Fortunate enough to have discovered his passion at a young age and after more than two decades in New York City’s cutting-edge and highly respected culinary arena, Cornelius Gallagher now oversees premium cruise brand Celebrity Cruises’ food and beverage operations. As Associate Vice President, Chef Gallagher leads more than 7,000 food and beverage professionals, and is responsible for all menu development and implementation as well as all aspects of culinary, service and beverage operations across Celebrity’s 10 ships.
Having recently served as Royal Caribbean International’s director of culinary operations for its 23-ship fleet, Gallagher led Royal’s culinary oversight and direction, including concept development and innovation. He was also instrumental in creating the line’s 18 distinct dining concepts for the new Quantum-class ships. Prior to his time in the cruise industry, Gallagher was Corporate Chef for the Bohlsen Group, where he oversaw six of the most well-known dining establishments on Long Island, NY. He also notably served as Executive Chef for Michelin-starred restaurant “Oceana” in Midtown Manhattan, where he earned a number of awards and accolades, including being named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chefs” and “Best Chef” by New York Magazine in 2003.
Born in Bronx, NY on June 28, 1972, Chef Gallagher began cooking at the age of 12. At age 15, he entered a vocational cooking school while still in high school, which led to competing for and winning the “Top Young Culinarian” award at age 16. He continued to pursue his passion for cooking at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He then began his impressive career by working for some of the most renowned chefs, including David Bouley, Gray Kunz, Laurent Gras, Daniel Boulud and Ferran Adria, among others, where he learned everything from the importance of disciplined cooking techniques and a la minute cookery, to mastering spices and incorporating innovative Indian and Asian cuisines into his repertoire.
Leading Celebrity's visionary approach to culinary experiences at sea, which has won the brand many awards, Chef Gallagher will introduce inspiring new restaurant, bar and interactive culinary concepts to the Celebrity fleet and develop world-class experiences for the recently announced Edge Class ships. His fresh approach to making guests feel excited about dining will challenge even the most experienced palates.
He currently lives in South Florida with his wife and two children.