Known for its fresh, gourmet cuisine, top-rated Celebrity Cruises is adding a new ingredient to its dining offerings. The line has partnered with Las Vegas-based Blau & Associates, a strategic restaurant planning and development firm, to serve as the line's new culinary consultancy across the fleet.
Widely credited with transforming Las Vegas' dining from ordinary 24-hour buffets to a top-tier culinary destination rich with Michelin-starred chefs, Blau & Associates was founded by the Cornell- and Georgetown-educated Elizabeth Blau, who has worked in the food service business for more than 23 years.
Among the noted dining establishments that have flourished due in large part to what many food critics call "the Blau factor," are Osteria del Circo, Le Cirque 2000, restaurants within the MGM/Mirage and the Bellagio, and restaurants in partnership with Kerry Simon, including Simon kitchen + bar in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, named one of the best new restaurants in America in 2003 by Esquire magazine. More recently, Blau also partnered with Steve Wynn for the lauded opening of Wynn Las Vegas. In May 2006, she received the Gold Plate Award from the International Food Service Manufacturers, considered one of the most prestigious awards in the food industry.
"Celebrity has long been known for providing outstanding cuisine, as has Blau & Associates, so we're confident our guests will be delighted with the results of our partnership," said Celebrity's President Dan Hanrahan. "The Blau team brings incredible expertise, and clearly shares our passion for food and genuine dedication to exceptional guest service, which will translate beautifully to the dining experience on every Celebrity ship."
Blau and her business partner and husband, the president of Blau & Associates, Kim Canteenwalla, a former executive chef at the MGM Grand, are working closely with Celebrity's culinary staff across the fleet and in the line's headquarters -- including Celebrity's new Vice President of Food & Beverage Operations, Jacques van Staden, formerly a partner in Blau & Associates -- to maintain the line's most popular items, complemented with fresh, contemporary and creative concepts that will continue to deliver an exceptional dining experience onboard.