Seafood or See Food: Either Way it's Culinary Art for Holland America Cruise Line Master Chef

High-end chefs are certainly artists. Every plate that comes out of a restaurant kitchen is usually a work of art when it comes to the table. One chef is taking the phrase "playing with food" in a new direction. 

New Food Faces Book by Holland America Master Chef Rudi Sodamin

Holland America Line's Master Chef Rudi Sodamin has a new culinary masterpiece, an art table book called "Food Faces" that features more than 150 vibrant images of edible creations that display a cast of unforgettable characters expressing a whimsical spectrum of human emotion.

Holland America Cruise Line Master Chef Rudi Sodamin

Sodamin began to design and photograph his stylized Food Faces several years ago as a labor of creative love. Since he created his first Food Face, Sodamin has captured hundreds of distinctive characters through his lens. 

His artistic inspiration comes from culinary ingredients and human expression, and he created each plate personality from food items including vegetables, fruit, meats, fish, grains and sweets.

"Rudi is an icon in the cruise industry for his culinary talent and creativity in the kitchen and is regarded as the hospitality industry's most innovative chef, but today we congratulate him for his innovation as an artist with his beautiful new book," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Rudi is esteemed throughout the world for his passion for his craft and his ability to translate that creative energy into serving thousands of guests each day on our ships. 'Food Faces' allows people to be inspired by Rudi's work every day in their homes."

Talent with Making Food as Art

On board Holland America Line ships, guests who dine in Rudi's Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant can enjoy his dynamic Food Faces on exclusive limited-edition plates made by Bernardaud, the leading French manufacturer of Limoges porcelain. Each plate charger features a different image from the "Food Faces" book, creating a table setting unlike any found anywhere in the world.

"ʽFood Faces' has a universal appeal that crosses all ages, languages, art, cultures and food groups," said Sodamin of his concept. "Food is an international language, understood by all, and everyone in the world, regardless of race, gender, experience or social status, can communicate and connect through food."

"Food Faces" was published by Welcome Books, an imprint of Rizzoli, and is available for purchase in bookstores nationwide.  Sodamin will be exhibiting his Food Faces art in Miami, Florida, and in Europe in 2018.

I may have told you before, but I personally have a thing for faces with food. I used to draw food faces in my Dad's restaurant industry magazines. 

We can imagine it takes hours to put these designs together.

I want this book. I also want to go on a Holland America Cruise, too.  However, I don't know if it is the right vacation for kids. It may have to go in the "when we are old" category. I know the kids would love the dining, but the thought of being in a small cabin with two kids who are also getting big would make me question the expense, and kids like to see other kids. As much as I think I'm charming, witty and fun, my kids tell me otherwise. I need to do some research. 

More about The Holland America Cruise Line: 

Holland America Line's fleet of 14 ships offers more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies around the world. From shorter getaways to 113-day itineraries, the company's cruises visit all seven continents, with highlights including Antarctica explorations, South America circumnavigations, Cuba cruises and exotic Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; four annual Grand Voyages; and popular sailings to the CaribbeanAlaskaMexicoCanada and New England, BermudaEurope and the Panama Canal. 

The line welcomed ms Koningsdam in 2016 and has a second Pinnacle-class ship, ms Nieuw Statendam, to be delivered in December 2018. A third Pinnacle-class ship, due for delivery in 2021, recently was announced.

Holland America Cruise Line Master Chef  Rudi Sodamin releases new Food Faces Book with 150 food works of art.

Disclosure: The book is available via Amazon. Amazon is an affiliate of this site where revenue could be earned. 


Quick and Easy Pantry Meal: Pasta and Bean Soup

During the winter, I like to eat soups. My children not so much, but I just give them pasta with butter and then make what I want for dinner. I have found that if you keep chicken stock in your pantry, pasta, beans, and canned tomatoes then you can pretty much make some type of soup.

I made this soup recently by rummaging through my pantry and old cookbooks.

Use your Pantry and serve this easy pasta and bean soup.

Pasta and Bean Soup


1/4 cup of olive oil plus a little more for drizzling
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of fresh or dried rosemary
2 14 oz diced tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
7 cups of chicken stock
6 ounces of pasta (elbow or tiny shells)
2 19-ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed. 


Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add garlic and rosemary and saute about two minutes. Add the tomatoes plus salt and pepper. Simmer for several minutes. 

Add the chicken stock and bring soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes. Add the pasta and cook 7 to 10 minutes. 

Add the canned beans to the pot and simmer for several minutes.  Add salt and pepper, if needed. Once soup is in serving bowls, drizzle with olive oil to taste. 

Serve with my cornbread

This soup is great later in the week. It also makes enough to freeze. 

Are you a soup lover in the winter, too?

#Soups for weeknight meals. Quick and Easy from your pantry with #pasta #beans and #tomatoes. Get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with this soup recipe. Budget-Friendly, too.


New Year. New Parenting Tale. What Do you Know About China?

I celebrated my 7th year blog anniversary this week. When I first started this blog in January 2011,  I wrote an online parenting column for the News and Observer. As a result, I wrote a lot about life as a parent and the challenges (good and bad) that I faced being an older mom with two small children. I have some of those stories archived in my parenting tab for my writing portfolio.

However, when both of my children entered elementary school, I no longer wrote about the kids as much here. There were many reasons I did that with one of them being the fact that they were old enough to find and read my blog.

Yesterday, I went through some of my old content and realized that a lot of these stories are priceless to me as a Mom and my collection makes me remember all the times that busy parents sometimes forget when children age. Liza just turned 8 and Jack turned 12 last week. Some stories need remembering. This morning, I thought of a tale I wanted to preserve and so this story begins.


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