(9:35 a.m. EDT) — Following the current celebrity chef trend, MSC Cruises has partnered with Roy Yamaguchi, a Japanese-American chef, to create a specialty pan-Asian restaurant aboard upcoming vessel MSC Seaside.
The announcement came at a press event held at Seatrade Cruise Global in Fort Lauderdale. “A passion for dining is inspired by our Mediterranean heritage; our commitment to fine dining is natural,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises before introducing Chef Yamaguchi to the room.
In addition to Asian-influenced entrees, the venue, which will carry a cover charge, will also feature a raw bar with sushi and sashimi, and hibachi grills serving up Japanese, Korean, Thai and Malaysian fare.
Yamaguchi is considered one of the main innovators of Hawaiian-fusion cuisine. He has 30 restaurants spanning the U.S. with locations in Guam and Okinawa, six seasons as host of “Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi,” four cookbooks and a James Beard award.
The line assures Yamaguchi will be involved in every detail of his new onboard restaurant, from the dishes on the menu and the wines to accompany them to the flatware, music and even the menu paper stock.
“There’s a Hawaiian concept of — meaning water flows form land to the sea and nature takes care of itself. I’ve had restaurants on land, but a restaurant at sea is the perfect opportunity to showcase what I’ve been doing for 30 years and bring it to a nice ship,” said Yamaguchi.
Yamaguchi joins three other chefs already partnering with the line: Carlo Cracco, an Italian chef who signed on in 2013; Jean-Philippe Maury, a French chocolatier and pastry chef; and Jereme Leung, a chef specializing in Chinese cuisine.
Seaside’s Asian restaurant will join nine other dining venues including a steak house where they will dry age beef on site, and a fish restaurant with a chef’s table. Seaside, which will be the first cruise ship in its class, will debut December 2017, sailing year-round from Miami.
“You’ve heard the motto: If it’s not broken don’t fix it. Ours is a little different — if it’s not broken, make it better,” said Rick Sasso, president of MSC Cruises.