Royal Caribbean International today announced their selection of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz to create new menus for its upscale dining venue, 150 Central Park, on Port Everglades, Fla., based cruise ship Oasis of the Seas. Known for his commitment to sustainable and seasonal food sourcing at Miami’s Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Schwartz will offer his expertise as the cruise line selects and integrates local produce farmers into 150 Central Park’s supply chain.
“Royal Caribbean continually l ooks to deliver the Royal Advantage to its guests through diverse and innovative dining concepts and the freshest possible ingredients,” said Frank Weber, vice president Food and Beverage, Royal Caribbean International. “By joining forces with chef Michael Schwartz at Oasis of the Seas’ 150 Central Park, we are gaining a respected hometown partner who will help us to navigate and embrace the local agricultural community by hand-picking the most appropriate local small farms to supply ingredients for our premiere dining venue.”
First introduced on Oasis, 150 Central Park is the centerpiece of the lush Central Park neighborhood with its 12,000 plants and trees and its variety of specialty dining and retail venues such as the Coach store. Guests dining at the upscale and intimate restauran t enjoy a seasonal tasting menu and customized wine pairings delivering an exclusive culinary experience comparable to the finest land-based restaurants. Opened daily for dinner, it features two rotating six-course menus per voyage, which will now incorporate produce from small Florida farms like SWANK Specialty Produce in Loxahatchee.
Chef Schwartz will create new dishes, as well as seasoned favorites from his restaurants in Miami and Grand Cayman and debut cookbook, MICHAEL’S GENUINE FOOD: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat, such as Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with Carrot Butter Sauce and Mahogany Black Cod with Whipped Parsnip, Baby Pak Choy and Mustard Sauce, and Slow Roasted and Grilled Harris Ranch Beef Short Rib with Roasted Cippolini Onions, Swank Farms Cress and Romesco Sauce.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with such an acclaimed global brand as Royal Caribbean and to work with them to further the important sustainable philosophies I care so much about,” says chef Michael Schwartz. “It is so exciting for me to bring some of my favorite farmers’ local products onboard for the first time, adding to the already impressive food and beverage offerings available to guests on Oasis of the Seas.”
Chef Schwartz has hand-picked Chef de Cuisine James Seyba, from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, to oversee the execution of the new menu and to engage with guests daily. Before launching the new menus at 150 Central Park, Seyba will learn the ropes of what it takes to be a successful chef at sea, including Royal Caribbean’s cutting edge quality controls and provisioning measures. On hand to share her expertise will be Chef de Cuisine Molly Brandt who, at the helm of the 150 Central Park restaurant on Oasis sister ship, Allure of the Seas, was herself a first-time cruise chef after winning the coveted job in a chef search with the Culinary Institute of America.
Completing the gastronomic experience at 150 Central Park is the most dynamic wine pairing program of any Royal Caribbean restaurant, created with the direction of with Michael’s Genuine Sommelier Eric Larkee.
150 Central Park by Michael Schwartz on Oasis will launch October 29, 2011, with new pairs of menus rolling out every three months during the year-long collaboration.
Launched in December 2009, Oasis of the Seas is the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. An architectural marvel at sea, she spans 16 decks, encompasses 220,000 gross registered tons, carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas was the first ship to tout the cruise line’s new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship sails from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 ships currently in service. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.royalcaribbean.com or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow Royal Caribbean on Facebook at www.facebook.com/royalcaribbean or on Twitter, @royalcaribbean. Travel professionals should go to www.cruisingpower.com or call (800) 327-2056.
According to Michael Schwartz (47), the secret to good food is… good food. Honored with the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South in 2010, Schwartz is recognized by his peers and the diners that flock to his restaurants for his fresh, simple and pure cuisine incorporating responsibly- and locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. Schwartz is the chef/owner of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami and Grand Cayman, and the recently opened Harry’s Pizzeria, a casual n eighborhood joint near his flagship in Miami’s Design District. His first book, MICHAEL’S GENUINE FOOD: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat (Clarkson Potter; $35,) became available online and in bookstores nationwide in February 2011. For more information, please visit www.genuinehospitalitygroup.com.