Celebrity chef Cat Cora will serve as godmother to Oceania Cruises’ Riviera, which will be christened in Barcelona on May 11.
Cora is the only female Iron Chef on the Food Network show “Iron Chef America,” and this spring will co-host Bravo’s new television show “Around the World in 80 Plates,” with Curtis Stone.
The show, which debuts in May, follows 12 chefs competing in a culinary race across 10 countries in 44 days. Many of the countries featured in the show include destinations the Riviera will visit during its inaugural season, said Oceania.
“Cat Cora’s passion for fine cuisine and her focus on the dining experience captures the essence of what we do every day,” stated Kunal Kamlani, Oceania Cruises’ president. “We are all excited to have her christen our newest ship and are proud to welcome her to the Oceania Cruises family.”
“It’s an honor to have been asked to serve as the godmother for the beautiful Riviera,” said Cora. “Oceania Cruises has done an incredible job of developing ships custom-designed for food lovers, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it all.”
Oceania said it chose Cora not only for her celebrity chef status but in recognition of her philanthropic efforts to support emergency, educational and hunger-related causes.
Cora is the president and founder of Chefs for Humanity, which she started in response to the tsunami that hit Indonesia in 2004. The organization is dedicated to reducing hunger worldwide by supporting humanitarian relief and promoting nutrition education.
Cora owns four restaurants and has authored several cookbooks.
The 1,250-passenger Riviera, a sister ship to the Marina, which entered service in February 2011, will have 10 dining venues, a Bon Appetit Culinary Center for hands-on learning and La Reserve by Wine Spectator, a professional facility for wine tastings and pairing dinners.
After the christening cruise that concludes in Venice, the Riviera will operate its maiden voyage on May 16, a 10-day cruise that includes an overnight in Venice before visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; the Greek islands of Corfu, Crete, Santorini, Delos and Mykonos; Monemvasia and Athens, Greece; and Kusadasi, Turkey. For cruise news and updates, follow Donna Tunney on Twitter @dttravelweekly.