Guest Post: Recognizing Royal Caribbean's Bacardi Cruise Bartender and Chef Competition Winners

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Lisa Bauer - Senior VP, Hotel Operations

Lisa Bauer - Senior VP, Hotel Operations

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to do a better job celebrating our successes and doing even more to recognize our amazing employees for special achievements. The recent Bacardi Cruise Bartender and Chef Competition has given us more good reasons to celebrate. I must warn you that this blog will make you both hungry and thirsty!

For the past five years, Royal Caribbean has not only taken part, but has had winners in each and every year in the Bacardi Cruise Bartender and Chef Competition. This competition is designed to recognize creativity aboard the world’s leading cruise and ferry lines, where bartenders and chefs create recipes incorporating Bacardi products and the grand prize winners receive cash scholarships.

This year Bacardi received over 926 entries from all over the world!

This competition is a perfect demonstration of the talent which Royal Caribbean has across our fleet of 21 ships. This year was no exception and we wanted to congratulate our winners. We had 3 overall winners.

In the French Culinary Category, the winner was Thanduzolo Noxeke, Sous Chef, Freedom of the Seas. He created a Raspberry Rum Bacardi Poached Cray Fish with Cucumber Cheese Roulade that was inspired by Bacardi Razz and Limon.

Alexius Del Rosario, a cook on Brilliance of the Seas, was the category winner in the Chinese Culinary category. Alexius created a recipe for Yellow Fin Tuna with Grey Goose Soy Dressing which was inspired by Grey Goose Vodka.

During last nights award ceremony held on Fisher Island in Miami, BACARDI announced that Chris Chudley, Assistant Beverage Manager of Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas was selected for his cocktail recipe, “Elderphir” as BACARDI Bartender of the Year.

Along with this award and new title, he was presented with a check for $5,000. This is the first time Chris had entered the competition and claims his initial interest was to get his colleagues to take part in the competition. He says this was a very nice surprise; he not only won for his drink recipe, was flown to Miami to attend the awards ceremony, but ended up being the 2009 BARCARDI BARTENDER OF THE YEAR!

We are very proud of Christopher, Thanduzolo and Alexius and hope you enjoy these creative culinary creations onboard a Royal ship soon. If you are feeling adventurous, I’ve attached the recipes for you to give them a try at home. If you do try one of the recipes, give a toast to these three gentlemen for their success.

As for me, I’m taking the recipes home for my husband Joe to give them a try since he is the chef in the family.


BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin Category Winner: Elderphire

Elderphire with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®

Elderphire with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®

1 ¼ parts BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin
¼ part St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
¼ part Sugar cane syrup
4 Lemon wedges

Preparation Instructions:
Squeeze juice from all lemon wedges into a shaker. Add ice, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin and all ingredients. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.


French Cuisine Category Winner: BACARDI® Rum Poached Crayfish with Cucumber Cheese Roulade


Poaching Crayfish
4 Crayfish tails
60 ml BACARDI® RAZZ™ Flavored Rum
100 ml olive oil
100 ml water
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange
Salt and pepper

Cheese and Cucumber Roulade
100 g Cream cheese
20 g Red onions, chopped
20 g Scallions, chopped
20 g Red bell peppers, diced finely
20 g Apples, diced (with skin)
20 g Chives, chopped
1 tsp Lemon juice
½ Cucumber
Salt and pepper

Tomato and Avocado Salsa
20 g Tomato concassé
20 g Scallion, diced finely
20 g Avocado, chopped
20 ml Olive oil
Bundle of parsley, chopped
Juice of one lemon
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper

Caramelized Red Pepper
1 Red bell pepper, chopped and de-seeded
80 g Brown sugar
80 ml Red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper


Poaching Crayfish
1. Mix all ingredients except the water in a bowl.
2. Roll the crayfish tails into a ball using a piece of string. Put the crayfish ball inside plastic wrap, and then add the mixture and tie a knot, making sure none of the mixture escapes.
3. Bring water in a sauté pan to a boil and then turn down the heat.
4. Simmer the crayfish balls in the pain for ten minutes.
5. Remove the crayfish and allow them to cool slightly in the plastic wrap so that the flavours infuse. Keep warm until ready for serving.

