Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Fri September 30 2016

Could Norwegian Cruise Line Cookbook Herald More?

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Norwegian Cruise Line | Jason Leppert | September 30, 2016

Could Norwegian Cruise Line Cookbook Herald More?

Photos courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Chef Jose Mendin, of the Pubbelly Restaurant Group, in partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line, has recently released a digital cookbook – “Food Republic by Jose Mendin” – a showcase of his recipes as well as celebration of the titular specialty restaurant aboard the new Norwegian Escape.

The publication is available as 47 digital pages featuring 30 dishes, “inspired by flavors that bring distant places to one’s kitchen,” according to Norwegian. It is available on iTunes via the Colors & Flavors app for only $1.99, illustrated by full-page photographs by Juan Fernando Ayora and highlighting a range of items like tapas; dumplings; noodles, rice and soups; sushi, grilled items and desserts.

"My food is both rich and worldly, in part inspired by cultural and culinary traditions,” says Mendin. “I want my food to act as an instrument to embrace social interaction and not compromise the cherished time we get to spend with our loved ones.  As such, the recipes I’ve created foster this mantra – they are quick, easy and encourage conversation.”

Among his signature items that the home cook can learn to make are Pubbelly Dates with Chorizo, Hamachi Taquitos, Kimchee Fried Rice and Butter Crab Roll. The resulting flavors are inspired by Mendin’s respect of traditional Puerto Rican food fused with Asian, Spanish, European and American influences.

READ MORE: 8 Cruise Lines For Dining With Celebrity Chefs

Could more like it be on the way?

The idea of a cruise line specific cookbook from an acclaimed celebrity chef collaborator is a brilliant one and mimics Princess Cruises’ recent wisdom to release a production show cast recording of its original “Magic to Do,” also on iTunes. In fact, there are so many culinary partnerships like the one with Mendin industrywide that Food Republic might just be the start of a new trend.

Within the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. family alone, Oceania Cruises could also easily feature Jacques Pepin. He has some of his own books onboard, but a cobranded one featuring his recipes specifically available at sea is a natural extension. It could even be a collection of volumes, each dedicated to a different specialty restaurant from the line: Jaques, Polo Grill, Red Ginger and Toscana, for instance.

READ MORE: What Restaurants and Chefs Will Cruise Ships Bring Aboard Next?

What’s more, they could be physically printed as robust coffee table-sized editions, like the classic ones from Thomas Keller available on my current Seabourn cruise. How about a larger book describing the total development of The Grill by Thomas Keller, the involvement of his partnership and several of his recipes?

The possibilities are endless when you realize other celebrity chef names currently sailing or about to, from Guy Fieri on Carnival Cruise Line to Roy Yamaguchi on MSC Cruises. Not to mention, this is another way to implement coveted brand association with products that could be easily gifted to friends and family to attract even more new cruisers in the future.

I’m starting my Christmas list of cruise cookbooks. Are you?


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