Whelpton Consulting, of Palmetto Bay, FL has recently completed a four restaurant and beverage operation for Fort Lauderdale based Celebration Cruise Line’s “Bahamas Celebration”. The ship sails from Port Everglades, Florida to Nassau, Bahamas.
Pete Whelpton, President of Whelpton Consulting Inc. was engaged by Celebration Cruise Line to create the new restaurant complex that includes Rio’s, a Brazilian Steak House, Tattoria Di Gerry, an Italian sidewalk café’ (named in honor of the owners Father), the elegant Crystal Dining Room, and an intimate Gourmet Restaurant. The project also included a complete beverage operation with seven bars and three wine cellars.
All dining facilities are serviced from one galley. “This was a tremendous challenge for our Chef and his staff to prepare and serve such variety from one small galley and to prepare food for 352 crew members at the same time” said Whelpton. “The owner admitted that he did not have food knowledge and it was up to me to deliver the product”
Starting with an empty desk and a telephone, Whelpton first recruited Corporate Executive Chef, Fritz Mariacher, with fourteen years experience at Royal Viking Line. Mariachi then brought Walter Schipple onboard as Executive Chef. Whelpton and his senior management team that included Beverage Operations Manager Luis Ortega, formally with Celebrity Cruise Line then recruited 105 galley and beverage personnel. “We did most of the recruiting from our own sources”, Pete noted, “Since Celebration Cruise Line’s Human Resources Group had never hired food personnel.”
“We also developed new menus, uniforms, carving equipment, recipes, cutlery, crockery and napery”. At this point, Whelpton hired two Maitre D’s to oversee all dining locations. “We even gave our servers some Italian singing lessons” he says.
“The result of this effort was that we had no food complaints for the first six cruises. I always enjoy a challenge and we did it all in just six months while the ship was under renovation” said Whelpton.