Royal Caribbean International today announced John Suley as the cruise line’s vice president of food and beverage operations. Chef Suley will oversee more than 265 individual restaurants aboard 23 ships.
A release from Royal did not mention Brian Abel, current food and beverage vice president, but rumors persist he will get a new operations-related title at Celebrity Cruises.
“We are very excited to welcome John to Royal Caribbean,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of Hotel Operations for Royal Caribbean International. “John brings awesome experience and unmatched skill in delivering delicious dining experiences on land and at sea. His high-energy leadership will continue to elevate the onboard dining experience for our guests as part of the best vacations that only Royal Caribbean can deliver.”
Chef Suley was formerly the associate vice president of Food and Beverage Operations for Celebrity Cruises, where he led all menu development and implementation, chef recruitment and training. Most recently, he was instrumental in the brand’s many recognitions in the Wine Spectator 2014 Restaurant Wine List Awards, as well as the lauded launch of Celebrity’s suite-class restaurant Luminae.
Prior to joining Celebrity Cruises in 2011, he was the executive chef at three-time James Beard Award-winner Alfred Portale’s Gotham Bar and Grill in New York City and Gotham Steak, fomerly at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The innovative Chef Suley also has worked at high-profile hospitality brands, including the Ritz Carlton, South Beach, Waldorf Astoria and St. Regis Hotels, and alongside some of the world’s most accomplished chefs, including Daniel Boulud.
Chef Suley has been recognized for his unique culinary vision and leadership with several nominations and awards, including being named 2010 James Beard Foundation “Rising Star Chef” nominee, and 2007 “Rising Star Chef of American Cuisine.” He is also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.