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Chefs go Cruisin’

A new trend has top chefs and luxury cruise liners teaming up on the high-seas.

The growing popularity of luxury cruises is good news for the sea-loving gourmand, but perhaps not particularly swim-suit friendly. Celebrated and acclaimed top chefs from around the globe are now pairing up with high-end cruise liners to offer patrons quality dining on the high seas. This includes heading up dining venues on the ships, creating exclusive menus for them and even getting onboard and taking a ride from time-to-time.

London Evening Standard last year linked this new phenomenon to the recent rise of the celebrity chef and the cruise industry has deftly picked up on the idea that patrons will buy into the idea of getting a taste of a well-known chef’s brand during their holiday. But the benefits are not just for the cruise companies and clients—according to LES, more and more ‘high-calibre’ chefs are now ‘recognising the power of having a brand showcased within one of the world’s fastest growing holiday markets.’

One of these chefs is Atul Kochhar, who is the first Indian restaurateur to have been awarded a Michelin star. His new restaurant, Sindhu, is located on P&O’s new flagship cruise ship Azura which set sail from Southampton, England on her maiden Mediterranean voyage this past weekend.

And Kochhar, who has said ‘travel has helped me become a better person and a great chef,’ plans to be on board the Azura for five cruises from now to February. Main course dishes offered by the chef include Goan-style lobster, chicken biriyani and lamb rogan josh.

Another celebrated chef who has hopped on board this trend is Nobu Matsuhisa, who opened the Silk Road restaurant, offering Asian fusion cuisine, on the Crystal Symphony last year.

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The venue also has a sushi bar, where according to a review by Cruise Critic, traditional and innovative varieties are created for you as you watch. Alternatively, the restaurant itself offers starters including creamy king crab, seafood ceviche and lobster spring roll while entrees include ‘Nobu-style’ lobster with truffle sauce and signature black cod with miso. The review points out that the desserts are something worth saving space for: selections include a chocolate soufflé cake with sesame ice cream and sweet ginger crème brulee, both of which are described as ‘outstanding’ and ‘deceptively light.’