Local chef creates menus for Royal Caribbean cruise ships

By Mike Berk….

Local chef Michael Schwartz has been selected to create new menus for Royal Caribbean International’s upscale dining venue, 150 Central Park, located on the cruise line’s two largest ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Known for his commitment to sustainable and seasonal food sourcing at Miami’s Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Schwartz is offering his expertise as the cruise line selects local produce farmers to participate in 150 Central Park’s supply chain.

“Royal Caribbean continually looks to deliver the Royal Advantage to its guests through diverse and innovative dining concepts and the freshest possible ingredients,” said Frank Weber, vice president Food and Beverage for Royal Caribbean International.

Honored with the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South in 2010, Schwartz is recognized by his peers and the diners that flock to his restaurants for his fresh, simple and pure cuisine incorporating locally sourced seasonal ingredients.

Schwartz is the chef/owner of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami and Grand Cayman, and the recently opened Harry’s Pizzeria, a casual neighborhood joint near his flagship in Miami’s Design District. His first book, Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat (Clarkson Potter; $35,) became available online and in bookstores nationwide in February. For more information, visit online at <www.genuinehospitalitygroup.com>.

First introduced on 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 such as the Coach store.

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, which now incorporate produce from small Florida farms like Swank Specialty Produce in Loxahatchee.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with such an acclaimed global brand as Royal Caribbean and to work with them to further the important sustainable philosophies I care so much about,” Schwartz said. “It is so exciting for me to bring some of my favorite farmers’ local products onboard for the first time, adding to the already impressive food and beverage offerings available to guests on Oasis of the Seas.”

Chef Schwartz has handpicked Chef de Cuisine James Seyba, from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, to oversee the execution of the new menu and to engage with guests daily. On hand to share her expertise will be Chef de Cuisine Molly Brandt who is at the helm of the 150 Central Park restaurant on Oasis’ sister ship, Allure of the Seas.

Completing the gastronomic experience at 150 Central Park is the most dynamic wine-pairing program of any Royal Caribbean restaurant, created with the direction of with Michael’s Genuine Sommelier Eric Larkee.

The new menus were launched with the sailing of the Oasis of the Seas on Oct. 29. New pairs of menus will be rolled out every three months.

The Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ships, sail on weekly voyages to the Caribbean from Port Everglades. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.royalcaribbean.com or call 1-800- ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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