Adventure Cruise News

Adventure Cuisine Alaska - Chef Tracie Triolo aboard Pacific Catalyst II

by Todd Smith

Food is an integral part of any travel experience and adventure cruises are no exception. Our Adventure Cuisine series highlights the outstanding chefs, food and meals you can expect aboard our selection of adventure cruises. Today we highlight the Inside Passage cruise and Chef Tracie Triolo aboard the Pacific Catalyst. Tracie has shared recipes for her signature Seared Duck and Herb-Rubbed Flank Steak. 

Active Inside Passage

Cruise Alaska's Active Inside Passage aboard the Pacific Catalyst II - a 75' historic wooden research yacht lovingly restored to cruise Alaska in style. 12 guests actively explore by yacht, on foot and by kayak in search of glaciers, whales and abundant wildlife. Enjoy exclusive access to Pack Creek bear viewing on Admiralty Island. As seen in National Geographic Traveler Magazine's Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime.

Guests consistently tell us that the food aboard the Catalyst is outstanding and a huge focus of the trip.  Some have even said that this cruise should be a food themed Alaskan cruise. If you have traveled aboard the Pacific Catalyst and enjoyed Tracie's cooking please share your experience in the comments below.

Pacific Catalyst II

Chef Tracie Triolo

Tracie grew up in Boulder, Colorado where she developed a passion for food, music and the outdoors. She began working at an early age in her family's restaurant and spent most of her spare time playing music, skiing, backpacking and refining her backcountry cooking skills. Many summer vacations were in a remote cabin on a lake in northern Wisconsin, where swimming, canoeing, fishing and harvesting wild edibles consumed most of the long days.  She now lives in Mendocino County, California during the school year and teaches woodwinds at the Ukiah School of Music. She plays piccolo and flute with local symphony orchestras and Baritone Saxophone in jazz bands.  Tracie uses cooking on charter boats as an excuse to return to southeast Alaska every summer and the money earned to support her decadent musician lifestyle the rest of the year.

Tracy Triolo

Seared Duck Breast

Greens with Berry Vinaigrette, Wild Rice, Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Salad


¼ C. white wine vinegar

4 shallots, chopped

4 Tbs. honey

1 Tbs. prepared whole grain mustard

¾ C. mixed berries

1 C. canola oil

splash Worcestershire sauce

splash Tabasco sauce

chopped fresh thyme

white pepper & salt to taste

Blend all together; toss fresh greens with some of the vinaigrette.

Arrange greens on individual plates.


1 whole Butternut Squash, peeled and cut.  Cook until tender (do not overcook) – drain, set aside.

Wild Rice – Bring 3 ½ C. water to boil; add 1 C. rice; reduce heat to simmer; cook until moisture is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

¼  Red Onion, sliced very thin.

Gently toss the squash, rice and onion together with ¼ C. vinaigrette & organic herb mix.  Place in the center of the greens.


Duck Breast

Trim fat & skin even with the edges of the breast.

Season well with herbs [thyme, marjoram, garlic, salt & pepper] and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Place skin-side down in hot seasoned pan.  Immediately reduce heat and let fat render out of duck breast, to a thin layer of fat in the pan.

Turn breast to cook on the other side, until desired temperature [Tracie suggests medium rare].

Slice thinly on the bias, and arrange on top of the salad.

[Tracie cut up and rendered the duck fat trimmings along with the breast.  She will use the savory fat and trimmings in some creative way later in the week.]

Pour remaining vinaigrette over all, sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts, and serve.

Herb-Rubbed Flank Steak

Herb Rubbed Flank Steak with Shallot Mushroom and Sherry Sauce, Potato Dumplings, Steamed Broccoli, Orange Gingerbread with sliced fresh Peaches and Whipped Cream

Flank Steak

Make a Rub using:

6 Tbs salt

1 Tbs black pepper

chopped garlic



Let Rub stand on steak for 20 minutes.

Sear steak on high heat until brown on both sides.

Remove from heat and place in baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes or until desired temperature.


Cut 1 lb. red potatoes into quarters and place in pot.

Cover with water and cook until tender.

Remove from heat, saving ½ C. liquid.  Mash the potatoes with the remaining liquid.

Add to mashed potatoes:

2 eggs

2 Tbs. olive oil or butter


enough flour to make a dough that is not too sticky

Roll into logs; slice into desired size, and roll into dumplings.

Drop dumplings into boiling water until they float – wait one minute; remove and drain.

Toss cooked dumplings in a little olive oil or butter, S&P to taste.

Garnish with thyme flowers.

Tracy Triolo Pacific Catalyst



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