Last updated: 04:53 PM ET, Sun September 13 2015

Seabourn Begins Testing Thomas Keller Cuisine Aboard Ships

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Seabourn | James Shillinglaw | September 13, 2015

Seabourn Begins Testing Thomas Keller Cuisine Aboard Ships

PHOTO: From left to right: Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn; Devin Knell, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group’s chef de cuisine; Chef Thomas Keller; and Tony Egger, Seabourn’s executive chef, celebrate their partnership at Keller’s restaurant and farm complex in Yountville, Calif. (photo courtesy of Seabourn)

Luxury cruise line Seabourn is ramping up plans to introduce food by Thomas Keller on all of its cruise ships. Four months after unveiling a new partnership with Keller, a three-star Michelin chef famed for such restaurants as the French Laundry and Per Se, among others, Seabourn is showcasing signature menu items developed by Keller, his team and the line’s top chefs.

This is the first time Keller has partnered with a cruise or hotel company to develop menus and restaurants.

The challenge, according to Seabourn, is to duplicate the quality of Keller’s food at sea, since he is famed for exacting standards and locally sourced ingredients.

Thomas Keller food was first introduced on a selected Seabourn ship this week so the line could gauge guest reaction. A team of Seabourn chefs, including Seabourn Executive Chef Tony Egger, has been working near Keller’s complex next to the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., to help develop the new menu items and train its chefs to prepare the food onboard.

Later this fall Keller menu items will be rolled out selectively aboard Seabourn’s three 458-passenger ships —Seabourn Quest, Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Soujourn.

A dedicated restaurant, designed by Adam D. Tihany, featuring Thomas Keller food will debut aboard Seabourn Quest next spring after the ship is refurbished during a scheduled dry dock.

A similar restaurant will be introduced aboard Seabourn Encore, the line’s new ship set to debut in August 2016. Everything will be cooked a la minute, which is unusual for cruise ship kitchens. Tihany is designing all of the Keller restaurants onboard, as well as the entire Seabourn Encore.

So just what will be served onboard Seabourn’s ships?

Keller menus will include such appetizers as California White Sturgeon Caviar, Terrine of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Hand Rolled English Pea Agnolotti and Salad of Blistered Heirloom Carrots.

Entrees include Grilled Calotte of Prime Beef, Homard au Vin, Aiguillette of Challans Duck Breast and Roasted King Trumpet Mushrooms (the vegetarian option).

Desserts will include Tentation au Chocolat, a Creamsicle (orange and Tahitian vanilla sherbet), a Warm Bread and Butter Pudding, and Champagne and Granny Smith Apple Trifle.

In related news, Seabourn also has partnered with top mixologist Brian Van Flanden to develop a new program for a world class cocktails list, as well as mixology training and spirits education. 

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