Windstar Cruises and the James Beard Foundation (JBF) have announced an expanded, exclusive partnership that will make Windstar the official cruise line of the organization.
Throughout 2017, Windstar will be involved as a sponsor of the 2017 James Beard Awards in Chicago; JBF’s Taste America events – a two-day affair in 10 different cities around the country including fundraising dinners and complimentary culinary tastings; the JBF Celebrity Chef Tour – a dinner series in more than 20 cities around the country; and Chefs & Champagne — the James Beard Foundation’s annual summer tasting party in the Hamptons.
The partnership will also involve special themed food and wine cruise hosted by chef, restaurateur, and author Hugh Acheson. Other major components include the James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection, a series of cruises throughout 2017 with James Beard award winners and nominees. Additionally, cruise guests on every single sailing enjoy culinary demonstrations by Windstar chefs of James Beard Award-winning chef recipes, and the addition of James Beard Foundation Signature Recipes aboard all Windstar sailings.
Cruise guests can expect a variety of unique James Beard Foundation programming including:
James Beard Foundation Signature Recipes- Each night aboard all Windstar sailings starting this summer, cruise guests will enjoy a James Beard Foundation recognized chef’s Signature Recipe on the menu. Possible menu items include Roasted Baby Beets with Tahini Vinaigrette from Chef Maria Hines or Seared Wild Striped Bass with Tomato Sage “Fondue” from Chef Michel Nischan.
Culinary Demos Powered by the James Beard Foundation- Windstar’s chefs will prepare James Beard Foundation recognized chef-created recipes during days at sea, as part of an interactive cooking demonstration followed by a tasting.
Marquee Food and Wine Themed Cruise: James Beard Foundation Epicurean Explorations of France, Spain, and Portugal - James Beard Foundation Epicurean Explorations of France, Spain, and Portugal will take place on the 212-passenger, all-suite yacht Star Legend, setting sail August 15, 2017. Chef Hugh Acheson, winner of multiple James Beard awards and current “Top Chef” judge, will create dishes from local proteins and produce purchased at market. The dishes will be paired with wines poured by Sommelier Steven Grubbs, who has worked with Acheson for almost 20 years. Guests will enjoy cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, featured dishes and wine pairings at dinner, as well as ample opportunities for one-on-one interaction.
An itinerary highlight includes an overnight stay docked directly in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bordeaux, along with scenic cruising up and down the Garonne River glimpsing the chateaus and vineyards of the Médoc region. The cruise also includes a complimentary evening on the grounds of a private chateau in Bordeaux with the chance to wander through their cellars. French appetizers (like plump local oysters) and local wines are all accompanied by the music of a string quartet.
A Series of Guest Chef Cruises: James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection - On several more sailings in destinations including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Caribbean, Central America, and Tahiti guests will have a chance to interact and taste creations from James Beard award winning and nominated chefs with the James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection. Guest chefs will host a cooking demonstration on board and will serve up a signature item in AmphorA, Windstar’s principal dining room. Special menu items will be available on one sailing per month, beginning in May.
The expanded partnership builds upon the 2016 inaugural James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection that offered a series of three food- and wine-themed cruises hosted by JBF-celebrated guest Chefs Matt and Kate Jennings of Townsman in Boston, JBF 2016 Humanitarian of the Year Awardee Chef Michel Nischan, and Chef Maria Hines of Tilth and Agrodolce in Seattle.