Arguably, one of the most talked about aspects of a cruise vacation is the food onboard. Many cruise lines tout top-notch culinary experiences that enhance the value of a vacation at sea and have even partnered with gourmet chefs from around the world to bring epicurean delight. Here are 5 chefs making their grill-marks across the cruise industry.
Chef Daniel Boulud ~ Celebrity Cruises
French Chef, Daniel Boulud, was awarded his first of six James Beard awards in 1992 as the Executive Chef at Le Cirque in NYC, but his career in the culinary world began long before then. His passion for food started at a young age, and in 1969, as a young teen, Daniel became a culinary apprentice in Lyon, France at Nandron, a Michelin two-star restaurant. Fast forward to present day and Chef Boulud is the owner of multiple restaurants across the U.S., Canada, Dubai, Singapore, and the Bahamas as well as a catering company, retail market and Le Voyage dining venue on the Celebrity Beyond cruise ship. Chef Boulud brought his love for seasonal flavors aboard the Celebrity Beyond with Le Voyage and created a menu of global-inspired dishes. Alaskan King Crab salad and Tartare de Boeuf à la Tunisienne are just a few of the appetizer offerings that can be paired with Brazilian Moqueca or Lamb Chop à la Grècque, which grace the entrée selections.
Chef Jamie Oliver ~ Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Well-known as an advocate for healthy meals for schoolchildren, Chef Jamie Oliver (aka The Naked Chef), has brought simple, fresh, and delicious Italian fare to multiple ships across the Royal Caribbean cruise fleet with Jamie’s Italian.
Chef Oliver, an Emmy award-winning TV personality and author of 25 cookbooks has shared his belief that delicious culinary creations can also be well-balanced meals, and simple in preparation. This belief translates to the Royal Caribbean Tuscan-style dining venue, Jamie’s Italian, in the form of homestyle dishes such as Penne Pomodoro, Pan-Roasted Salmon, and Calabrian Chicken. With ingredients sourced from independent farmers and handmade pasta made fresh daily, it’s easy to see why the Jamie’s Italian menus boost “Classic Italian Food with a Jamie Twist”.
Chef Richard Chen ~ Princess Cruises
As a child, Chef Richard Chen started his culinary career by helping in his father’s restaurants, first in Taiwan and then later in Chicago. He now credits those experiences as being the foundation of his life’s work. As former head chef of Las Vegas restaurant Wing Lei, Richard Chen, has long cited consistency in excellent cuisine and service as the key to its Michelin star rating two years in a row, a first for any Chinese restaurant in North America.
Chef Chen’s contemporary take on classic Chinese cuisine made him the perfect choice to partner with Princess Cruises on their venue Harmony, a specialty restaurant serving up a variety of delectable dishes. Dubbed the “Duck Master,” Chef Chen created such dishes as the Eggplant & Roasted Duck Casserole with mushrooms and a spicy plum sauce, Spicy Marinated Chilled Jelly Fish, Peking Duck Salad and more. His favorite ingredient to work with is fresh seafood which is featured in many dishes on the menu at Harmony. Taste the Harmony Chef Chen has created with Princess Cruises
Chef Thomas Keller ~ Seabourn Cruise Line
World-renowned American-born chef, Thomas Keller, has partnered with Seabourn Cruise Line to bring a host of dishes to cruisers’ palates. As the proprietor of culinary establishments such as The French Laundry in Napa Valley and Per Se in New York City, both with Michelin 3-star ratings, Chef Keller brings to life his philosophy that dining should be about the experience as well as the food served.
Seabourn’s The Grill by Thomas Keller is a nod to the classic dining style brought about in the 50’s and 60’s featuring appetizers such as Caesar Salad prepared tableside, Gulf Prawn Cocktail, and Steamed Whole Calico Artichoke. For main course selections, choose from Eggplant Parmesan, Roasted Chicken, Lobster Thermidor, Prime New York Strip Steak and more. Chef Keller has also created selections for The Patio, the poolside dining venue, and The Colonnade, Seabourn’s luxury indoor/outdoor buffet. Experience Seabourn’s The Grill by Thomas Keller or learn more about Chef Thomas Keller
Chef Alain Ducasse ~ PONANT
Hailed as one of the best chefs in the world, Alain Ducasse has worked closely with PONANT to bring signature dishes aboard their icebreaker ship, Le Commandant Charcot.
As co-founder of the French Culinary School, Chef Ducasse has dedicated his life to the art of French cuisine and currently holds 21 Michelin stars. Although Michelin stars are assigned to the restaurants themselves, it was under Chef Ducasse’s direction in which they were earned, thus they are associated with his name. The itineraries in which the Le Commandant Charcot sails are polar in nature, both North and South, so it is a unique challenge keeping the ingredients fresh while providing the guests with the fine dining experiences befitting the luxury that PONANT offers. However, if anyone is up to the challenge, it is certainly Chef Alain Ducasse and his well-trained team of experts. Break the ice with Le Commandant Charcot or learn more about Chef Alain Ducasse
We hope this article inspires you to take your wanderings on a cruise to experience some of the culinary excellence onboard one of these ships or inspires you to learn more about the chefs who have made culinary pursuits their life’s work. If you have dined in one of these amazing chef’s restaurants, we’d love to hear about it. Reach out to us at WinniWanderer@winni.com, hearing from you will make our day!
By Staff Contributor
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