There are specialty dining venues, and then there are “special” dining events. Le Petit Chef and Friends is indeed the later. It is a combination of digital storytelling, finely crafted food, and a little bit of magic. In fact, this experience on Celebrity Edge (and a similar show on other ships in the fleet) is unlike anything at sea.
We tested out this dining experience at Le Grand Bistro on our Celebrity Edge cruise. The competition is now over, and we are back with our spoiler-free review of Le Petit Chef and Friends on Celebrity Edge.
Le Petit Chef and Friends on Celebrity Edge Review
Preparing for the Experience
Prior to our cruise, we had booked dinner for two at the French-inspired Le Grand Bistro on deck 4. While the cruise line had announced the Le Petit Chef and Friends concept, we had opted to book just a regular dinner at the restaurant.
About two months prior to our cruise, we received a call from Celebrity Cruises about switching our reservation. The ship was no longer offering dinner at Le Grand Bistro, but instead only this pre-fixe menu and “show”. We could not say no when the cruise line agreed to honor the lower cover charge that we had already paid.
During our cruise, we had already enjoyed breakfast and lunch at Le Grand Bistro (up-charge applies). After those two experiences, we were eager for our reservation at Le Petit Chef and Friends on Night 7 of the cruise.
There are only two seating times, an early and late show. The first show was 5:45 pm. Even a bit early for us, we decided on this time slot as dinner at 8:30 pm is too late for us.
We arrived to find the venue was only about half full. So, if you are looking to try this experience, the early seating might have more availability than the later dining time.
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Get Ready for the Competition
After being escorted to our table for two, we began to investigate our surroundings. The white table cover, plates, coasters, and a projector light illuminating our seating area were all about to set the stage for a one of a kind dining experience.
Our waitress came over to introduce herself and review the menu. There is the main menu and an alternate menu. Of course, I was fine with the four courses featured on the standard menu. The Princess swapped out the main course for the chicken on the alternative menu.
The waitress did warn us that the show would consist of the chefs preparing all of the options from the main menu. This was fine with us.
A bar server visited the table, which gave us the perfect opportunity to place a drink order. We went with two specialty cocktails, the Champs-Elysees and Lemonade Provencal.
With the rest of the tables also receiving their cocktails, the lights dimmed right on cue. The show was about to start.
Let the Competition Begin
The projection illuminated on the table welcoming us to an international cooking competition. The brightly colored and animated competition is displayed like a movie on the table. Plates and other table accessories are specifically positioned on the table to increase the realism of the tabletop show.
While it is 2-D, the computer animation, graphics, and sound quality certainly keep your attention. We do not want to spoil too much of the plot, but in brief, you become a guest at an international cooking competition where chefs from four different countries are competing for the top prize.
Each chef custom creates a course right in front of you. The course is served to coincide with the chef’s completion of his/her creation. Yes, the house lights come back on so you can see what you are eating. The four courses consist of a cold starter, warm starter, entrée, and dessert.
At the very end, the audience votes to see who “wins”. Given our crowd’s response, we were both surprised which chef was crowned the winner.
Given the nature of the meals and show, dinner is paced the same for all cruisers. It took just under two hours, with the house lights coming up for the last time right around 7:30 pm. So, if you want to enjoy the experience, be sure to plan your evening accordingly.
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Food That Shined Bright
While some dinner and a show experiences on cruise ships lack in the food quality, we are happy to report this is not the case with Le Petit Chef and Friends on Celebrity Edge.
The marinated tomato salad was well balanced, and I loved the truffled five cheese ravioli. With a rich and creamy sauce coating the pasta, I needed some bread to ensure I soaked up every morsel.
In between the courses, each chef prepares the meal in 3 to 4-minute segments. For the most part, these little interludes were comical.
For main entrees, my steak frites was cooked to perfection. It was one of best entrees that I had on the ship, and this is saying a lot with the fantastic bone-in filet mignon at Fine Cut and the Manhattan Cut Strip at the Cosmopolitan restaurant.
In our opinion, the only weak spot was the dessert, Matcha Cake. Neither of us found it all that memorable. Still, everything was well prepared, flavored, and served at the perfect temperature.
The waitstaff were very timely as well. The entire dining experience ran like a well-oiled machine.
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Recap of Le Petit Chef and Friends on Celebrity Edge
Le Petit Chef and Friends is a tasty and enjoyable alternative to your typical cruise ship meal.
With two menu options, there should be enough to sample at the restaurant for even the more picky eaters. If the Princess can walk away from a cruise ship pre-fixe menu happy, then almost any cruiser is sure to be satisfied.
At $55 a person (2019 pricing), it is a bit pricey. Being the same price as the Fine Cut Steakhouse, which offers more beefy options, cruisers must be interested in the show portion and complete experience in order to book Le Petit Chef.
The food here is undoubtedly solid and worthy of an additional cover charge over the main dining room. For us, it certainly was worth the added costs for the entire dinner and show experience.
When speaking with our waitress, she indicated other Celebrity Cruises’ ships would be getting (or already have) Le Petit Chef, a different show with a varied menu than the one on Celebrity Edge. Consider us sold! We would certainly book another evening with these micro-sized chefs.
Have you dined at Le Petit Chef and Friends on Celebrity Edge? What do you think of this dinner and a show experience? Drop us an anchor below with your review of this dining concept.