When Geoffrey Zakarian announced the closing of Tudor House, he left us with a hint that new projects were on the horizon -- and out to sea.
Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Lines has tapped the celebrity chef and Food Network star to create and oversee several seafood-based dining options on its newest ship, the Norwegian Breakaway.
Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian will be a luxury seafood restaurant aboard the megaliner.
In addition, Zakarian will create the Raw Bar, an adjacent bar serving fresh shellfish and wines by the glass. A third, casual concept -- Ocean Blue on the Waterfront -- will feature "fun and easy fare."
Zakarian will also host meet-and-greets, cooking demonstrations, and cooking experiences for small groups on selected sailings.
Asked why he chose to partner with NCL, chef Zakarian told Short Order: "It's a terribly fun company with their sights set high. They want to own the food and lifestyle market. It's a blast to work with people that are so passionate."
The 4,000-passenger Breakaway, still under construction in Germany, will be the largest ship ever to home-port in New York City. The liner -- which will sail weekly from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal to the Bahamas, Florida, and the southern Caribbean -- is scheduled for delivery in April 2013 and her maiden voyage in May 2013.
The Breakaway will also feature a quarter-mile of restaurants and shops along its promenade deck and a three-story dining and shopping complex called 678 Ocean Place. In addition to the usual casino and nightclubs, the ship will offer productions of the musical Rock of Ages.
Her sister ship, the Norwegian Getaway, will sail out of the Port of Miami beginning in early 2014. No word yet whether Zakarian will bring his talents to the Getaway -- but we're hoping.
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Tapping celebrity chefs to create menus is nothing new to the cruise industry. Marcus Samuelsson, for instance, has designed menus for Holland America. But working with chefs to create a separate dining experience on board a ship is new, with Michael Schwartz creating 150 Central Park for Royal Caribbean last fall.