Carnival Cruise Line Taps Emeril Lagasse as Chief Culinary Officer

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Carnival Cruise Line announced it has tapped renowned chef Emeril Lagasse as chief culinary officer of its 24-ship fleet. The chef already had a Carnival partnership, with his popular Emeril’s Bistro 1396 venue on Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration.

An Expansion of Chef’s Bistro Partnership

Chef Emeril Lagasse, a James Beard Award winner famous for his New Orleans-style Creole and Cajun cuisine, is the new chief culinary officer for the 24 ships in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet.

Emeril’s Bistro 1396 is a specialty dining option on Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, and will be a featured venue on the new-build Carnival Jubilee, which is scheduled to begin service from Galveston in late 2023.

Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said, ”Food is key to the fun of a Carnival cruise. Emeril’s restaurants on our two new ships have been a great addition to our dining offerings and guests rave about the food, which will also be on Carnival Jubilee come next December. With Emeril’s culinary expertise and broader profile on our ships, along with our wildly popular partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri, Carnival will feature two iconic talents in the food and dining industry across our fleet.”

According to the cruise line, Lagasse will work with Carnival’s chefs, offering insights into food trends and techniques, and will be involved with future menu items and dining concepts. In the fleet’s main dining rooms, certain entrées will be noted as “Emeril recommends.”

Chef Lagasse said, ”I’ve been creating and operating restaurants for many years but developing my restaurants with Carnival and learning about the cruise industry has been an exhilarating experience. I love Carnival’s focus on food and fun and the many great dining options they offer their guests. I’m looking forward to building on our success at sea with Carnival’s exceptional culinary team.”

Emeril's Bistro, Carnival Cruise Line
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

In addition to his restaurants across the country, Lagasse has published cookbooks and hosts television cooking shows, including his current show “Emeril Cooks,” which debuted on Roku earlier this year.

Lagasse’s bistro partnership with Carnival was announced in 2019. The venue launched when Mardi Gras began service in January 2020. Located in the French Quarter Zone on Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, Emeril’s Bistro cuisine includes dishes such as fresh seafood ceviche, roasted duck and andouille sausage gumbo, and jambalaya.

Lagasse, Duffy to Ring In 2023 in NYC

Lagasse will join Duffy in New York this weekend, where Carnival is sponsoring the countdown clock and serving as a musical sponsor for the iconic Times Square ball drop.

Carnival’s participation in the New Year’s Eve celebration is one of the launching points for the cruise line’s new “Choose Fun Together” marketing campaign. Duffy and Lagasse will flip the switch on the New Year’s Eve countdown clock together, the line said.

The event coincides with the cruise line’s line expansion of operations in New York City, with year-round departures from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on Carnival Venezia beginning in June. Carnival Venezia, formerly the Costa Venezia in the Costa Cruises fleet, will sail to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, and Canada/New England from the New York port.

Mardi Gras, voted 2022 Best Overall Cruise Ship in the Cruise Hive Ship Awards, debuted in 2020 and is home-ported at Port Canaveral, Florida. Carnival Celebration entered service in November 2022 from Miami. Carnival Jubilee is under construction at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany.

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