We are pleased to announce that Windstar Cruises and the James Beard Foundation have signed a multi-year agreement to continue our exclusive partnership through early 2021. Our relationship began in 2016 and in 2017 grew into an exclusive partnership with Windstar being named as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, a title that embodies our commitment to elevated epicurean experiences around the world for our guests. Memorable meals prepared with locally-sourced ingredients by some of the most recognized culinary talents in the world is a part of how Windstar travels the world differently.
On six culinary-themed cruises yearly across a variety of Windstar’s sailing regions, a James Beard Foundation-selected chef and beverage expert will charm guests with multiple culinary and beverage (wines and spirits) tastings and demonstrations, special and local menu items, wine-paired meals, unique culinary shore excursions, and local market tours with the chef. The program is designed to allow cuisine savvy travelers plenty of personal interaction with sought-after culinary experts.
“Windstar aims to be the leader in culinary offerings among small ship cruises worldwide. Through our partnership with the James Beard Foundation, we are pleased to introduce an array of incredible culinary superstars aboard our ships. An exciting component of the new multi-year partnership is to pay special attention to both our acclaimed chefs and also to notable wine and mixology experts. These chefs and beverage experts are all selected because of their connections to the countries they are visiting on their cruise – either through their own family heritage or their gastronomic passions. Windstar and the James Beard Foundation both are dedicated to making food more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.”
∼ explained Windstar President John Delaney
What’s On The Menu?
Cruise guests on every single Windstar sailing enjoy culinary demonstrations of James Beard Award-winning chef recipes and beverages prepared by Windstar chefs and beverage specialists, as well as featured James Beard Foundation Signature Recipes aboard all Windstar sailings served nightly in AmphorA, the main dining room on each Windstar ship.
Each dinner menu has featured recipes from a James Beard-recognized chef who has sailed with Windstar – including a starter, entrée, and dessert. Items celebrate the line’s global destinations and were developed for recent James Beard Foundation culinary-themed cruises with dishes from chefs such as Andy Ricker of Portland and New York’s Pok Pok fame, serving up Phla Plaa Tuna (Spicy Yellow Fin Tuna Salad) with Thai chilies, lime-coconut milk dressing, and jasmine rice.
Chef Andy Ricker and Windstar Cruises culinary team. Photo by Amber Gibson.
Other favorites include Marinated Grilled Lamb Rack with buttered new potatoes, preserved green and red tomatoes developed by Paul Berglund of The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis; and Pan-Seared Scallops with Thai green curry sauce and Asian mango slaw by restaurant powerhouse Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Euclid Hall, and Stoic & Genuine in Denver. The James Beard Chef dishes are specially notated on the menu, and no “upcharge” or an additional fee is charged for ordering these show-stopping dishes. Plus, AmphorA menus are on a 14-day rotation, meaning guests enjoy new selections every evening. AmphorA Restaurant sample menu can be viewed here.
“The American culinary world is a mosaic of flavors and influences from around the world which is why we are thrilled to continue our partnership with Windstar allowing us to pair James Beard Foundation-recognized chefs and beverage professionals with sailings to some of the world’s most delicious destinations. One of the best ways to experience a culture is through its cuisine and now guests aboard Windstar sailings have celebrated chefs and beverage professionals who can guide them through that experience in an even more meaningful way.”
∼ Kris Moon, vice president of James Beard Foundation
Windstar is known for many things on its iconic small ships, such as personalized service, Watersports Platforms where guests can enjoy the ocean, and access to small intimate ports larger ships can’t possibly enter. The line is also respected for its culinary programs – sourcing local food where possible, bringing guests to local markets to shop with the chef, baking all bread on board daily, preparing meals to order, serving regional specialties that vary by destination, and simply providing better quality ingredients.
Beyond The Sea
As the exclusive cruise line of the James Beard Foundation, Windstar will be involved as a major partner for a number of the Foundations’ annual endeavors supporting culinary excellence, growth, awareness, and advocacy including the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change; the 2018 James Beard Awards at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, considered the ultimate prize in the world of cuisine; JBF’s Taste America® events – occurring in the fall in major cities around the country including fundraising dinners, complimentary culinary tastings and demonstrations with James Beard-recognized culinary experts; and a sponsor of Chefs & Champagne® — the James Beard Foundation’s annual summer tasting party in the Hamptons.