By Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International
I recently returned from Aspen, Colorado where Royal Caribbean International was the official cruise partner of the 32nd Annual FOOD & WINE Classic. Both our incredible Marketing Department and the Food & Beverage teams agreed that this would be an ideal location to showcase our vision for dining at sea on our newest ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas. Let me tell you that they could not have found a more beautiful setting.
Our Marketing, PR and Culinary teams worked together with FOOD & WINE for several months to explore ways to not only share some of the unique food and beverages that will be available on Quantum and Anthem, but also to demonstrate Dynamic Dining. Dynamic Dining offers guests a wide variety of 18 restaurants to choose from as there is not a traditional main dining room onboard. We also shared what I consider to be the crown jewel, the Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine restaurant onboard Quantum Class.
Our Dynamic Dining demonstration took place in the Grand Tasting Pavilion, where we rotated seven different dining options over three days. This included Jamie’s Italian, the popular restaurant from Britain’s favorite food export Jamie Oliver; Devinly™ Decadence, where the delicious foods are all under five-hundred calories, designed by Devin Alexander, New York Times best-selling author and chef of “The Biggest Loser” TV show; Michael’s Genuine® Pub, the first American gastro pub at sea from James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz; The Grande, our take on the bygone era of classic European ocean liners featuring timeless dishes; Silk, using spices of the Far East in a Pan-Asian menu; American Icon Grill offering regional comfort-style favorites and Chic, where style and substance meet for an irresistible result. You can view some of our photos here.
We partnered with Food and Wine to inspire the party at the top of the mountain – from theme, decor and culinary dishes, they are all inspired by the Wonderland Imaginative cuisine concept, which will be on Quantum of the Seas. Our own Cornelius Gallagher, Director of Culinary Operations and a former Food & Wine “Best New Chef” was at a station with his team where they served the Vanishing Noodle and the Wondercumber cocktail. Other celebrity chefs serving dishes at the Wonderland party included Grant Achatz, Richard Blais, Alex Stupak and Jonathan Waxman, who each interpreted the essence of Wonderland in their own way. Of course the food was absolutely amazing and the setting was beautiful. In the comments below please let me know which restaurant or dish on Quantum you would like to try.