Cheese and Cucumber Roulade
1. Thinly slice the cucumber lengthwise to form ribbons.
2. Allow the cream cheese to reach room temperature.
3. Mix cream cheese and the chopped red onions, red peppers, apples, and chives; season with salt and pepper.
4. Layout the cucumber ribbons on a plastic wrap, making sure they are equal and are lying horizontally to each other.
5. Dollop the cream cheese mixture on to the cucumber ribbons. Carefully roll the ribbons, creating a roulade.
6. Cover the sides with the chopped scallions.

Tomato and Avocado Salsa
Mix all the ingredients except the parsley together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add parsley on top of mixture per plate.

Caramelized Red Peppers
Mix all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil; reduce to a syrup consistency. Place caramelized red peppers on top of the poached crayfish.

Balsamic reduction
Reduce to a syrup consistency over low heat in a pan. Add droplets to each plate.


Chinese Cuisine Category Winner: Yellow Fin Tuna with GREY GOOSE® Soya Dressing
1 serving

3 oz Tuna steak
1 Nori wrap
40 g Mesclun mix
8 tbsp Tempura batter
1 tbsp Soya sauce
1 Lemon, cut into six pieces
50 g Pickled ginger
¼ tbsp Tobiko
¼ tbsp Ginger powder
15 ml GREY GOOSE® Vodka
15 ml Soy sauce
30 ml Chicken stock
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
60 ml Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Marinate tuna with soya sauce, lemon, and GREY GOOSE® Vodka.
2. Wrap tuna steak with half of the nori wrap, and then dip in the tempura batter mix.
3. Fry in a deep fryer to make the outer layer crispy.
4. Arrange fried tuna steak on plate with drizzled soya sauce.
5. Garnish with mesclun mix and pickled ginger, forming a rosette topped with tobiko.

  • royal caribbean cruises

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  • Daniel HANNERS

    Why did you change your website. The new one is much
    harder to use when you are looking at cruses. It is harder to see the rates per deck and catagory. The old
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  • Ericka Collado

    Im a first time cruiser and heard alot of good things about Royal, so I went ahead and booked the 5 night to the Caribbean in June. As the day comes closer I want to know more about the cruise. I went to read some reviews and now Im a bit concerned. I know not everyone is going to have a good review but Im going on the oldest ship, Grandeur of the Seas. Ive heard the rooms have been dirty and the food isnt that great. My expectations are just what a first time cruiser is, alot of good food and good entertainment. So my question is has anything been updated? Theres nothing worst than a unclean room with old dated furniture and cold food. Ive only made the deposit and Im hoping not to cancel and go on another cruise line. Im just a worried traveler, YIKES!!

    • Adam

      Hi Ericka. All of the ships in the Royal Caribbean International fleet have a focus on ensuring our guests have a great experience. For Grandeur specifically, our guests sailing on Grandeur rate her above the fleet average in terms of Overall Vacation Experience. In terms of overall dining experience, Grandeur is rated by the guests that sail on her to have ratings 7 points higher than the fleet average and the food is 4 points above the fleet average. In terms of the stateroom, the guests that sail on her specifically gave the stateroom cleanliness a score of 284 out of 300, so exceptionally high scores and right at the fleet average. We continually focus on ship overall appearance, entertainment and activities, providing a great dining experience, and overall delivering the WOW to our guests by our crew. We especially look forward to welcoming first time cruisers to our brand.

  • adrianus

    Dear sir or madam.I would like to join your company as be your staff.I hope you will contact me for job opportunity in this cruise.
    Dear Sir or Madam I am stay in indonesia but my Dream to get working in this cruise so that I am really need your help to contact me if any job opportunity in your company.that all for me,thank you verry much for your time.

    • Adam

      Hi Adrianus,

      Thank you for your interest in working with Royal Caribbean International. To find career opportunities available with Royal Caribbean, please visit,