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Celebrity Chef Restaurants at Sea
By Joe Boone

Since the early days of television, celebrity chefs have enticed us with their gastronomic creations, leading us on a culinary journey lasting more than half-a-century. The U.K.'s Fanny Cradock and U.S.'s Julia Child were TV's first pioneers, bringing their kitchens into our living rooms, quickly catapulting themselves to celebrity status in the early 1960's. Soon, tens of thousands of television viewers were taking their own kitchens to new culinary heights and a foodie revolution was born.

Today, dozens of chefs are ploughing the field, including household names like Jamie Oliver and Jacques Pépin. With cookbooks, endorsements, Emmys, and signature restaurants adding to their successes, it’s only natural that the cruise industry would seize the opportunity to bring on board celebrity chefs and take their kitchens to the high seas.

Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver is one of Britain's most eminent chefs and one of the world's best loved television personalities. His programs have been broadcast in over 100 countries, his cookbooks are bestsellers, and his restaurant collection — Jamie's Italian has gained world-wide acclaim. Now, his family-style restaurant is available on board four of Royal Caribbean International's cruise ships: Anthem, Quantum, Ovation and Harmony of the Seas. The menu includes rustic, hearty Italian fare including: fresh pastas made on site daily; Jamie’s famous antipasti, The Plank – a large wooden board piled high with cured meats, cheeses, pickled temptations and veggie bites designed for sharing; signature pasta dishes like truffle tagliatelle, carbonara, and prawn linguine; and a selection of grillers including garlic and rosemary chicken, slow-cooked pork belly, and Jamie's famous Italian steak burger.

French Chef Jacques Pépin brought over 60 years of knowledge and practice in the kitchen to Jacques, his signature restaurant on board Oceania Cruises' ships, Marina and Riviera. Jacques is the first restaurant to bear the master chef's name, and Pepin's menu remains true to his homeland, pairing French country fare with a wonderful wine list of his own choosing. Open for dinner, menu items include exquisite French favorites like foie gras, garlic escargot, a delectable cheese trolley, and rotisserie meats including chicken, duck, pork, beef, and veal roasts. On board Oceania's Sirena, guests can also savor the exquisite flavors of Provence, Burgundy, and Normandy each afternoon during lunchtime when the ship's Grand Dining Room transforms itself into Jacques Bistro – an authentic French bistro.

Not to be outdone, Princess Cruises recently partnered with popular Australian celebrity chef and New York Times best-selling author, Curtis Stone, to offer a unique, elegant dining experience called SHARE by Curtis Stone. Available on three of its ships – Ruby Princess, Emerald Princess and Sun Princess – SHARE is a brand-new restaurant, featuring many of Curtis Stone's signature dishes including a charcuterie starter course; Butter Roasted Lobster with Caramelized Endive and Endive Foam; Twice Cooked Duck Leg with Fennel, Bacon jus and Parmesan Crumb; and Tagliatelle with Roasted Alaskan Crab, Chili, and Parsley. Specially designed to bring friends and family together for a memorable six-course fine dining experience, each is served family-style at long, communal tables to encourage engagement and conversation between diners. Guests sailing on select Princess ships can also savor fresh new cuisine designed by Chef Stone every day in the main dining room.

When Carnival Cruise Line decided to look for someone to help them grill up the best burgers at sea, they found just the right celebrity chef – best-selling author, restaurateur, Food Network personality, and Barbecue Hall of Famer, Guy Fieri. Since then, Carnival and Fieri have introduced their now infamous Guy's Burger Joints to 15 cruise ships, bringing all the authentic appeal of a roadside burger shack on board. Guy’s Burger Joint serves up to 100,000 burgers each week, making it the most popular burger at sea. Guest can chose a fresh-off-the-grill burger done Guy’s way, or take it off-road to Guy's loaded toppings bar and truly make it their own. Carnival and Fieri also teamed up to open Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, currently available on Carnival Vista and Carnival Magic. Guy brought many of his favorite dishes with him, including Championship Pork Butt, Smoked Round of Beef, Smoked Andouille Sausage, Blue Ribbon Chicken, Mac Daddy Mac n’ Cheese, Collard Greens, and his signature sauces. One whiff from the grill and you'll think you died and went to heaven.

 

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