There are certain days in the life of a ship that are unforgettable. Her christening ceremony and her maiden voyage, along with milestones such as the laying of the keel and the floating out, are perfect examples. And while all of those are important to the ship, they are also important to those involved in building her. Perhaps one of the most exciting for the team behind Riviera is the day we are able to announce her godmother.
That’s why I couldn’t be more proud today to reveal that celebrity chef Cat Cora will do the honors at a lavish christening ceremony in Barcelona on May 11. Cat Cora’s passion for fine cuisine and her focus on the dining experience captures the essence of what we do every day. We are all excited to have her christen our newest ship and are proud to welcome her to the Oceania Cruises family.
Chef Cat Cora and Oceania Cruises President Kunal Kamlani
Cat made television history as the first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and this spring, steps into a role as co-host of Bravo’s new television show Around the World in 80 Plates with Curtis Stone. The show follows 12 chefs competing in a culinary race across 10 countries in 44 days. Many of the countries featured in the show include destinations that Riviera will visit during her inaugural season.
In addition to her television credits, Chef Cora operates four restaurants: Kouzzina at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort in Orlando, CCQ, in partnership with Macy’s in Costa Mesa, California, and Cat Cora’s Kitchen in San Francisco and Houston. A third Cat Cora’s Kitchen location will be opening in Salt Lake City later this month. In addition to being a restaurateur, she also has her own branded olive oils, vinegars, sauces, tapenades and cookware and is the author of three best-selling cookbooks and a children’s book.
Her accomplishments in her chosen field are impressive, to say the least. But there’s a special balance that we have always sought to achieve when selecting godmothers for the Oceania Cruises fleet. It’s somewhat indefinable, but it is an equilibrium between success in career pursuits and an understanding that with that success comes a responsibility for making lives better, for seeking out opportunities to give back, and for committing one’s self to a cause with the same passion as that displayed in one’s professional endeavors.
I’m thrilled to say that Cat Cora embodies all of these qualities and strikes that balance – infused with passion – that few people can claim. Like all of us, Cat watched in horror at the heart-wrenching videos coming out of Indonesia after the tsunami in 2004. But unlike many, Cat decided to do something about it. She has always been dedicated to philanthropic efforts to support emergency, educational and hunger-related causes. As a result of the suffering she saw in the wake of that tragic tsunami, she started Chefs for Humanity. She is president and founder of an organization dedicated to reducing hunger worldwide by supporting humanitarian relief and promoting nutrition education.
Perhaps just as important as her success in the culinary field and her work with Chefs for Humanity, Cat Cora is an amazing person who is funny, kind and caring. She immediately makes you feel at home, whether it be in her home, one of her restaurants, or simply sitting in an office. Her kind heart is immediately apparent and is symbolic of the Oceania Cruises onboard experience. We want you to feel at home, to feel the warmth of those around you, and to be completely at ease. That is what Riviera will be and that is who Cat Cora already is. She is a fantastic lady, and we are thrilled that she has accepted our invitation to be godmother of our latest pride and joy.
If you’d like to learn more about Cat Cora and her charity, Chefs for Humanity, please visit http://www.catcora.com and follow Cat on Twitter (@catcora) and Facebook. Perhaps she will inspire you as much as she has inspired all of us at Oceania Cruises.
President, Oceania Cruises