By Dana Niland
Celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse is planning to open his first-ever seagoing restaurant, with plans to debut on a Carnival ship in the summer of 2020.
Located in the heart of the “French Quarter” of Carnival’s newest ship, Mardi Gras, Emeril’s Bistro 1396 will showcase the signature dishes that earned him the reputation as one of New Orleans’ most acclaimed chefs.
“Mardi Gras is designed as the ultimate vacation experience, and that extends to the food and beverage offerings,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Emeril Lagasse has brought the uniqueness and fun of New Orleans dining to foodies all over the world, and we’re thrilled that he’ll now bring that same experience to Carnival. There is no one better suited than Emeril to add a level of authenticity to the Mardi Gras experience that will give our guests another way to Choose Fun.”
Named after Mardi Gras’ hull number at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, the bistro will celebrate New Orleans’ culinary culturel.
“I’ve developed restaurants all over the country, but to create my first restaurant at sea – on a ship named Mardi Gras with its own French Quarter, no less – was an opportunity I simply could not pass up,” said Lagasse. “I’m excited to be a part of this brand new ship and bring a taste of the flavors of New Orleans cuisine to the guests sailing on Mardi Gras.”
The menu will include everything fromoyster and cochon de lait po-boys, muffaletta sandwiches, Emeril’s barbecue shrimp, seafood ceviche, roasted duck & Andouille sausage gumbo and jambalaya among others.
Breakfast offerings will feature shrimp and grits and a shrimp Creole omelet.
Emeril’s Bistro 1396 will be at the center of Mardi Gras’ French Quarter, one of the ship’s six themed zones on the ship.
Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe August 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in October 2020.