Windstar Cruises has extended its culinary partnership with the James Beard Foundation, this time with a special focus on wine and mixology. Windstar President John Delaney briefed media and travel agents on the new, three-year deal at an event at the James Beard House in New York City.
“We believe great meals deserve to be paired with great wines, cocktails and beers indicative of the region in which we’re sailing,” Delaney said, noting that gone were the days when the line would serve dishes like Irish beef stew, regardless of the climate.
Delaney also said that the line had expanded the menu rotation in its signature AmphorA restaurant from seven days to 14 days, allowing for more variety, especially for guests sailing back-to-back itineraries – something Delaney said agents had been booking more of. Each dinner menu includes featured recipes from a James Beard-recognized chef who has sailed with Windstar. The dishes will be specially marked on the menu, with no additional fee for ordering them.
Some example dishes include Phla Plaaa Tuna (Spicy Yellow Fin Tuna Salad) with Thai chilies, lime-coconut milk dressing and jasmine rice from Andy Ricker of Portland and New York’s Pok Pok, or Marinated Grilled Lamb Rack with buttered new potatoes, preserved green and red tomatoes, developed by Paul Berglund of The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis.
The cruise line is also offering six culinary cruises this year, in which a James Beard Foundation-selected chef and beverage expert will host multiple culinary and beverage tastings and demonstrations, wine-paired meals, culinary shore excursions and local market tours with the chef. The June 27 Spanish Symphony sailing aboard Wind Surf will have New York’s Chef Anthony Sasso of La Sirena and beverage expert Ashley Santoro of The Standard, The Standard Café and Narcissa. Chef Evan Hanczor of Egg in Brooklyn will sail aboard the August 17 Norwegian Splendors itinerary on Star Breeze. In the South Pacific, San Francisco’s Pasty Chef Emily Luchetti of Marlowe, Park Tavern and The Cavalier and beverage expert Shelley Lindgren of A16 and SPQR will sail on the November 26 Tahiti & the Tuamotu Islands on Wind Spirit. On December 15, Chef José Mendin of the Pubbelly Boys and FCHG restaurant groups in Miami and Puerto Rico will sail onboard the Caribbean Windward Islands Surf & Sunsets cruise roundtrip from San Juan onboard the Star Pride.
Windstar said it plans to announce additional guest chef and beverage experts for the June 20 Hidden Harbors of the Côte d’Azur and the August 7 Gems of the Adriatic Sea in Europe, both aboard Wind Surf.