by Fran Golden
Dine on celebrity chef cuisine on these ships
Cruise lines are touting big names when it comes to cuisine, to delicious results. Celebrity chefs are a shipboard calling card for foodies and anyone who likes the idea of dining with bragging rights.
Here’s whose famous cuisine you can sample on cruise ships.
Alain Ducasse. The world-renowned French Superchef is contributing to beefed-up cuisine on French luxury line Ponant, via his consulting company, Ducasse Conseil. The goal of the recently announced partnership is to add oomph to culinary offerings on the line’s five ships, with new menus to debut on the Le Lyrial this summer, other ships to follow. Cover charge: none.
Guy Fieri. The Food Network Star (Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, among other shows) created the menu of handmade burgers and fries for the poolside Guy’s Burger Joint, now on 10 Carnival Cruise Line ships and counting. Go with the Straight Up with “super melty cheese” and “donkey sauce” or the Pig Patty, which adds a patty of bacon on top of your burger. Cover charge: none.
Jose Garces. James Beard Award-winning “Iron Chef” Garces serves up Latin-style dishes with an emphasis on seafood on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Escape. At Bayamo by Jose Garces, named for the Cuban city, sample Ecuadorian-style ceviche and Enchilada de Langosta (roasted Maine lobster, stuffed cachucha peppers and rice). Or go with the casual La Plancha creations at the chef’s Pincho tapas bar. Cover charge: pricing is a la carte.
Thomas Keller. Arguably America’s top chef – his three Michelin-starred restaurants include The French Laudry – Keller has been consulting with ultra-luxury line Seabourn. Samples of his just debuted French-American shipboard creations include Terrine of Moularde Duck Foie Gras and Buckwheat “Gnocchi” with tamari glazed shiitake mushrooms, golden beets, savoy cabbage and yuzu. The chef has brought his touch to casual eats including a family-style BBQ ribs theme night, and you can try his Napa Burger at the ships’ poolside grills. A signature Keller restaurant debuts on the Seabourn Quest in May (other ships to follow). Cover charge: none.
“Nobu.” Onboard the luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, posh passengers get the major perk of a dinner at Silk Road, famed Japanese chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa’s shipboard restaurant. Favorites include his sushi and sashimi, rock shrimp, with Ponzu sauce, lobster with truffle-yuzu sauce and melt-in-your-mouth Black Cod with miso. Stay in a Penthouse Suite and you can also order Nobu via room service. Cover charge: none.
Jamie Oliver. The affable British TV chef has proven a hit with the Royal Caribbean crowd. His Jamie’s Italian is on the Anthem of the Seas and soon to debut on the Harmony of the Seas, the new world’s largest ship. The menu brings lots of antipasti choices including cured meats and marinated vegetables served on planks, homemade pastas and a tasty Italian Burger topped with prosciutto. Cover charge: $30 per person.
Jacques Pepin. The famed French Master Chef, cookbook author and PBS cooking show host is the brains behind Jacques, the brasserie on upscale line Oceania Cruises’ Marina and Riviera. The menu features French classics such as escargot with garlic butter, baked onion soup, Coquille Saint-Jacques, duck a l’orange and Coq au Vin, as well as rotisserie creations. Cover charge: none.
Michael Schwartz. At 150 Central Park on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the James Beard Award-winning takes a seasonal, farm-to-table approach in creating six-course tasting menus with optional wine pairings. You might sample, for instance, Beef Two Ways featuring White Oak Pastures tenderloin and Harris Ranch short rib galette. He’s also on Anthem of the Seas with Michael’s Genuine Pub (where the polenta fries are worth the caloric splurge). Cover charge: $40 (wine pairing extra); pub menu a la carte.
Curtis Stone. The award-inning Australian culinary cutie, known to American audiences for his TV appearances, recently debuted SHARE on Princess Cruises’ Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess. Try his dishes designed to “share,” such as a charcuterie appetizer, handmade pastas and such extravagances as twice cooked duck leg with fennel, bacon jus and Parmesan crumb. Cover charge: $39.
(Photo Credit: Princess Cruises)