Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it has engaged celebrity chef and Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian to create and oversee a seafood concept to open May 2013 on the line’s newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway.
The restaurant, Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian, is envisioned as a luxury seafood dining experience, utilizing all of the ingredients and techniques that Zakarian would employ in a land-based establishment. In addition to the dining room that will focus on elegant modern presentations, Zakarian will have The Raw Bar, an adjacent bar highlighting crustaceans and wines by the glass; and Ocean Blue on The Waterfront, a more casual dining option serving fun and easy fare. With an eye for detail, Zakarian will orchestrate not only the menus, but every aspect of his dining areas, from the uniforms to the glassware. On select sailings, Zakarian will also host meet-and-greets with Norwegian Breakaway guests, along with in-person cooking demonstrations and intimate cooking experiences for smaller groups.
“It is an unbelievably exciting prospect to create a concept for such a groundbreaking ship. I am nostalgic at heart, so the thought of making a modern experience that harkens to the age of steamship travel is just terrific,” said Geoffrey Zakarian. “I am planning, preparing and recruiting for this restaurant the same as if I were opening on land, and truly, I have been humbled and inspired by Norwegian’s vision to elevate hospitality on the seas.”
Zakarian’s taste, style and passion for fine cuisine have defined his career, which has spanned more than 25 years. An accomplished chef who has presided over some of the country’s top kitchens, he currently has two popular restaurants in New York City – The Lambs Club and The National; one in Atlantic City – The Water Club at Borgata; and a highly acclaimed cookbook “Geoffrey Zakarian’s Town/Country: 150 Recipes for Life Around the Table.” Zakarian emerged victorious in the recent fourth season of Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs. He appears regularly on Iron Chef America, demonstrating a razor-sharp knowledge of culinary techniques in this fast-paced cooking competition. When he’s not battling in the kitchen stadium, Zakarian stays busy filming CHOPPED, where he is featured as a recurring judge, and highlights his favorite dishes on The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
“Geoffrey Zakarian is a renowned and critically acclaimed chef who has deep roots in New York City having begun his career at Le Cirque and the legendary 21 Club,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Working with Geoffrey is like hitting the culinary lottery. In this case, not only do we win big, but so do our guests on Norwegian Breakaway who will get to experience his world-class cuisine in three dining outlets on the ship. We couldn’t be more excited to have Geoffrey on board with us and add yet another New York element to Norwegian Breakaway.”
Currently under construction at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in her year-round homeport of New York City in early May 2013. The ship will begin weekly summer seven-day cruises to Bermuda on Sunday, May 12, 2013. From October 2013 through April 2014, the ship will offer voyages from the heart of Manhattan to the Bahamas & Florida and the Southern Caribbean.
Norwegian Breakaway will be the largest ship ever to home port in New York City and will embark on weekly cruises from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. The ship calls will bring an estimated 140,000 additional embarking passengers into New York City over two years, resulting in an estimated $35 million in additional direct spending in the City.