On my Celebrity Reflection cruise back in December 2016 (live blog here), I ate at Qsine at the invitation of Hotel Director Niyazi Korkmaz who I interviewed here along with Event Coordinator Zsofia Bak. On Celebrity Infinity, Qsine retains the same decor, but the menu of whimsical Sushi Pops, M’s Favorites, and my first Moscow Mule has been ushered out in favor of Le Petit Chef. Skullmapping presented by TableMation project an animated chef on the table who hilariously risks life and limb to prepare your four-course dinner.
Early in the morning on the second day of the cruise, I took a tour of the ship to take photos of as many of the venues as I could. I noticed Qsine had two entrances that were not totally obvious. The best way to get to Qsine is to take the midship glass elevators to Deck 11. Taking the staircase up from Deck 10 puts you at a set of glass doors that opens into the middle of the restaurant. Take the midship glass elevators (the ones that on Deck 10 open to the entrance to the Oceanview Cafe) to Deck 11. On Deck 11, the midship elevators open right up to the host's stand where the check-in for Qsine takes place.
The dinner is also a show, so Le Petit Chef at Qsine offers fixed seatings at 6pm and 8:30pm. On the last night of the cruise, I showed up about 15 minutes before the early seating and asked the maitre d’ if there was a possibility for a table for one. I mentioned that I was going to be going on one of the Celebrity Edge preview sailings and saw Le Petit Chef would be offered on that ship too. I'm interested in comparing the experiences.
I was escorted to a bench seat along the wall with a series of white tables for two or four. Opposite the bench was a row of alternating orange and black chairs. All the plates on the tables had intense white rings at the rim of the plate assuring the alignment of the animation. Every time I blinked, white light separated into red, blue, green. As she took a seat on the bench, one diner attempted to move the table closer. This would disrupt the animation if the projection wasn't aligned to the plate, so the couple was reseated at a table with two chairs rather than a bench seat. The maitre d' seated a Canadian couple, K & L, at the table next to mine. K & L last cruised 25 years ago on Carnival Sensation -- a ship that happened to be docked in Nassau on the same day we were.
Le Petit Chef is a meal served in four courses by a tiny animated chef. There are two options for each course. The first of the pair matches the animation, while the second of the pair doesn't. For each course, the options are: bouillabaisse or French onion soup, lobster or sea bass, filet mignon or chicken, vanilla sundae or fruit sorbet. For my meal, I chose the French onion soup, the sea bass, the filet mignon cooked the kitchen chef’s recommendation of medium, and the vanilla sundae.
For each course the animated chef assembles the finest animated ingredients putting his own life on the line in a slapstick battle with an octopus who would rather keep his tentacles than have them wind up in your soup. The chef recruits a concealed wood chipper to give the vanilla sundae a finishing touch of chopped nuts. At the end of his daring culinary acts, he presents his final dish, then your server presents you the same dish prepared by the Qsine kitchen crew to match Le Petit Chef’s vision. If you’ve chosen to go with the alternate menu, you get a great dish, just not exactly the one the chef had in mind.
I had a chance to go to Taste of Infinity at 11am on our sea day. The chefs of the specialty restaurants put out a selection of the restaurants specialties for any passenger to come by and have a look at. At the Le Petit Chef at Qsine table, I was able to photograph all dishes but the second dessert option. Those pictures follow a YouTube video of the chef in action.
Besides a really fun and totally new dining experience, a great part of a projection mapping dinner is how versatile the setup can be. Whatever can be animated can be served. We don’t know at this time if Celebrity Edge’s Le Petit Chef will feature and all-new menu and different animation of if Celebrity Infinity was the laboratory for what will debut on Edge later this month. With the computer animation, it’s possible to change it up between sailings or even within one evening.
Check out the slideshow below for photos of the restaurant, the projection equipment, and stills from the show.