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Set sail on Silversea in East Asia with Aussie celeb chef Adam Liaw & Gullivers

Guests on an 11-day East Asian Silver Muse cruise with group travel specialist Gullivers have a rare treat in store – they will be hosted by acclaimed chef, TV presenter and author Adam Liaw. Everyone’s favourite foodie joins us for a chat.

Guests on an 11-day East Asian Silver Muse cruise with group travel specialist Gullivers have a rare treat in store – they will be hosted by acclaimed chef, TV presenter and author Adam Liaw. Everyone’s favourite foodie joins us for a chat.

If you didn’t already know, Adam Liaw’s professional life took a massive turn when he won the second season of MasterChef Australia in July 2010. It’s still Australia’s most-watched non-sporting TV event.

At the time, Liaw was pursuing a successful career in law. Having completed high school at age 14, he graduated from the University of Adelaide with a double degree in science and law at 21.

The MasterChef win propelled him into another high-achieving sphere, and he says his Chinese-Malaysian grandmother was a big influence on his life and love of cooking.

“My grandma was probably the person who cooked most of the food I ate growing up. Both of my parents worked full-time so she cared for all of us kids,” Liaw said.

“Watching the importance that she put on food as both a practical skill and a gesture of love is my entire approach to cooking today.”

Silversea Adam Liaw 4 Credit Jiwon Kim TCUS6
Adam Liaw on the set of The Cook Up. Image: Jiwon Kim

Right now, he is working on the sixth season of SBS Food’s The Cook Up With Adam Liaw – a phenomenally popular show that features one of Liaw’s quick home-style dinners followed by two famous guests cooking up their favourite dishes and a taste test or humorous chat.

The Cook Up is just one of his gigs; among other things, Liaw writes recipes and columns for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Sunday Life and The Guardian Australia; is UNICEF Australia’s National Ambassador for Nutrition – and he’s a busy dad to three children aged 10, seven and four.

Special culinary journey

Silversea Preparing the dessert dishes in the kitchen Silver Muse 2
Preparing dessert dishes in the kitchen.

Later this year, Liaw is heading to Japan to host an 11-day cruise on Silversea’s Silver Muse on a culinary journey close to his heart. He met his Japanese wife, Asami, while working in media law in Tokyo, speaks the language daily with his family and enjoys making Japanese cuisine accessible for the home cook.
What is he most looking forward to about the cruise?

“The food. Hands down,” he said. “The food of the places we visit will be fantastic but also I’m excited about the cuisine on board.”

“From great wine lists to exceptional food at small restaurants, Silver Muse is really unlike anything I’ve ever experienced on a cruise ship.

Silversea The Grill Silver Muse
The Grill restaurant.

“I’m working with Silver Muse’s regular culinary team to coordinate our special engagements and to make them truly memorable,” Liaw said.

“Silversea already operates to a really high level in their regular food offering, so the goal is to take that expertise and create a seamless experience that integrates with the locations we’re visiting.

Silversea The Asian accented restaurant Indochine. Silver Muse
Indochine restaurant on Silver Muse.

“We have some fantastic activities planned for the guests on Silver Muse. I’ll be hosting several specially curated lunches focused on Japanese and South Korean cuisines during our days at sea, sharing some stories, history and theory of the food of the places we visit.

“There will be at least one sake tasting. My overall hope is that it’s informative. Japanese food is very regional and the more you know, the more you can appreciate it beyond just deciding if it tastes good.

“We’re also planning to include a ‘shopping with the chef’ experience. The markets and supermarkets in Japan are a great place to learn about local food and the local way of life.”

Exciting ports of call

Silversea Pool Deck and Jacuzzi Area Silver Muse
Pool and Jacuzzi area.

The elegant, 596-guest Silver Muse will depart Tokyo late at night on 26 September, heading to Kobe where shore excursions include sake and Kobe beef tastings.

Busan in South Korea is the next port of call, where a shore excursion features a visit to the Jagalchi Fish Market and a cooking class to make the traditional Korean beef dish bulgogi. Korea’s lively “second city” (after the capital, Seoul) is renowned for its friendly locals, beautiful beaches, historic temples and amazing array of street food.

Silversea The exterior of La Terrazza Silver Muse
The exterior of La Terrazza.

After Busan, Silver Muse calls at Kanazaa and Hakodate and returns to Yokohama (Tokyo) on 6 October. Sea days between ports offer ample time to relax on board, make the most of the ship’s many ultra-luxurious facilities and enjoy dining, socialising and learning with your charming and modest host.

Liaw said it’s a great itinerary: “I’m really excited that we’re going to Hakodate in Hokkaido and Kanazawa in Ishikawa. Both are really underrated destinations in Japan and have fantastic gourmet centres. Ishikawa is my wife’s home prefecture, too.”

Family affair

Silversea Silver Muse at sea
Silver Muse at sea.

Back home on Sydney’s north shore, Liaw sounds pretty relaxed about his busy life. When he’s not travelling for work, he cooks for the family every night.

“Usually, it’s quite simple. An easy stir-fry of pork and celery seasoned with chicken stock or a simmered Japanese dish like chikuzen. My kids’ favourite is probably temakizushi (hand-rolled sushi), ” he said.

“People will always find time for the things they prioritise, whether it’s work, going to the gym, scrolling on your phone or cooking dinner. Being present for our family is extremely important to my wife and me and luckily food is a big part of that.

Silversea Silver Suite Silver Muse
Silver Suite.

“Hosting The Cook Up is great because it means I can be home for dinner nearly every night and when I travel, we often try to do that as a family.

“We live a busy life by design and there are trade-offs, of course, but this absolutely isn’t something either of us could do on our own. People will focus on me because I’m the one in the public eye, but my wife and I really are a team.”

Travel advisors, earn AUD$600 commission for each guest booked on this Silver Muse cruise via Gullivers, potentially earning up to $1,200 for every suite booked for two guests.

For more information, visit gullivers.com.au/adam-liaw-culinary-tour