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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Miami chef to create locally sourced tasting menus for both Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas

MIAMI – Royal Caribbean International has announced the expansion of its collaboration with James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz to feature seasonal tasting menus aboard Allure of the Seas’ fine dining restaurant, 150 Central Park, building on his work with sister-ship Oasis of the Seas since 2011.

Known for a commitment to cooking sustainably at his flagship Miami restaurant, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Schwartz will continue to help the cruise line select and integrate fresh, high quality ingredients into 150 Central Park’s supply chain by leveraging his relationships with South Florida farmers and beyond.

“Royal Caribbean continually looks to deliver WOWs to our guests through innovative and diverse dining concepts featuring the freshest possible ingredients,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, executive vice president Operations, Royal Caribbean International.  “We are thrilled to be able to grow our relationship with a respected hometown partner like chef Michael Schwartz and offer his locally-sourced menus at both our 150 Central Park locations.”

Over the past year and a half since the unique farm-to-ship program began on Oasis of the Seas the cruise line has elicited an overwhelmingly positive response from guests to Schwartz’ fresh, simple, and pure approach to fine dining.

What began with hydro naturally grown baby beets, carrots and other produce from Swank Specialty Produce in Loxahatchee Groves Florida, grew to a portfolio of responsibly-raised produce, poultry and meats – from Poulet Rouge chicken from North Carolina’s Joyce Farms to grass-fed beef from White Oak Pastures in Georgia.

“I am thrilled about the opportunity this program has offered my favorite farmers to grow and improve their operations,” says chef Michael Schwartz.  “Royal Caribbean has been a willing and enthusiastic partner in this program, and the collaboration has worked because of their commitment to the sustainable philosophies I care so much about. Adding Allure to the line-up offers economies of scale with benefits for everyone involved.”

Key to the success of the program, each Royal Caribbean chef de cuisine at the helm of the 150 Central Park galley has had the opportunity to train in the Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink kitchen and visit the farms, exposing them to Schwartz’s sourcing personnel, practices and culture first hand.

Completing the gastronomic experience at 150 Central Park is the dynamic wine pairing program Royal Pairings, created with each seasonal menu change under the direction of The Genuine Hospitality Group Wine Director Eric Larkee.

First introduced onboard Oasis of the Seas, 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. Guests dining at the upscale and intimate restaurant 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.  Chef Schwartz creates 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 Bok Choy and Mustard Sauce, and Slow Roasted and Grilled Harris Ranch Beef Short Rib with Roasted Cippolini Onions, Swank Farms Cress and Romesco Sauce.
Oasis-class ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas have been heralded as architectural marvels at sea, spanning 16 decks, encompassing 225,282 gross registered tons, and have a double-occupancy capacity of 5,400 guests. Oasis of the Seas was first ship to tout the cruise line’s neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, comprising Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone.         

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 40-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry firsts never-before-seen at sea.  The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike.

Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSE: RCL), the cruise line sails 21 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, South America, the Far East, and Australia and New Zealand. World renowned for its friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service, delivered by every staff and crew member, Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 10 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Reader’s Choice Awards.
About The Genuine Hospitality Group & Chef Michael Schwartz
Since Michael's Genuine Food & Drink first opened in 2007, with an outpost in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands following in 2010, diners have come to embrace and crave its refreshing combination of laid-back atmosphere and seriously good food, a neighborhood bistro that is the ultimate showcase for the type of cuisine that James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz does best – homemade and straightforward, with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients.  The Genuine Hospitality Group soon followed with seasonally-inspired pizzas from a wood-burning oven and local tap beer at casual neighborhood joint Harry’s Pizzeria, elegant American cuisine at The Cypress Room, and Restaurant Michael Schwartz at The Raleigh Hotel. For more information, please visit michaelsgenuine.com/TGHG
Travel professionals should go to Cruisingpower.com; or call (800) 327-2056; and follow Facebook.com/VickiLovesTravelAgents. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter @RoyalCaribbean.

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