A Taste of a Great Adventure with Ben Fogle

Sicilian Cooking with Ben Fogle and Celebrity Cruises:

While we might not have been invited to enjoy the Sicilian sunshine, I was still thrilled to be invited to The Cookery School Food at 52 to meet Ben Fogle and learn a little more of his ‘adventures’ – a series of shore excursions for Celebrity Cruises.

Celebrity Cruises Food@52 Bloggers Cookery Course.

He gave us a little insight into the concept behind the series – to offer cruise guests something that goes beyond the normal sight seeing tours and gets under the skin of the destinations they are visiting.  It’s a clever idea –  amongst other things you can go salmon snorkeling in Norway, along the Suldalslågen River, learn to make Gelato in Sorrento or learn to cook in Sicily.  And, I genuinely believe it’s a great way to get to know more about a Country.

Celebrity Cruises Food@52 Bloggers Cookery Course.

Our invitation was a taster of the Sicilian cookery experience – we learnt to make our own Italian supper and then sat down to enjoy the meal together.  And, it did remind me of one of the things I liked best, when I spent a week learning to cook in Sicily with Carla, a cook from Modica in Southern Sicily.  The food then was simple but delicious.  On the menu at Food at 52 was a simple but elegant chicken dish followed by amaretti semi freddo and cantuccini

Celebrity Cruises Food@52 Bloggers Cookery Course.

We of course have to cook everything and everyone joined in, even celebrities who claimed not to be able to cook..

Celebrity Cruises Food@52 Bloggers Cookery Course.

And we all sat down and enjoyed supper at the end of the evening with a few good glasses of Sicilian wine

Mascapone stuffed chicken thighs

Food at 52 have been kind enough to share their recipes with me – and I’m passing on my favourite – the mascapone stuffed chicken breast.

Chicken with Mascapone and Parma Ham

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Region Italian
By author Food at 52


  • 8 Chicken thighs with skin on
  • 125g Mascarpone
  • 4 thin slices Parma ham
  • 1 teaspoon Chopped Rosemary
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil


  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Sage


Step 1 Pre heat the oven to 200C.
Step 2 Remove the bone from the thigh with a sharp flexible knife. Make a large pocket under the skin by lifting one edge back to the far edge but leave the skin connected around all other edges.
Step 3 Mix the mascarpone with the rosemary (and other herbs if using), lemon zest and salt and pepper. Share the mixture between the thighs by spreading it under the loose skin on the flesh. Cover this with pieces of Parma ham and pull the skin over the ham to its original position.
Step 4 Roll the thigh up and secure with string or a cocktail stick or even a stick from a sprig of rosemary. Place the thighs in an oven tray and brush with olive oil. Put in oven for 25 minutes until cooked.
Step 5 To make the sauce, remove the thighs from the tray to leave the cooking juices. Mix in any left over mascarpone. Beat the egg yolk with the juice of the lemon and whisk into the pan juices over a low heat, whisking continuously. When the sauce thickens, season well and pour over the chicken. If the sauce does not thicken enough then add another egg yolk. Careful to not overheat or you could end up with scrambled egg!

Now, I’m not sure you’ll get to meet Ben by booking a cruise, but if you are interested in trying one of his Great Adventures, the programme will be available in every destination featured throughout 2014.  The first adventure is Norwegian salmon snorkelling…which will be available on the 8-night Norwegian Fjords cruise onboard Celebrity Eclipse on 2 May 2014.  For further information and to book visit www.celebritycruises.co.uk/BenFogle or call 0844 493 2043.

With thanks to Celebrity Cruises for their hospitality at Foodat52.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.


    • says

      The recipe is lovely and easy – and a great technique to have tried (deboning chicken thighs – very simple!). I have the cantuccini and semi freddo too, may post them later, if not let me know if you want them

  1. says

    Look at you hobnobbing with celebrities 😉 Sounds like a fun evening and a good idea. Even I might be tempted by a cruise if it involved cooking in the countries visited.

  2. says

    Ooo I wouldn’t be able to focus if Ben was at my table 😉 !
    I love teh concept of Food 52 though ,now if only I could go on a Sicilian Cooking adventure – ah!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *