A “Foodie“is an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink. Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, foodies differ from gourmets in that gourmets are epicures of refined taste, whereas foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news. Gourmets simply want to eat the best food, whereas foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding food.”
Celebrity chef–crafted menus, dramatic dining rooms, and exotic ingredients: there is no better place then on a cruise to exercise those taste buds and tongue curiosity of cuisines from all around the world. Cruise lines have the unfortunate task of proving that “high school prom” banquet food or “convalescent home” buffet style food is not the case on the new generation of luxury liners. In fact, much like Las Vegas the food on the cruise lines is now world class with menu’s designed by top chef’s from around the world, including, chef Todd English, chef Charlie Palmer and chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa.
Travelandleisure.com wrote a glowing article about dining on the high seas:
…Jacques Van Staden, vice president of food and beverage operations for Celebrity, agrees the cruise industry can toot its horn much more loudly when it comes to food these days. On the new Solstice and Equinox, options encompass not only dramatic main dining rooms but specialty restaurants serving up Italian grill, classic Continental, Asian fusion, and even “clean cuisine” (healthy gourmet).
On shipboard menus, “elements of surprise” are in, though you can still get meat and potatoes if you want to, says Van Staden. Preparing dishes to order is more common, too, though, he adds, it’s not an easy task when you’re talking 1,000 guests per seating. Old-style hotel catering is out.
But perhaps the new status of shipboard cuisine is best exemplified by the fact that master chef Jacques Pepin (whose several PBS TV shows include Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home with Julia Child), at age 73, is opening his first namesake restaurant ever next year, a French bistro, at sea, on Oceania’s newest ship Marina. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect—cruise-ship passengers everywhere are saying “bon appétit.”
Even Top Chef, the number one food show on Bravo, recognized the talents of cruise line chefs and chose Molly Brandt the chef de cuisine on the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas in their top 32 chefs for the current season. Although, she didn’t make the cut for the top 16, cruise line chefs are now getting more recognition for their culinary talents, as they should.