Culinary travel is rising in popularity as cultural diversity and the appreciation for local food customs and heritage grows. Together, small ship cruise expert Windstar Cruises and formidable sustainable food advocate James Beard Foundation, are partnering to deliver culinary travel with a culinary pairing headlined by an annual series of culinary-themed cruises and culinary programming on itineraries worldwide.
Windstar has special programming and culinary-themed voyages designed to provide cruise guests opportunities for learning and personal interaction with food and beverage experts.
The talented line-up culinary experts endorsed by the James Beard Foundation are chosen specifically to match their cuisine style and expertise with the small ports where Windstar sails. For example, Guest Chef Judy Ni, whose Taiwanese roots will help her guide cruisers through Asia this spring on the Pop Culture Kings of Asia. Similarly, regional wine experts will lead tastings and tours on a West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza sailing from Vancouver, British Colombia to San Diego next fall.
As the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, every Windstar sailing includes cooking demonstrations and nightly dinner menu selections featuring recipes from a James Beard recognized chef who has sailed with Windstar; as well as optional chef market tours and more.
The following activities are included in each James Beard Foundation culinary-themed cruise:
- Hosted dinner with James Beard Foundation chef and beverage expert, including wine pairings
- Culinary Demonstrations by the chef of a selection of their recipes
- Wine & Beverage Tasting & Notes Booklet tailored to the itinerary and JBF guest expert
- Multiple wine, spirits, or beer tastings
- A chance to mix and mingle with the guest chefs and beverage experts throughout the cruise
- Depending on itinerary and chef/beverage expert availability:
- Shopping at the local market with the chef
- Tours with the sommelier/beverage expert (based on availability).
In 2019, the following featured chefs will share his or her passion for local cultures and the cuisine inspired by local ingredients visiting ports on five cruises in Europe, Asia, Central and North America:
- February 16, 2019—Costa Rica & Panama Canal, seven days aboard Star Breeze; Chef Jamilka Borges; JBF: Chef Boot Camp Alumna & 2015 Rising Star Chef Semifinalist; Restaurant: Independent Brewing Company & Hidden Harbor in Pittsburg, PA.
- March 16, 2019—Pop Culture Kings of Asia, 11 days aboard Star Legend; Chef Judy Ni; JBF: Chef Boot Camp Alumna; Restaurant: Baology in Philadelphia;
- June 22, 2019—Yachtsman’s Harbors of the Rivieras, seven days aboard Wind Surf; Chef & Restaurateur Jamie Leeds; JBF: Chef Boot Camp Alumna; JL Restaurant Group; Hank’s Oyster Bar, Pasta Bar, & Cocktail Bar, Washington, DC.
- September 24, 2019—West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza, 10 days aboard Star Legend; Chef Duskie Este; JBF: Chef Boot Camp Alumna; Co-Awardee, 2009 Rising Star Chefs for Sustainability; Restaurants: Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Bovolo, and Black Pig Meat Co., Sonoma County.
- October 14, 2019—Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast, eight days aboard Star Breeze; Chef Chris Pandel; JBF: Chef Boot Camp Alumnus; Restaurant: Swift & Sons, Cold Storage, and Dutch & Doc’s in Chicago.
For more information, visit https://www.windstarcruises.com/