Cruise ship dining is about to take a significant leap forward by introducing the Chef’s Garden Kitchen, a new restaurant concept on the MSC World Europa®. Docked in Doha, Qatar, the 6,762-passenger ship is introducing a Babylon Micro-Farms® powered hydroponic garden at sea, where herbs, greens, and garnishes are grown onboard.
Michelin-starred chef, TV personality, and writer Niklas Ekstedt has worked with MSC Cruises to design the menu for the specialty restaurant, focusing on natural ingredients and a farm-to-ocean ethos. Born in Sweden, Ekstedt, the son of a produce seller, began his strong connection with nature and the Earth’s flavors at a young age. The new restaurant will feature a unique at-sea hydroponic micro-farm, the first in the world, and guests will live an immersive venture with the master chef composing Ekstedt’s extraordinary creations in an open kitchen against a backdrop of scenic ocean views.
Chef Ekstedt commented, “Working with MSC Cruises to develop a new dining concept on the cruise ship has been a wonderful experience, and we have created something extraordinary and unique. The menu is in my philosophy: everything needs to start with the best natural ingredients. As such, the dishes are simple but full of flavor and will feature the hydroponic micro-greens grown onboard in the restaurant to enhance the flavors, texture, and colors.”
The hydroponic garden is powered by Babylon Micro-Farms, a remote management technology company based in Richmond, Virginia. According to Alexander Olesen, Babylon Micro-Farms Founder, and CEO, “Growing fresh crops on a cruise ship sailing all around the world is a perfect illustration of Babylon’s remote management technology. From our headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, we can provide a secure, trustworthy, and convenient growing experience for Niklas Ekstedt and his team. On-site Micro-Farms will be an integral part of the supply chain for fresh produce, and it’s exciting to push the limits of the local food supply with this world-first installation on the high seas.”
This exciting new concept will delight foodies and eco-conscious travelers, and discussions are already taking place about rolling out the picture to additional MSC ships under construction. The Chef’s Garden Kitchen is a pioneering step forward in sustainable, locally-sourced dining at sea, and we can’t wait to taste the fruits of this innovative partnership.
Image provided by Babylon Micro-Farms
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