Celebrated Chefs Headline 2016 James Beard Collection of Culinary Cruises in Europe

Culinary-CruiseWindstar Cruises celebrated the announcement of its chef line-up for the newly launched James Beard Collection of culinary cruises at New York’s James Beard House on Tuesday, February 16. The evening’s event highlighted the award-winning chefs, cruise itineraries, and Windstar’s exciting culinary initiatives that guests can look forward to this year.

Windstar Cruises is thrilled to highlight the participating James Beard chefs including Chef Maria Hines who appeared at the event much to the delight of the culinary media in attendance. Hines is owner and executive chef of Seattle Tilth and winner of the 2009 James Beard Foundation Award: Best Chef Northwest. Not in attendance, but rounding out the celebrity chef line-up are: Chef Michel Nischan, founder and CEO of Wholesome Wave, three-time James Beard Foundation Award winner; and the culinary duo Chefs Matt and Kate Jennings, owners and chefs of Townsman and four-time James Beard Foundation Award nominees for Best Chef: Northeast.

Top-tier media guests – ranging from the cruise industry to travel and culinary outlets – were treated to an evening filled with bites prepared by catering partner Neuman’s Kitchen, complimented by an incredible cheese and charcuterie spread. Favorites included Smoked Salmon Cigars, Cream Cheese and Wasabi Aioli, Polenta Bits, Wild Mushrooms and Micro Celery, and Smoked Duck Breast with Beer Mustard on a Focaccia Crisp.

Culinary-CruiseAfter a few “red carpet” snapshots on the step-and-repeat, guests were invited to enjoy wine and cocktails followed by opening remarks from both Vice President of the James Beard Foundation, Kristopher Moon and Windstar President & CEO Hans Birkholz. Also in attendance were James Beard Foundation President, Susan Ungaro, Windstar’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Joe Duckett, Director of Public Relations & Social Media, Mary Schimmelman, and Corporate Executive Chef Michael Sabourin.

Moon highlighted the incredible culinary projects currently underway at the James Beard Foundation, including the new James Beard Culinary Boot Camps, and he discussed the natural partnership that has evolved between JBF and Windstar Cruises. After touching on the great talents of the selected chefs, Moon commented on the organic fit in partnering with Windstar Cruises and showcasing the cultural value of cuisine throughout France, Spain, and Morocco, as well as mentioned a few exciting creations that the chefs have in mind for the upcoming cruises.

Following Moon’s introduction, Birkholz reiterated the value of providing an elevated experience for Windstar guests as they travel through some of the world’s most profound culinary destinations. In addition to the James Beard Collection of cruises, Windstar Cruises has brought to life a new culinary program that includes wine tasting shore excursions, local market visits with the onboard chef, on board farm-to-table practices, and more.

Culinary-CruiseAs the evening’s events winded down, guests found themselves simply enjoying the atmosphere of discussing and celebrating the latest and greatest news and initiatives from the James Beard Foundation and Windstar Cruises in one of the most inspiring locales in the culinary world – the dining room of James Beard himself.

For those interested in learning more about Windstar Cruises cuisine and the James Beard Collection of cruises in Europe sailing April, June and August 2016, please visit: Culinary Cruise information page.

Space on the three culinary theme cruises is limited, contact your travel agent today or call a Windstar Vacation Planner at 1-800-258-7245.

For a full photo report please visit Windstar Cruises Facebook page.

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  • William Darusmont

    My wife and I took the Culinary and Wine Cruise on Wind Surf from Lisbon to Barcelona. Words cannot describe the experience! I write a wine blog and am very knowledgeable about wine and having a ‘wine expert on board’ gave me some concern. Would he be pompous? Talk down to people? Those questions were quickly answered when I met Steve Olson (aka wine geek), who is more knowledgeable yet unpretentious about wine than any ‘expert’ i have ever met. His seminars were fascinating and in addition he did one on making cocktails as he runs a school for professional bartenders to earn a certification, teaches wine at Cornell, advises Spanish wineries, and much more. He is extremely personable and not full of himself. I went to one of the culinary seminars taught by Michel Nischan, and didn’t miss one of them although I thought I might find them dry…they were anything but…they were informative, fun, and like Steve, Michel doesn’t take himself seriously…only his cooking. Adding to that duo was Windstar’s corporate chef, Michael Sabourin, and when the three got together you knew great things were going to happen. Each day we had three regional Spanish wines with a tasting before and you could choose to have one or all at dinner too!
    I also want to give credit to Kris Moon of the James Beard Foundation who co-sponsored the cruise with Windstar. I was so impressed that I joined with a professional membership.
    The icing on the cake was the wine pairing dinner which was incredible and featured hard to get wines picked by Steve Olson to go with the meal. Unbelievable!
    There are two more wine cruises this season and if they are anything like this one, they are not to be missed.
    Bill Darusmont

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