BAM! Emeril Lagasse’s First Restaurant At Sea Coming To Carnival Mardi Gras

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Emeril Lagasse. Photo Credit: Sara Essex Bradley.

A rendering of Emeril's Bistro 1396.

It’s almost a no-brainer: Carnival Cruise Line has announced a partnership with world-renowned New Orleans chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse on his first-ever seagoing restaurant aboard Carnival’s next ship Mardi Gras, setting sail in summer 2020.

Located in the heart of Mardi Gras’ French Quarter zone, Emeril’s Bistro 1396 will showcase the chef’s signature dishes that earned him the reputation as one of The Big Easy’s most acclaimed and respected chefs.

“Mardi Gras is designed as the ultimate vacation experience, and that extends to the food and beverage offerings,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. 

“Emeril Lagasse has brought the uniqueness and fun of New Orleans dining to foodies all over the world, and we’re thrilled that he’ll now bring that same experience to Carnival. There is no one better suited than Emeril to add a level of authenticity to the Mardi Gras experience that will give our guests another way to Choose Fun.”

Lagasse, famous for his exclamation ‘Bam!’ as he adds spices to a dish, had this to say: 

“I’ve developed restaurants all over the country, but to create my first restaurant at sea – on a ship named Mardi Gras with its own French Quarter, no less – was an opportunity I simply could not pass up. I’m excited to be a part of this brand new ship and bring a taste of the flavours of New Orleans cuisine to the guests sailing on Mardi Gras.”

Named after Mardi Gras’ hull number at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, the bistro will celebrate New Orleans’ rich culture with Creole favorites and daily specials. 

The menu will include: oyster and cochon de lait po-boys, muffaletta sandwiches, Emeril’s signature barbecue shrimp, fresh seafood ceviche, roasted duck & Andouille sausage gumbo, jambalaya, and complements such as Creole potato salad with diced scallions, and red beans and “jazz-man” rice.  Breakfast offerings will feature shrimp and grits and a shrimp Creole omelet. The New Orleans classic Bananas Foster and lemon ice box pie will be available for dessert.

Emeril’s Bistro 1396 will take center stage in Mardi Gras’ French Quarter, one of the ship’s six themed zones where guests will find fun, memorable ways to create their own personalized vacations. The French Quarter will capture the festive spirit of Louisiana with food, cocktails and, of course, live jazz.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe 31AUG, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.



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