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Jason

Celebrity to provide innovative, healthy dining options. Who's hungry?

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Unique certification program validates dishes' nutrition without compromising taste

MIAMI, March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrity Cruises – the world's first cruise line to be invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House , and the first to bring its award-winning, fresh-from-scratch cuisine to land through popup restaurants in San Francisco and New York – has announced yet another culinary 'first': The modern luxury brand has partnered with SPE Certified to expand its healthy dining options with scientifically-grounded, third-party validation of their merits.

Born from the Latin phrase, Sanitas Per Escam, or "Health Through Food," SPE Certified is a unique certification and consulting program designed to enhance the nutritional quality of meals without compromising taste. SPE's team of experts include chefs, nutritionists and registered dieticians who collectively take an innovative and scientific approach to certifying dishes – essentially, giving them their seal of approval – based on a specific set of criteria, including seasonality, sourcing, sustainability, ideal portion size, and the assurance that every dish they certify is low in salt and saturated fats, low in processed ingredients, and dense with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And the "tastiest" asset for consumers is that SPE certification ensures that each dish is not only nutritious, but also incredibly delicious.

It can be done, and SPE Certified has proven it, at Michelin-starred restaurant "Rouge Tomate" restaurant in New York City, where the divergent worlds of nutrition and fine dining seamlessly combine to create such palate-pleasing dishes as Brook Trout a la Plancha, Bison Ribeye "Pot-au-Feu," Local Tomato Gazpacho, Hudson Valley Rabbit "En Croute," and Squid Ink Fettucine – all entirely free of cream or butter, typically considered central to the ingredient arsenal of accomplished chefs.

Now, SPE Certified's high set of standards will be applied to certifying more than 60 dishes on the menus of Celebrity Cruises' main restaurants – including such selections as Salmon Tartare with Celery Root Puree, Trout Roe Caviar, Dill, Apple and Pumpernickel; Roasted Pork Loin with Smoky Red Cabbage, Butternut Squash and Cranberry Jus; Seared Branzino with Parsnip Puree, Lentils, Spinach and Pomegranate, and Molten Lava Cake – as well as every dish on the menus of the line's refreshing AquaSpa Cafes.

"Consumers' desire for healthy dining options has evolved from a small niche several years ago into the general mindset today, with developments like the ban of transfats, nutrition labeling, and passionate dietary followings such as vegan, gluten-free and low-carb, so this was the ideal time to rethink our approach to healthy dining," said Celebrity's Culinary Director John Suley . "Celebrity has always been a leader in offering a high quality dining experience and culinary innovations, and with SPE Certified, we have the opportunity to pair that legacy with a new definition of healthy dining for our guests."

"Celebrity Cruises' reputation as an innovator in inspired onboard dining is perfectly aligned with SPE Certified's ethos of providing healthy and delicious food outside of the home -- a process that is continuously validated by world-renowned nutrition experts from Harvard, Tufts and Baylor universities," said SPE Certified Founder & CEO Emmanuel Verstraeten . "Celebrity's culinary team has an obvious passion for food, as well as a single-minded focus to provide their guests with an unparalleled level of dining on the high seas, and we are therefore delighted to be partnering with them."

Celebrity's SPE-certified dishes – designated by the organization's distinctive "squiggly red insignia" – will be available first on Celebrity Reflection beginning April 6, and will roll out across the balance of the fleet on dates yet to be announced. The selections will be available across the entire fleet by the end of the year.

About SPE® Certified:

SPE® Certified is a unique certification and consulting program designed to enhance the nutritional quality of meals, without sacrificing taste. SPE stands for Sanitas Per Escam (Latin for "Health Through Food"), and its mission is to provide a universal, trusted standard for healthy and delicious dining outside of the home. SPE Certified's guidelines combine cutting-edge research with international health standards, validated and updated continuously by world-renowned nutrition experts. SPE Certified works with chefs to develop seasonal, great-tasting dishes that focus on sourcing, thoughtful preparation and an artful approach to combining nutrient-dense ingredients. Buildings have LEED; household products have the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval; food now has SPE Certified.

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Source: Celebrity Cruises

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We don’t really worry about dieting while we’re on a cruise, and we love the food aboard Celebrity already, but if they really can make it “healthier” without sacrificing any quality there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re looking forward to trying the new menu items!

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Most of the dishes you mention really have no interest to me but I am sure they do to others. Whenever we cruise we always have meals adapted to meet our special needs anyway.

I have loved cruising on Celebrity because they do have great ships and a fantastic crew, but to be honest the worst meals I ever had on a cruise ship have been on Celebrity ships, so I never look forward to the food on Celebrity.

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I am always game to try new, healthy options.

My husband, on the other hand, is a meat-and-potatoes guy. As long as he can find a nice big juicy steak to sink his teeth into, he's happy.

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