Monday, July 4, 2011

Get Your Grill On

It's Independence Day here in the U.S.A. and that means one thing...well actually several things. First of all it's a national holiday when we come together to celebrate our freedom with friends and family. A big part of it for many of us is an evening fireworks display reminiscent of the "bombs bursting in air" that we sing about in our National Anthem and, finally, there's the tradition of firing up the back yard grill to cook outside. With that final all-American tradition in mind, Celebrity Cruises' culinary program is heating up this summer with the introduction of its newest ship, the 2,886-guest Celebrity Silhouette, which will feature the industry's first interactive, open-air grilling restaurant, "The Lawn Club Grill."

"People tend to associate grilling with the relaxing, carefree mood of summer—exactly what a Celebrity vacation is all about," said Jacques Van Staden, Vice President, Culinary Operations. "What can be better than experiencing something that's popular among so many cultures around the world, while relaxing near a lawn of growing grass, surrounded by an endless view of the sea?"

By combining a premium culinary experience with the sensation of relaxing on the top deck of a ship, surrounded by live grass and cool ocean breezes, Celebrity's aim is to celebrate the passion people have for grilling, as they enjoy their precious vacation time. The highlight of the dining experience at the 58-seat Lawn Club Grill will be the opportunity for guests to serve as their party's "Grill Master," by being paired with a Celebrity Cruises chef to assist in preparing the menu for their table over custom-built, ventilated grills. This unique, one-on-one interaction will give the Grill Master a one-of-a-kind, firsthand lesson in proper grilling techniques and other tricks of the grilling trade. All guests will have the opportunity to choose from a gourmet salad bar, a la carte "build your own" pizzas and more than 12 grilled specialties. "Grill Masters" who wish to demonstrate their grilling prowess, or learn a few tips by being paired with a chef, will receive a complimentary apron as a memento.

"Our guests consistently tell us that fresh, exciting culinary experiences are essential to their enjoyment of their vacation, and we are always looking for new ways to deliver that to them," said Van Staden. "Just as we introduced the 'uniquely unordinary' experience of using iPad-based menus to design individual culinary journeys featuring dishes presented in unexpected ways in Qsine on Celebrity Eclipse, we are introducing customized, open-air grills to the cruise vacation dining experience."

The Lawn Club Grill, now available for online, pre-cruise bookings for ticketed guests, will be open from 5-10 pm nightly and from 12-2 pm on one "sea day" during each cruise. A reservation fee of $30 per person is required. Ticketed guests can book The Lawn Club Grill at

We aren't exactly masters of the grill so I doubt that my husband or I will be bringing home a complimentary apron, but we want to share our warmest wishes to our fellow Americans on this most important of holidays. Happy Independence Day!

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