The cruise line’s Vice President of Food & Beverage Operations, Cornelius Gallagher, said that the Eden restaurant would be very different aboard Apex compared to her sister ship, Celebrity Edge.
“The biggest change for me is that we have completely changed the concept of the Eden Restaurant,” he said. “On the Edge, we have a five- to six-course tasting menu for a two-hour experience, blended with entertainment, which we have turned on its head and elevated it.”
“On the Apex, the Eden will be à la carte,” he added. “Guests can come and have an appetizer, entrée and dessert and leave. It will be more of a typical restaurant and the food will be less about aesthetics and more about flavours.”
Aboard Celebrity Apex, Gallagher said he has taken the opportunity to put his personal influence on the food and dining experience, whereas Celebrity Edge was a more collaborative effort.
“Normally, I rely on my team,” Gallagher said, “our venues and menus are a collaborative effort, but in this case, I wrote the menu personally.”
“I really wanted to put my thumbprint on it, expressing all that I have learned from the world’s greatest chefs and from all the places I have been,” he added. “We are using top ingredients and manipulating them as little as possible.”
Gallagher said that the major focus in Eden was ingredient-based cooking, making sourcing of different foods extremely important. “Much of the time, you need to get that one product from that one farmer who is a real artisan in how he grows it,” he said.
“My experience is that specific sourcing like that comes down to forming relationships with local farmers and local purveyors. We do a lot of that ourselves, working with our procurement team.”
Altogether Celebrity Apex, like her sister ship Celebrity Edge, has 29 distinct restaurants, food venues and bar concepts, including the floating Magic Carpet cantilevered off the ship’s side inviting guests to eat, drink and soar up to 16 decks above the sea.
She was meant to sail her maiden season out of Southampton and then the Mediterranean in April through the summer, before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale in November.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and shutdown of the global cruise industry, however, she has been in lay-up since Celebrity Cruises took virtual delivery of her in April.