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Windstar Cruises Hires New Corporate Chef

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Windstar is thrilled to welcome Michael Sabourin as Executive Corporate Chef. In this role, he is responsible for the creation of new dishes, galley training, menu design, and creating the local culinary experience so our guests can ‘taste’ the ports of call we visit. Get to know Chef Michael…

1. What’s your personal favorite dish to cook?

I don’t have one; I love to experiment with different cuisines, especially Mediterranean and Asian. I’m a certified nutritional coach so I am constantly trying new healthy food.

My favorite meat is Bison, and I also enjoy fresh seafood.

2. Why did you want to be a chef?

I started cooking with my grandma at a young age. In high school, I took a cooking class to avoid homework. The teacher told me I had potential but like most teenagers, I did not want to listen to the teacher.

Around this time, my father introduced me to his favorite movies which were Steve McQueen classics. Those movies had such an impact on me; I wanted to be a race car driver, motorcycle driver or a stuntman. When I asked my father to buy me a motorcycle, he of course said, “No, go get a job and buy yourself a motorcycle.” Looking back I think he set me up.

So I started working as a cook for this crazy French Chef. After a year, the Chef suggested  I enroll in French culinary school, and voilà, here I am!

Cooking was never work for me. I’m able to be creative, I enjoy the business side of it, the team work, the lifestyle, working until 11:30 p.m., and relaxing after work.

So, to answer your question, I became a chef so I could buy a motorcycle and fast cars … and yes I still ride!

3. What’s the best part about being at sea?

For a chef, being at sea is a unique opportunity to sample local foods and shop at local markets. Most chefs only read about it in books and magazines, but I’m lucky enough to experience the local cuisine firsthand.  I enjoy all aspects of travelling. I am very fortunate to have met people from all over the world and to have experienced many places. I also believe that sea air keeps you looking young!

4. What’s your go-to ingredient?

I have two: wine and a glass of wine. The more I use wine, the more creative I get.

5. What are you most excited about with Windstar Cruises?

The future of Windstar Cruises is exciting.  To be a part of this great vision which will take us from three yachts to six yachts in three years while remaining true to Windstar values is an amazing opportunity.

These days most cruise lines are building ships as the destination. I know, I was the Executive Chef of the largest ship in the world with 6,300 passengers and 2,200 crew. On those ships, guests do not experience cruising like you do on a yacht with less than 300 guests.

Where else can you dine on the open deck with a 180 degree view of the ocean? At Windstar, it’s all about the adventure of cruising with a personal touch, and the ports are still the destination. We have a lot of exciting culinary things planned for the next months and year to come. To find out more you will need to come on board!

6. What’s your favorite port?

Too many to list, but a few come to mind. Santorini, Greece – I have a place where I go, like so many, just to watch the sunset. It’s also a great place to rent a motorcycle (not a scooter) and explore the island. Tahiti – simply paradise. Crossing the Panama Canal is always a great experience that never gets old. Kusadasi, Turkey is great for shopping. Shanghai, China has wonderful street food. I like Costa Rica as all the ports offer amazing tours. Anywhere in France for the wine and cheese, and any port in Spain for the food. Like I said, too many to just pick one!

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Want to know more about Chef Michael? Post your question below in the comments, and we’ll have him personally answer it!

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