Saturday, July 30, 2011

When Is A Cookbook Not A Cookbook?

Answer: When Celebrity Cruises publishes a book with recipes that is elegant enough to display on your coffee table. Known for its culinary leadership and commitment to offering guests the best experience during their vacation time, Celebrity Cruises now invites them to take that experience home, with an immersive new "lifestyle" book, Excite the Senses. In the 400-page volume, Excite the Senses provides an up-close and personal look at Celebrity Cruises' dining experience, complete with recipes, rich photography, and tips for entertaining and hosting friends and family in Celebrity style at home.

"We titled this 'Excite the Senses' because what we offer onboard and what we present in the book centers around ensuring that every aspect of our culinary experience satisfies and appeals to all five senses," said Celebrity's Senior VP of Hotel Operations Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. "Our dining experience goes well beyond appealing to the senses of taste and smell alone; it appeals equally to the senses of sight, sound and touch. It's multi-dimensional, as is the content of the book, so we wanted the title to reflect that."

Inspired by Celebrity's charismatic Vice President of Culinary Operations and James Beard-nominated Master Chef Jacques Van Staden, Excite the Senses offers an inside look at Celebrity's widely varied menus; upscale, modern restaurants, and vast wine program—one of the most extensive in the business—designed to appeal to everyone from the novice to the sophisticated oenophile.

"Excite the Senses is a window into the amazing world here at Celebrity Cruises, and a core part of that world is the culinary experience," said Van Staden. "The dining experience is an essential part of every guest's vacation, and we're committed to making it particularly unique—with every dish prepared fresh, from scratch; customized menus that change daily in the main dining room; and genuine, engaging service. We do all this within chic, stylish restaurants that each have their own identity and overall atmosphere of modern luxury, which is profiled in words and rich photography in the book."

Excite the Senses features more than 250 signature recipes created by Van Staden and team, blended with easy-to-adapt tips and anecdotes from members of the line's highly-skilled, global culinary staff, and informative profiles of vintners and other partners Celebrity hand-picked to create its widely varied dining experiences. Recipes include the intimate, elegant specialty restaurant Murano's "Wild Forest Mushroom Cappuccino"; the future-forward Qsine's "Chocolate Tombstone," and, from Blu, Celebrity's specialty restaurant offered exclusively for guests in its distinctive AquaClass staterooms, "Lump Crab Martini." The beneficial "at-home" tips range from how to create the perfect antipasto and how to read a wine label, to how to pour a perfectly blended cappuccino, and how to orchestrate holiday meals to ensure every dish is served hot and fresh.

"To identify the best tips, we consulted our dedicated shipboard staff," said Van Staden. "And this book is designed to help consumers easily create a little of the artistry and magic we present onboard in their own homes."

Excite The Senses is available at, for a purchase price of $59.95 USD. A sneak peek at the book also can be accessed on the site. Sadly, it's not offered on

Image Courtesty of Celebrity Cruises

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