|Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, well known for his fiery passion as both a successful U.K. restaurateur and as head chef on TV's "Hell's Kitchen," has taken on a more subdued project: creating several menus for P&O's Ventura, the highly anticipated mega-liner launching in April 2008.|
Ventura's flagship dining offering, The White Room, will serve classic Italian cuisine during casual lunches and more formal dinners. Dishes will include veloute of pea with pancetta, fillet of turbot with citrus fruits, olive oil, coriander and baby fennel, and hot raspberry souffle.
White is also creating onboard menus for three other Ventura dining options:
The Beach House is a low-key, buffet-style eatery geared to families. Located on Deck 15 aft, the floor-to-ceiling windows assure a light feel.
Frankie's Bar & Grill is popular onshore mini-chain of restaurants aimed at families. It features a large children's menu, but also more sophisticated fare, and a full bar for adults. In Frankie's in London's Knightsbridge neighborhood, the decor is also a conversation point (think lots of flashing disco balls hanging from the ceiling). Frankie's on Ventura will attempt to recreate the menu and ambience.
The "balcony dining" program, a first for P&O Cruises allows guests to experience an intimate multi-course meal on their own private balconies.
Visitors to virtualventura.co.uk, a flash micro-site we reported on last month, can watch a video of Marco discussing the new dining options.
Besides White's options, the ship will boast six other restaurants onboard (nine total). Other specialty venues will include Marco's (pizzas), East (Pacific Rim cuisine) and Ramblas (Spanish-style tapas), as well as a separate Italian-style coffee lounge, Tazzine, that will offer hot beverages and pastries.
Ventura will be based in Southampton from April through October, offering holidays of between 2 and 16 nights in the Mediterranean, Baltic and Atlantic Isles. From October 2008 through March 2009, the ship will offer 14-night Caribbean fly-cruise holidays from Barbados.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor