Why Le Petit Chef on Celebrity Apex is a Must-Try

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In May 2024, I enjoyed a wonderful four-night cruise on the Celebrity Apex, departing from Southampton, UK. One of the main highlights of my trip was dining at Le Petit Chef in Le Grand Bistro.

Related: Read my Celebrity Apex Review.

This dining experience has always intrigued me with its promise of combining delicious food with an entertaining show. And let me tell you, it exceeded my expectations! And here’s why…

A dining table setup with white plates, green glassware, and silver cutlery is adorned with a colorful, animated projection. The projection depicts a whimsical garden scene with pathways, greenhouses, and vegetables, creating an immersive dining experience known as "Le Petit Chef" on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship.

Background on Le Petit Chef

Le Petit Chef is a truly unique dining concept that combines the art of cuisine with cutting-edge technology. Created by Skullmapping, a collective known for its innovative 3D projection mapping, this experience brings a tiny animated chef to life right on your dining table. 

The chef, no bigger than your hand, “prepares” each course in a whimsical, entertaining performance projected onto your table. It’s like having a private, animated cooking show, and it’s as delightful as it sounds.

Three generations of a family are smiling and posing together at a dining table in the Le Petit Chef restaurant on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship. The background features elegant decor with a modern design, adding to the cheerful and intimate atmosphere of their dining experience.

Dining Experience

There are typically two seating times, at 6 p.m. (which we opted for) and 8:30 p.m., so punctuality is important to fully enjoy the experience​, which took about an hour and a half.

From the moment you sit down, you’re in for a treat. As the lights dim, a story begins to unfold about Le Petit Chef and his culinary adventures. Each course is paired with an animated sequence in which the chef demonstrates the preparation of the dish. 

The timing is impeccable; as the animated chef finishes, the real dish is served. This seamless transition from animation to reality creates a captivating and interactive dining experience.

Menu and Courses

The menus can vary depending on the ship and the time of year, but it’s always four courses.

Here’s what I enjoyed (the photos do not do it justice):

A fresh burrata salad is presented on a white plate, featuring creamy burrata cheese drizzled with balsamic glaze, surrounded by mixed greens and cherry tomato halves. The plate rests on an animated garden scene projected onto the table, enhancing the immersive dining experience at Le Petit Chef on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship.
Burrata Salad: Baby arugula, cherry tomato, balsamic reduction.

A sautéed chicken breast is served on a white plate with a savory mushroom sauce, accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes and a garnish of sautéed vegetables. The plate is placed on a table with a subtle animated projection, adding a unique visual element to the dining experience at Le Petit Chef on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship.
Sautéed Chicken Breast: Garlic mashed potatoes, mushroom.

A perfectly cooked filet mignon is presented on a white plate, topped with crispy fried shallots and served with a side of roasted potatoes, broccoli, and a few sautéed vegetables. The plate rests on a table covered with a blue and white checkered tablecloth, creating a cozy yet elegant dining experience at Le Petit Chef on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship.
Filet Mignon: Broccoli, potatoes, bordelaise sauce.

A bowl of creamy rice pudding is topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and a sprinkle of granola, garnished with a dollop of whipped cream. The dessert is set on a white plate with a colorful, playful projection on the table, adding a fun visual element to the dining experience at Le Petit Chef on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship.
Creamy Rice Pudding: Fresh berries, whipped cream – with an animation over the top.

A beautifully plated lobster dish is served in a white bowl, featuring a succulent lobster tail in a creamy yellow sauce, garnished with chives, crispy garlic slices, and a small dollop of caviar. The bowl is placed on a table with a blue and white checkered tablecloth, enhancing the elegant presentation at Le Petit Chef on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship.
And here’s the lobster for anyone interested.

Each dish was delicious and beautifully presented. My husband opted for the “Le Menu Extraordinaire,” which perfectly matched the animations. 

However, if you choose an alternative menu, the animations won’t match up, but the staff is very accommodating and will ensure you still have a great time.

Also, I would say the food was quite “grown up,” so when we booked, we asked if my daughter could have some other food. They cooked burgers and chips for her and absolutely spoiled her and didn’t charge anything!

Here’s the menu we had, although I know sometimes it can change.

A restaurant menu from "Le Petit Chef" on Celebrity Cruises. The left section lists wines and cocktails, with wine prices by the glass and bottle, and cocktails priced at $14. Wines include sparkling, rosé, riesling, pinot grigio, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, shiraz, malbec, and tempranillo. Cocktails listed are Lemonade Provencal, L'Aperitif, Champs-Élysées, and Sail 75. The right section features the main dishes: Burrata Salad with baby arugula, cherry tomato, and balsamic reduction; Bouillabaisse with shellfish, tomato, lemon, and herbs; Sauteed Chicken Breast with garlic mashed potatoes and mushroom; and Creamy Rice Pudding with fresh berries and whipped cream.
A restaurant menu titled "The Other Menu" from "Le Petit Chef" on Celebrity Cruises. The left section lists four dishes: Marinated Tomato Salad with manchego, serrano, pine nuts, and ciabatta; Chicken Caesar Salad with lettuce, croutons, and grilled chicken; Filet Mignon with broccoli, potatoes, and bordelaise sauce; and Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae with fudge sauce, whipped cream, and peanuts. The right section features an illustration of "Le Petit Chef" holding a large spoon.

The Price

Dining at Le Petit Chef on the Celebrity Apex comes with a cover charge of approximately $55 to $60 per person. This fee includes the full four-course meal and the immersive animated show that accompanies each course. While this might seem a bit pricey compared to other dining options on the ship, it’s important to consider what you’re getting for the cost.

I know of a few people who have experienced the same thing, but in London, which I think is about twice the price, so on the ship, you’re getting a good deal.

A young girl with long hair and a floral dress sits at a dining table, focused on her meal at Le Petit Chef on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship. The table features animated projections, adding a playful and immersive element to her dining experience, while glasses of water and a partially eaten dish are visible in front of her.

My Verdict

Overall, dining at Le Petit Chef was a highlight of our cruise. The combination of entertaining animations and high-quality food made for an unforgettable evening. The service was excellent, and the attention to detail was evident in every aspect of the meal. The chef (the real one) came around at the end to make sure everyone had a good experience.

I enjoyed it as an adult, but it’s also great if you have children. The animations keep them entertained throughout the meal, making it a fantastic option for families. My daughter was delighted with the special attention and her custom meal, which added an extra layer of enjoyment to our dining experience.

If you’re ever on the Celebrity Apex or another Celebrity ship with Le Petit Chef, I highly recommend experiencing this unique dining experience.

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I'm Hannah and I've been cruising for as long as I can remember.

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