Seabourn Antarctica & Patagonia Dispatch 9 December 2013
During the night Seabourn Quest continued up the inland waterway formed by Isla Chiloé and the mainland, past numerous facilities growing salmon, oysters and mussels, toward Puerto Montt. Once anchored off the central city of Chile’s famous Lake District, guests went ashore to further explore. Several of us boarded a bus that took us from sea level up to resort city of Puerto Varas on the shore of Lake Llanquihue (say Yank-EE-way) and on to the classical music center of Frutillar.
Our enthusiastic guide Patricio described how mid-19th century German immigrants cleared a trail from Puerto Montt through the forest and established a community of farms along the shores of Lake Llanquihue. The area still reflects the Black Forest in its architecture, food and culture. A dramatic performing arts center was recently built on the lakeshore at Frutillar and draws classical musicians from around the world to perform at its festivals. Several small inns, restaurants, artisan shops and a cultural museum were clustered near the center.
We made a welcome stop at a local German social club for empanadas, sopias and fruit plus coffee, juice and wine. While there Osorno Volcano made a dramatic appearance across the lake. On the way back to the ship, Patricio engaged each of us in personal discussions and answered all of our questions.
Another group of us were able to have an outstanding culinary experience with Chef Richard Knobloch. The objective was to go with him to buy the ingredients for a lunch and then see how he cooked it before sitting down to eat it all. Off we went to the local Angelmo Market where we went from stall to stall with him, tasting fruit, choosing fish and shellfish and buying spices. Then off to an old farm where the owner specializes in organic vegetables and herbs - tasting the sorrel, lettuce and especially the arugula was an experience.
We drove on to Puerto Varas and spent a short time shopping and admiring the cone of the Osorno Volcano that was poking above the clouds at the far side of the lake. Finally back to the restaurant to join Richard in the kitchen, listening to his advice and helping with some of the mundane tasks. After some outstanding pisco sour it was time to eat - a ceviche which included mussels and sea weed as well as other shellfish and avocado, followed by kingclip with a spinach sauce, and then the main fish dish on mashed potatoes, finishing up with fresh cherries (it’s springtime here!) We were full of new ideas, wonderful food and enthusiasm, promising ourselves that in future we would all be more adventurous when cooking! What a wonderful tour!
Dr. Roger Hewitt
Prof. David Walton
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