The Celebrity Chefs of Cruise - Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo America

The Celebrity Chefs of Cruise

The cruise industry is famous for its cuisine – we know this already. But what about its chefs? For a celebrity chef, cruise is an attractive prospect – the possibility to traverse the world while working, and to source ingredients directly from their country of origin. One of the first celebrity chefs to come on board was Gary Rhodes, who espoused the benefits of working with P&O: “It was so exciting to realise I would have a restaurant or two that travels the world! It also helps to introduce me to cuisines from across the world – how could I say no?” With that in mind, we’re taking a look at some of the most famous celebrity chefs in cruise. Bon appetit…

Guy Fieri – Carnival Cruise Line

Famous TV chef Guy Fieri partnered with Carnival in 2011, creating Guy’s Burger Joint to sell burgers across Carnival’s fleet. Designed in a 50s diner-style setup, Carnival aimed to bring the ‘authentic appeal of a roadside burger shack’ to Guy’s Burger Joint. In addition to being situated poolside for an easy lunch, the cost of eating at the Joint is included in the price of the ticket.

Guys Burger Joint

The other offering from Fieri on Carnival ships is Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse. The Smokehouse serves up a selection of meats, such as Championship Pork Butt, Smoked Round of Beef, Smoke Andouille Sausage, and Blue Ribbon Chicken, coupled with sides such as Mac n Cheese, Potato Salad, and Collard Greens, for a true American dining experience. Fitting with the theme, the Smokehouse is situated outside.

Marco Pierre White – P&O

The enfant terrible of the UK restaurant scene, and the youngest and first British chef to be awarded three Michelin stars, Marco Pierre White brings prestige to the P&O culinary offering. For P&O Gala Evenings, the cruiser will be treated to a 5-course Gala menu created by Marco, incorporating some of his favourite dishes.

Marco Pierre White. Photography by Steve Dunlop

Marco also hosts The Cookery Club on select P&O cruises. During the two-hour masterclass on Brittania, the cruiser is taught to cook restaurant-quality food by Marco himself, before serving up and tucking in to their creations. Later on in the day, Marco also hosts dinners, during which he prepares three courses for an attentive audience. Once served up, the group hear stories from his career over a few glasses of wine.

Jamie Oliver – Royal Caribbean

One of the UK’s most famous chefs, Jamie Oliver’s ‘cheeky chap’ mannerisms can be found on Royal Caribbean ships with Jamie’s Italian. The Tuscan-inspired menu offers homemade pastas and classic Italian entrees, with a focus on the best possible ingredients. True to their on-land counterparts, the Jamie’s Italian venues on Royal Caribbean ships are casual attire affairs.

Depending on which Royal Caribbean ship you’re on, Jamie’s Italian is located in different places, meaning different al fresco options on different ships. On Oasis class ships, Jamie’s is located in Central Park, the indoor/outdoor neighbourhood in the middle of the ship – meaning an outdoor eating experience. On Quantum class ships, which don’t feature Central Park, Jamie’s provides a sea view patio area.

Nobuyuki ‘Nobu’ Matsuhisa – Crystal Cruises

Famous for his Peruvian-Japanese cuisine, Nobu Matsuhisa helped Crystal to create the first sushi bar on a cruise ship back in 2003. Talking to World of Cruising, Nobu described some of the challenges of working with sushi on cruise ships:

“On land you can buy ingredients every day, whereas at sea you cannot, so our cruise-ship chefs have to be careful to purchase ingredients that can be stored on the ship, and they must find out the best method to keep them fresh.”

Serving his signature black cod with miso at Umi Uma and Sushi Bar on board Crystal Serenity, Symphony, and Endeavour upon its launch, Nobu is a keen cruiser himself. On Endeavour’s ‘Indonesian Immersive & Great Barrier Reef’ voyage, Nobu will offer omakase, or chef’s choice, dinners for 30 guests, at $200 a head. During these omakase, Nobu will prepare a menu of his specialities, with each guest receiving a signed cookbook. The Omakase Sushi Bar & Ultimate Vintage Connoisseur Wine Dinner, at $1000 a head, will be limited to nine guests and will offer a multicourse feast, paired with sake and wines, and hosted by Nobu.


Honorary Mention…

Rudi Sodamin – Holland America

While not a celebrity chef per se, Rudi is certainly a celebrity in the cruise world. His ethos being to always work with a smile on his face, Rudi’s ‘food faces’ have been keeping the Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo team entertained through the past few months. Take a look at some of the best ones here.


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