Windstar Cruises Announces James Beard Guest Chefs for 2025

Windstar Cruises will mark the 10th anniversary of its partnership with the James Beard Foundation in 2025, expanding its series of yearly themed culinary sailings. To commemorate this milestone, Windstar will be welcoming five “All-Star” chefs, four of whom have previously sailed with the cruise line as part of the collaboration.

The five chefs new to Windstar—Jamilka Borges, José Mendin, Jennifer Hill Booker, Jennifer Jasinski and Larry Forgione—will bring their regional culinary expertise and signature dishes to sea.

James Beard Foundation sailings include plenty of time to interact with the chefs through a chef-hosted dinner and wine pairing, two onboard cooking demonstrations with takeaway recipes and a shoreside market tour. More than three dozen James Beard Foundation-affiliated chefs have sailed with Windstar since the partnership’s inception.

Jennifer Jasinski
Jennifer Jasinski (Windstar Cruises)

Here are details of all five James Beard Foundation themed cruises in 2025:

The seven-day “Windward Ways & Tobago Cays: Aruba to Bridgetown” itinerary departing March 15, 2025, will spotlight Chef Jamilka Borges aboard Star Pride. As the owner of Lilith, Chef Borges was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico where she developed an interest in art and food early in her life. In 2015, she was named a James Beard Award semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year and was also honored as Best Chefs America’s Rising Star Chef. In 2019, she was recognized as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.

The eight-day “Spanish Symphony: Lisbon to Barcelona” itinerary departing April 12, 2025, will highlight Chef José Mendin aboard Windstar’s flagship Wind Surf. Chef/restaurateur Mendin co-founded the Pubbelly Boys Restaurant Group in 2010 and has since opened several other restaurants in Miami, including La Placita, and Casa Isola in Sunset Harbor. The latter also recently expanded to Mexico City. Mendín is a five-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: South.

The 11-day “Baltic Beauty: Stockholm to Copenhagen” itinerary departing June 29, 2025, will be joined by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker aboard Star Legend. Chef Hill Booker has authored “Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent” and “Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow.” She is also a reality TV icon, culinary educator and business owner, most recently the acclaimed Bauhaus Biergarten, a place for German and European food and drink, in Springdale, AK. She is an alum of the James Beard Foundation’s Chef Bootcamp for Policy and Change.


Jamilka Borges, left; Jose Mendin, centert; Larry Forgione, right
Jamilka Borges, left; Jose Mendin, centert; Larry Forgione, right (Windstar Cruises)

The nine-day “Adriatic Archipelagos & Greek Goddesses: Venice to Athens” itinerary departing August 27, 2025, will host Chef Jennifer Jasinski aboard Wind Surf. Chef Jennifer Jasinski won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2013 and was a semifinalist for Outstanding Chef in 2016 and Outstanding Restaurateur in 2020. A Wolfgang Puck alum, her restaurants including Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Ultreia and Stoic & Genuine, consistently rank among Denver’s top establishments. Fans of “Top Chef Masters” will also recognize Jasinski from the show.

The 12-day “Southeast Canadian Explorations: Montreal to New York” departing October 7, 2025, will have Chef Larry Forgione join aboard Star Pride. Chef Forgione is hailed as “The Godfather of American Cuisine” for his role in changing the way Americans eat today. At his restaurant, An American Place, he embraced the virtues of our national cuisine and used only seasonal, local ingredients, beginning the entire “farm-to-table” movement. His cookbook “An American Place” won a James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook in 1996 along with the foundation’s 1992 Best Chef in America award. Chef Forgione co-founded and developed The Conservatory for American Food Studies at The Culinary Institute of America. The Culinary Institute also presented him with an award as the Pioneer of American Cuisine for his far-reaching influence.

For more information, visit

Related Stories

HX to Launch All-Inclusive Offering Across Entire Fleet

Holland America Line Launches “Anniversary Sale”

Le Boat Unveils 2024 Spring and Summer Lineup

Virgin Voyages’ Eat & Drink Festival Returns