The high seas are about to get a heavy dose of cajun spice.
Emeril Lagasse announced on Wednesday that he is bringing his New Orleans-style cuisine to the forthcoming Carnival Mardi Gras ship, which will set sail in October 2020. Emeril’s Bistro 1396 will be the celebrity chef’s first restaurant at sea, and will serve his signature dishes like barbecue shrimp, roasted duck and andouille sausage gumbo, jambalaya, and bananas foster.
Though Lagasse admits there have been obstacles to transferring his skills as a restaurateur to the open ocean—like baking pastries and fresh bread for po’ boys in fluctuating humidity—he says he and his team are working on innovative kitchen technology to meet his high quality standards. “I’m about bringing as great of food as I can to the table, and it doesn’t matter where that table is,” he said at a preview lunch in New York City.
The restaurant will be located in the French Quarter area on the ship, one of six “zones” they are creating, which promises to “capture the festive spirit of Louisiana with food, cocktails and, of course, live jazz,” according to Carnival’s press release.
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“Mardi Gras is designed as the ultimate vacation experience, and that extends to the food and beverage offerings,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Emeril Lagasse has brought the uniqueness and fun of New Orleans dining to foodies all over the world, and we’re thrilled that he’ll now bring that same experience to Carnival.”
The ship, which Carnival is touting as its “most innovative” yet, will also feature the first-ever roller coaster at sea called BOLT: The Ultimate Sea Coaster. Despite its name, it will not be making sailings out of New Orleans, but rather Port Canaveral, Fla.
Lagasse joins the ranks of Guy Fieri, who has his Pig & Anchor barbecue restaurant on multiple Carnival ships, and Shaquille O’Neal, Carnival’s “Chief Fun Officer” who is opening his fried chicken joint Big Chicken on the Carnival Radiance in 2020.
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