricks that make hosting brunch a breeze!

What Mermaids Know
As we all balance our diets for diversity, fish is one protein that consistently intimidates even the most experienced of home cooks. In this technique-driven class, you'll master the basics of fish cookery: sear, bake, shallow poach, deep poach, curing and ceviche. When you finish this class, you will know how to purchase and store fish, and cook or prepare it in a diverse number of ways. This class also shares the passion and practices in the worldwide chef community for sustainable fishing and responsible aquaculture.