Cruise taps celeb chef to cook onboard dinner

Photo courtesy Crystal Cruises.

Photo courtesy Crystal Cruises.


, Last Updated: 1:55 PM ET

Japanese master chef Nobu Matsuhisa has been tapped to prepare a special multi-course menu for an intimate group of guests aboard a luxury liner in an ongoing trend which sees major cruise lines enlist celebrity chefs as one of the star attractions for their sea odyssey.

Crystal Cruises announced that Matsuhisa, whose restaurant empire Nobu spans 28 cities around the world and is co-owned by actor Robert De Niro, will travel with guests on the Rome-to-Istanbul leg of the trip this summer, where he will prepare an exclusive seven-course for a dozen guests in an event called the Ultimate Vintage Room Dinner.

Matsuhisa's voyage sails off July 13.

The special one-off dinner comes at an additional cost of $1,000.

Matsuhisa will also be available for autograph sessions and cooking classes and prepare larger omakase dinners  -- in which diners surrender the tasting menu entirely to the chef -- throughout the voyage.

A second luxury dinner will also be hosted by Napa Valley vintners Bo and Heidi Barrett on the Istanbul-to-Barcelona leg of the trip.

Another hotly anticipated cruise for gourmands is Bravo's Top Chef: The Cruise, set to sail this month from Key West, Florida. The five-day cruise docks in Cozumel, Mexico and will recreate the US reality series on the high seas, as it will be hosted by Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio.

Participating chefs include Hubert Keller, and Tim Love, as well as popular 'chefestants' such as Richard Blais, Michael Isabella, Spike Mendelsohn, and the latest winner of the cooking competition, Kristin Kish.

Top Chef: The Cruise departs from Florida April 11 and will feature private cooking lessons and cooking demonstrations with the chefs.

Norwegian Cruise Lines has also tapped US food celebrity George Zakarian, winner of "The Next Iron Chef," to create the menu for its seafood restaurant on a Grammy-themed cruise next year.

Celebrity Cruises also partnered with The Food Network in 2010 for appearances by former Iron Chef America chef Cat Cora and Aaron Sanchez of "Chefs vs. City."