Oceania Cruises has named Kathryn Kelly as culinary enrichment director. In this newly created position she is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Bon Appétit Culinary Center, the first hands-on cooking school at sea. The Culinary Center debuted onboard the line’s new Marina in January 2011 and will also be featured on her sister ship, Riviera, launching in April 2012.

Previously executive chef of the Culinary Center, Chef Kelly will now develop the curriculum, recruit instructors and guest chefs, as well as integrate cooking classes with the shore excursion program, in addition to teaching classes.

“We are pleased to have Chef Kelly accept this new role with Oceania Cruises,” said Bruce Himelstein, president of Oceania Cruises. “Her success overseeing the culinary center on Marina will now be realized on Riviera and transcend our entire fleet.”

Chef Kelly’s love of cooking began in her grandmothers’ kitchens. She was awarded a scholarship from Pillsbury as a “promising young chef” and subsequently worked her way through college at Seattle’s prestigious Northwest Passage restaurant, where she discovered the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.

After a fulfilling career that included founding one of the earliest healthcare software ventures, leading a multi-billion dollar global outsourcing company and being named one of the Top Female Executives by the YWCA, Chef Kelly returned to her passion, cooking.

Back in the kitchen, Kelly joined the famed culinary team of SALT at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island. She then enrolled and graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) where she continues to serve as an advisor and culinary instructor for their “Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives” project with the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. She is also a Fellow of the CIA.

Kelly has completed her ProChef certification from the American Culinary Foundation and is a member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and Chefs for Sustainable Agriculture. She holds two master’s degrees in Public Health and Community Medicine and completed her doctoral studies in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.