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New partnership demonstrates MSC Cruises’ commitment to fine dining and adds to the existing culinary partnerships with three internationally acclaimed chefs

MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, today announced a new partnership with celebrated pan-Asian chef and international culinary pioneer, Roy Yamaguchi.

The innovative Japanese-American celebrity chef will initially introduce a specialty pan-Asian restaurant on board the cruise line’s new next-generation ship, MSC Seaside – known as “the ship that follows the sun” – bringing his unique fusion of cooking traditions to MSC Cruises. This latest announcement further demonstrates MSC Cruises’ ongoing commitment to international fine dining and adds to the cruise line’s existing partnerships with renowned, award-winning chefs Carlo Cracco, Jean-Philippe Maury and Jereme Leung.

“Our heritage lies in the Mediterranean, where a passion for food is a way of life and we seek to bring this to life every day for our guests with always fresh, authentic food of the highest quality,” said Gianni Onorato, chief executive officer of MSC Cruises. “The enjoyment of good food plays an integral role in creating unforgettable emotions as well as enabling our guests to discover new cultures and tastes, whilst cruising on one of our beautiful ships.”

 “The dining experience on an MSC Cruises ship is distinguished by the extensive variety of Mediterranean and international cuisines and wide range of dining formats available,” said Onorato. “The four top chefs whom we currently work with are known as leading global experts in their respective cuisines and each one brings world-class fine dining expertise, elevating the dining experience for our guests to a new level.”

“We provide a wide range of specialty restaurants to give our guests a wide and varied choice during their cruise,” continued Onorato. “We are developing exciting new dining options onboard MSC Seaside, with nine eateries featuring cuisines from all around the world including a pan-Asian restaurant in partnership with Roy Yamaguchi, a luxury fish restaurant with a chef’s table and a world class international steak house where the beef will dry age on board.”

Chef Yamaguchi will have a dedicated presence and specialty restaurant onboard MSC Cruises next-generation new build, MSC Seaside – one of the company’s most innovative and revolutionary ships – which will come into service in December 2017 and sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean.

As part of the partnership, Chef Yamaguchi will be personally involved in conceptualizing and designing every element of the new pan-Asian restaurant, bringing his creative flair and vision to every single detail of the guest’s experience. This includes creating the recipes and menus; selecting the chinaware to enhance the dishes; choosing music to create the right ambience; deciding the perfect wines to complement the food; and even picking out the paper stock for the menus.

In addition to featuring a variety of Chef Yamaguchi’s gourmet pan-Asian style dishes, the restaurant will include a sushi, sashimi, and raw bar, as well as a space with teppanyaki grills in which guests will be able to enjoy a variety of cooking styles – ranging from traditional Japanese to Malaysian to Thai Korean – and be entertained by skilled teppanyaki chefs as their meal is cooked in front of them.

An international culinary visionary and the creator of Hawaiian fusion cuisine, Yamaguchi intertwines his Japanese heritage with love for the freshest ingredients. He is the founder of 30 Roy’s Restaurants, including 28 in the United States, one in Guam and one in Okinawa, Japan. His numerous accolades include the prestigious James Beard Award. Yamaguchi has also hosted six seasons of the television show "Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi," seen in more than 60 countries. He has also published four culinary cookbooks.

Other Current Fine Dining Partnerships With Internationally Acclaimed Chefs

Two-star Michelin chef Carlo Cracco is a leader in the new generation of progressive Italian cuisine. He began his professional career in 1986 at “Gualtiero Marchesi,” in Milan, the first Italian restaurant awarded Michelin stars. His eponymous Ristorante Cracco has been listed in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

MSC Cruises first began collaborating with Chef Cracco in 2013. The relationship has grown since then and every year he now designs special Christmas and New Year menus for MSC Cruises’ guests. In addition, beginning in summer 2016, Chef Cracco has created an exclusive recipe for the menu featured onboard MSC’s ships on Gala night. MSC Cruises is also collaborating with Chef Cracco to design a new cooking experience for the MSC Cruises DOREMI kids clubs, available from summer 2016.

French chocolatier and pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury was crowned the Best Pastry Chef in France (Meilleur Ouvrier de France 1997) and was a gold medal winner at the World Pastry Team Championship (2002 and 2004).

Maury held the position of Executive Pastry Chef at The Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas in 1998 and then Aria Hotel in 2009. Today, he is managing in partnership with MGM Resorts International his two shops Jean-Philippe Patisserie, one of which houses the world’s tallest and largest chocolate fountain. Last summer, he opened an innovative dessert concept in San Diego, called iDessert.

Chef Maury will be tempting guests with his sweet creations, initially on MSC Divina – currently based in Miami and sailing year-round in the Caribbean. This will then extend to the rest of the fleet, with new dessert offerings for the ship’s buffet, specialty restaurants and the MSC Yacht Club.

Chef Maury will have a high-profile presence on the next-generation Meraviglia ships, where guests will be able to enjoy a chocolate atelier with an open kitchen as well as sample Maury’s specialty pastry and bakery menus. Maury will also work with MSC Cruises to create a gourmet ice cream parlour and crèperie in the impressive indoor promenade on Meraviglia ships.

Acclaimed Chinese chef Jereme Leung is globally recognized for his contemporary interpretation of Chinese cuisine. With a modern approach to presentation, he has long caught the attention of top international restaurant critics. Taking inspiration from traditional recipes by working together with Masters of Shanghai and Beijing's classic regional cuisine, Leung’s dishes remain true to time-honored Chinese cooking techniques whilst pushing boundaries in terms of style and presentation.

Starting his cooking career at the age of 13 in Hong Kong, Chef Leung is an expert in all four schools of Chinese cooking — dim sum, barbecue, wok cooking and knife work — he later on honed his craft at some of southeast Asia’s best hotels.

Chef Leung will bring his contemporary Chinese cuisine to MSC Lirica, the first MSC Cruises ship deployed out of China in May 2016. Chef Leung is collaborating with MSC Cruises to design new and innovative dining concepts tailored to the tastes of Chinese guests, an exclusive range of signature dishes as well as enhancing existing menus with his creative and distinctive flair.

In addition to the chef partnerships MSC Cruises offers a wide range of specialty restaurants and varied dining options so that guests can discover gourmet highlights of international cuisines. One of these is Eataly, the world’s largest Italian marketplace, which currently has a presence onboard MSC Divina and MSC Preziosa and will also be on all MSC’s Meraviglia-generation ships. Through the Eataly restaurants and marketplace guests can explore, taste, buy and learn about the finest Italian-inspired Mediterranean cuisine.

The chef and other culinary partnerships are part of a broader strategy from MSC Cruises to collaborate with world-class experts who reflect the company’s focus on excellence. The company seeks to work with global leaders in their field, bringing together MSC Cruises’ 300 years of seafaring expertise, dedication to creating unique onboard experiences, commitment to excellence and meticulous attention to detail with the partner’s expertise.

Other examples of best-in-class partnerships include the recently launched Wellness Experience powered by Technogym which involves the world’s leading wellness company working together with MSC Cruises to devise a personalized 360° program that enables guests to combine discovery and culture with their personal wellness goals. World leader in artistic entertainment, Cirque du Soleil has partnered with MSC Cruises to create eight brand new shows on board all four MSC Meraviglia class ships, which will be performed in a custom-built, technology-packed, entertainment and dining venue like no other at sea. Strategic tech partner Samsung, is working with MSC Cruises to set the new standard in smart ships, beginning with MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside ships and then rolling out to the whole fleet.