This is sponsored content for Celebrity Cruises.
Leading cruise companies are pushing the boundaries of the culinary experience at sea to become a key destination for savvy foodie travellers – with gourmet offerings often superior to their on-land equivalents.
Once, cruise-ship food was associated with quantity rather than quality – but things have changed dramatically.
Now, big-name chefs, many with Michelin Star pedigrees, lead an at-sea dining revolution, transforming the experience into a complex, diverse and stimulating adventure for foodies.
It makes sense for leading chefs to showcase their craft at sea. Modern cruise ships offer them an irresistible combination of impressive resources, state-of-the-art kitchens, a keen audience of educated diners and access to fresh produce in famed food destinations.
Aboard ships, a chef at the top of his or her game can flex their culinary muscles in ways often impossible on land.
The wave of talent taking to the seas includes Michelin Star chef Cornelius Gallagher, Celebrity Cruises' Associate Vice President, Food and Beverage. Chef Gallagher brings a French, Spanish and New York pedigree, and his entire team of chefs, aboard the 13-ship fleet and working shoreside, also have experience gained working at award-winning restaurants around the world.
Daniel Boulud, the world-renowned name behind New York's Michelin-starred DANIEL works with Chef Gallagher as Celebrity Cruises' Global Culinary Brand Ambassador. Chef Boulud has created signature dishes for Luminae, the private dining experience for Suite Class guests, and designed the onboard five-course dining experience, Chef's Table by Daniel Boulud.
A seat like no other
Cruise ships, with their panoramic views, generous proportions and changing locations, provide endless potential for thrilling dining experiences beyond the conventional restaurant set-up.
Spectacular views and delicious dining on the Magic Carpet. Photo: Supplied
Aboard Celebrity Cruise's Celebrity Edge there's the Magic Carpet, the world's first cantilevered, floating platform that reaches heights of 13 storeys above sea level. It's nothing short of an engineering marvel, providing unparalleled views of open seas and shore landscapes.
"It's the ultimate al fresco dining experience," says Chef Gallagher.
Those ocean vistas also provide the backdrop to Eden, a unique immersive experience aboard Celebrity Edge, where culinary and performance art combine dramatically in a stunning, three-storey space. Chefs work their magic in an open-air kitchen, while performance artists serve the dishes amid music and theatre.
The world is your garden
Chefs at sea have access to fresh local ingredients that their land-based counterparts can only dream of.
Fresh seafood straight from the port. Photo: Supplied
At every port, they can tap into a carefully nurtured network of local producers, ensuring that regional dishes sing with locally-sourced flavours. In Barcelona, for example, chefs may head to La Boqueria (market) off the famous Las Ramblas, to seek out fresh produce for that day's menu.
Foodie adventurers can share this type of produce-to-plate journey on Celebrity Cruises' Chef's Market Discovery shore excursions. After exploring local markets to gather ingredients straight from the farmer, culinary cruisers can watch their chef transform fresh produce into a mouth-watering meal, informed by knowledge and techniques from their local contacts.
Cruise food has evolved beyond mealtimes into one of the integral pleasures of travelling at sea. There are even speciality gourmet-themed cruises, where foodie travellers set sail with celebrity gourmands, who host onboard pop-ups, cooking demonstrations and shore excursions.
On these journeys, guests enjoy a level of proximity to the chefs that is seldom possible on land.
Dining at sea is elevated to a whole new level with Celebrity Cruises. Photo: Supplied
The best cruises now offer a wealth of educational and immersive experiences in an environment where there's both time and opportunity to enjoy them.
From wine and spirits tastings, to food and wine pairings, to mixology classes – gourmet adventures can shape the entire journey.
With over 170 awards globally, when you cruise with Celebrity Cruises® you'll experience extraordinary destinations, culinary excellence, intuitive service, luxurious accommodations and stunning design. Our dining options, with menus curated by Michelin star Chef Cornelius Gallagher, are inspired by, and locally sourced from, the amazing destinations we visit. Celebrity Cruises recently joined forces with the iconic Chef Daniel Boulud as our Global Culinary Ambassador to create even more unique dining experiences for our guests. Discover Europe in 2020 with Celebrity Cruises' revolutionary new ships - Celebrity Edge® and Celebrity Apex℠ for the most groundbreaking culinary experiences at sea.