Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise ship, is featured in two new films
by Patricia Mack
Royal Caribbean International’s biggest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, is the star of two new films in a marketing experiment using social media to reach out to potential customers. With the star power of Jenny McCarthy and James Brolin — the directors and leads of the movies — Royal Caribbean has invented a new marketing form that might best be described as reverse product placement.
The stories are secondary to the location — and the location, of course, is a gorgeous cruise ship. In McCarthy’s winning little romantic tale, “The Allure of Love” two friends hatch a plan to bring a couple — Annie (McCarthy) and Bradley (Scott Elrod) back together after a nasty breakup. The onboard romance is set against dazzling sunsets, island retreats and ship nightlife — all very appealing to a certain demographic highly desirable to the cruise line. Brolin’s tale, “Royal Reunion” is a multi-generational family film centered on a 40th Anniversary celebration.
For San Francisco, Michael Mina’s RN74 was our choice. People may argue that there are some classic fine dining establishments in SF that should be the destination for that one special night, and some of them are on our Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list. But people already know about those places, while I think RN74 is somewhat of a hidden gem.
In 1990, Joël Robuchon was named Cuisinier du Siècle, Chef of the Century. The title, which did not come easily, was based on his impressive, extraordinary talent, so-well-controlled creativity, religious respect of produce and the purity of his flavors. Luckily for us, his gifts are still going strong in this century.
Since moving from Poitou (a Western region of France) to Paris in 1978, Robuchon has distilled his undisputable cooking skills throughout the world with ultra-fine dining establishments like Restaurant Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas (a GAYOT.com Top 40 Restaurant since its 2005 opening), and the L’Atelier concept. I have to admit that when I saw the first Atelier under construction in Paris in the winter of 2002, I was skeptical about having Robuchon’s delicacies sitting behind a bar on a bar stool, without having the possibility of sharing these culinary pleasures with more than one or two persons (it’s not easy to have a larger party along a bar). Oh, boy, was I wrong! There are now nine Ateliers around the world, with the latest addition in Singapore.
The theme of this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards, which took place Monday night at Lincoln Center’s Fisher Hall in New York City, was “Melting Pot,” paying homage to the expansion of international street food and cuisine. Kicking off the evening with a “green carpet” parade of nominees, the 21st annual awards ceremony was hosted by James Beard Award winners Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and Traci Des Jardins, who introduced the presenters of this year’s awards. The multicultural mood ran through the entire night, with nominees and winners representing a diverse background, and was also showcased in the gala tasting that followed the ceremony.
UPDATE 5/09/11: The award ceremony is now finished. We have posted the winners on our James Beard Foundation Awards page. Congratulations to all the winners (and the nominees)!
Food is vital to all us. Since it is an absolute necessity, we might as well make it taste good, whether it is served at a temple of haute gastronomy or a more casual and affordable place. In the tough competitive world of restaurants, when honors are awarded, it can bring them even more business and more accolades.