Windstar Adds Culinary Experts to its 2018 Themed Cruises

Windstar Wind Surf in St Lucia
Photo by Windstar Cruises

Following the announcement that Windstar Cruises and the James Beard Foundation have extended their partnership through early 2021, the line revealed the latest chef and sommelier team in its series of culinary themed cruises setting sail this year.

Seattle Chef Maxime Bilet and Chicago-based sommelier Belinda Chang are slated to join the program, which hand-picks culinary experts to share their knowledge with travelers, in June. Plus, sommelier Katie Bell will collaborate with Chef Evan Hanczor on a cruise to Norway in August.

Maxime and Chang will engage with passengers aboard Wind Surf for the Hidden Harbors of the Côte d’Azur cruise, departing Nice, France, on June 20. Designed to give guests personal access to these culinary experts, the itinerary includes a hosted dinner with Chef Bilet, including wine pairings curated by Belinda Chang; cooking demonstrations and wine tastings throughout the cruise; and local market tours with each expert (where available). 

The seven-day journey of coastal cuisine will sail through the French Riviera, stopping to explore the ports of Bastia, Antibes, Le Lavandou, Marseille, Sanary-sur-Mer and Palamos, before culminating in Barcelona

Additionally, Bell will join fellow Brooklyn-based Chef Evan Hanczor on a Windstar sailing in Norway. She has experience with Nordic cuisine and pairing appropriate wines for the journey, as her role at New York City restaurant Agern necessitates it. The award-winning restaurant is known for its use of techniques and flavors rooted in Nordic cuisine.

Last month, Windstar announced the all-star chef and beverage experts for the first four of its six culinary themed cruises for 2018. With the addition of Bilet, Chang, and Bell, the collection now includes:

  • June 20, 2018 — Hidden Harbors of the Côte d’Azur with Chef Maxime Bilet and Beverage Expert Sommelier Belinda Chang
  • June 27, 2018 — Spanish Symphony aboard Wind Surf with Chef Anthony Sasso and Beverage Expert Sommelier Ashley Santoro 
  • August 7, 2018 — Gems of the Adriatic Sea on Wind Surf with culinary experts to be announced soon
  • August 17, 2018 — Norwegian Splendors aboard Star Breeze with Chef Evan Hanczor and Beverage Expert Katie Bell
  • November 26, 2018 — Tahiti & the Tuamotu Islands aboard Wind Spirit with Pastry Chef Emily Luchetti and Beverage Expert Shelley Lindgren
  • December 15, 2018 — Windward Islands Surf & Sunsets aboard Star Pride with Chef José Mendin and beverage expert to be announced soon

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