Master Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa is joining Crystal Serenity’s July 28 Mediterranean cruise to create a week of menus exclusively for Crystal Cruises guests. Nobu will prepare a week of Omakase dinners – or chef’s choice menu – each night in Silk Road, the complimentary shipboard restaurant that has featured his signature cuisine since 2003. Besides cooking, welcoming guests and signing books, the famed restaurateur will demonstrate his culinary techniques, providing a glimpse into the genius – and warmth – behind his dishes.

While Nobu distinctively blends traditional Japanese cuisine with Peruvian influences, he is also renowned for creating food that reflects his “kokoro,” or heart. Those fortunate to dine in a Nobu or Matsuhisa restaurant while the chef is in the house know that it’s common to see him greeting and interacting with his guests.

“Nobu is not only a passionate, creative force, but the consummate host who takes pleasure in connecting with guests,” says Toni Neumeister, vice president, food & beverage operations.

Nobu’s cuisine – prepared by Nobu-trained chefs - debuted on Crystal Serenity in 2003. With a shared reputation for excellent craftsmanship, creativity and incomparable service, Nobu and Crystal expanded their relationship with the introduction of Silk Road and The Sushi Bar aboard Crystal Symphony in 2008. Both restaurants complete the experience with Nobu’s sake and china.

“This is what makes fine dining on a ship so special. You can have an intimate contact with guests that you can’t have in a big city,” says Matsuhisa.

By May 2009, the multi-Michelin-Star-awarded Matsuhisa will have 25 restaurants worldwide. Zagat called him “the man who may be the best Japanese chef in the world.” The Los Angeles Times named him one of America’s 10 Best Chefs.

The 12-day itinerary visits Venice, San Marino, Corfu, Rhodes, Bodrum, Istanbul, Mykonos and Athens. Cruise fares start at $6,055 per person, double occupancy. An All Inclusive – As You Wish promotion provides a $2,000 per couple shipboard credit to customize one’s cruise experience. The Crystal Assurance Plan offers reduced deposits and cancellation periods, as well as the assurance that guests will be protected at the reduced fare if a stateroom category is later reduced.