Celebrity chefs are not content with television appearances or receiving rave reviews in media. They have also been creating menus for cruise ship restaurants, and even appearing on the ships.
You could have a chance to meet James Martin, the ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’and ‘UK Food’celebrity who began his life on the ocean waves in 2003, when he opened The Bistro at Ocean Village.
James is responsible for developing the Bistro’s menus and training the chefs. James may also make an appearance onboard the galley. So if you are cruising in the Caribbean in January or the Med in June, July, or September next year you might have the chance to have your meal prepared by James. This is something you can impress your friends with.
Italian food lovers will be delighted to discover the new Aldo Zilli restaurant at Thomson Celebration. Aldo is responsible for several West End restaurants that attract A-list celebrities and discerning theatre-goers over the years. You may have also seen him on Celebrity Fit Club. However, they caution you not to trust slim chefs. Thomson claims that Aldo will be aboard Celebration from time to time, but no dates have been announced.
Cunard was unsurprising to team up with Todd English, one of America’s top chefs, to create one of its dining options on Queen Mary 2. It proved so popular that Todd now has a Queen Victoria restaurant. His menu is influenced by his experience in Italy. Todd is not only a well-known chef but also owns several restaurants in the US and has his TV series.
Crystal Cruises is a great option if you are looking for something different. Crystal Serenity already features dishes from Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, a world-renowned master chef. However, it was recently announced that Nobu will be partnering with Crystal to open two new restaurants, Silk Road, and The Sushi Bar aboard Crystal Symphony. You won’t find traditional Japanese cuisines here, as Nobu is internationally known for his ability to combine European and Peruvian flavours with Japanese food. The dishes will be prepared onboard by Nobu-trained chefs. However, the celebrity chefs great man himself will be aboard Crystal Symphony on her trans-pacific voyage next March to supervise the launch and offer some advice.
The Prego restaurants on Crystal’s ships offer traditional Italian cuisine. They are owned by Piero Selvaggio of Valentino in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
It might seem that celebrity chefs are just creating menus and dishes to tempt passengers. But did you know that many of them also design the restaurants aboard? They not only create delicious dishes, but they also want you to have the whole experience. James Martin says “…When I give my name to something, I want to know that it is mine and that I had input on every aspect of it, down to the size.
Although celebrity chefs may not be available on all cruise lines, you can still try their cuisine as they are guest lecturers. On Seven Seas Navigator, you can see Walter Scheib, a former White House chef who worked under George Bush and Bill Clinton. In November, Billy Reid, a UK Michel Star chef from London’s Belvedere shared his secrets with Holland America’s Maasdam Reid.
Why are celebrity chefs being used? We were intrigued by the announcement made recently by P&O Cruises that Marco Pierre White is creating dining experiences not only on Ventura but also on Aurora, Oceana. So we decided to get in touch with the company.
P&O Cruises decided to hire celebrity chefs to create menus for its restaurants, e.g. to attract potential passengers?
Although the standard of dining at P&O Cruises ships is high, changing passenger demographics means that there are more options and flexibility. With the popularity of television food shows and celebrity chefs, tastes have changed. Everybody is more conscious of the origin of food and therefore more demanding. An unforgettable experience can be had when you choose the best ingredients.
It was a huge success when Gary Rhodes opened Arcadian Rhodes. We wanted to expand these dining experiences across our fleet with chefs who typify P&O Cruises’ high standards and match the ship’s atmosphere.
Why did P&O Cruises choose Gary Rhodes and Marco Pierre White?
Gary and Marco are two of the most acclaimed chefs in the UK. They are both Michelin-starred chefs and the epitome of British cuisine. Marco is the “godfather” of British cooking and Gary takes pride in using only the best ingredients from the UK. Gary is a successful TV series and book author and has a loyal and dedicated following. His cuisine has been praised worldwide. It was only fitting that he opened a restaurant on Arcadia in April 2005, Britain’s most modern superliner. Arcadian Rhodes was so popular that Gary opened Oriana Rhodes in Oriana last year, again with a British-inspired menu.
What is the relationship between Marco and Gary? How do they train in their restaurants?
Marco and Gary have a team that only works in their restaurants. These chefs spend a lot of time in London learning how to cook and present food to their high standards. Gary and Marco also spend a lot of time together onboard. They usually cruise five to six times a year, where they supervise the chefs and change the menus.