Culinary Themed Cruises


Sail with a Chef and Sommelier
Imagine going on a grocery trip with your favorite chef to pick out ingredients for dinner at a local market and then learning techniques that they use to create a perfectly seasoned dish, where the flavors sing in harmony and notes of spices spark off your tongue. Imagine tasting wine from a storied vineyard you’ll visit tomorrow with a sommelier and comparing it to others in the region in a tasting. Listen to their stories and ask for their recommendations on their favorite restaurants and cocktails.

It’s not just about the food and wine, but also getting to know these epicurean experts on a personal level. This is Windstar’s James Beard Foundation Culinary Themed Cruise experience, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to taste dishes from some of the most sought-after James Beard Foundation chefs and sommeliers/beverage experts.


Each themed cruise features:

  • •Hosted dinner with a James Beard Foundation chef and beverage expert, including wine pairings
  • •Demos by the chef of some of their recipes
  • •Shopping at the local market with the chef
  • •Wine, spirits, or beer tastings
  • •Shopping and tours with the sommelier/beverage expert (based on availability)

March 16, 2019
Pop Culture Kings of Asia
Chef Judi Ni
Judy Ni was into farm-to-table cuisine long before the term was in vogue.  Her Ph.D engineer immigrant father grew hard-to-source Taiwanese vegetables in their backyard throughout her childhood. After college she spent time working at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the Farm and Fisherman BYOB, before debuting Bāo • logy with her husband Andy Tessier. Their majority female- and minority-owned Philly restaurant is hailed for its locally sourced Taiwanese street food and its honorable business practices. Judy was named in the 2018 James Beard Foundation Chefs to Watch List.
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June 22, 2019
Yachtsman's Harbors of the Riviera
Chef Jamie Leeds
Executive Chef Jamie Leeds of JL Restaurant Group is one of Washington’s most highly recognized chefs and restaurateurs due to her wildly successful restaurants, prominent role in the community, and over 30 years of inspiring culinary experience in New York and Washington, DC. In May 2005, she opened her first Hank’s Oyster Bar serving what she termed “Urban Beach Food.” Since its’ opening, Hank’s Oyster Bar has been praised by national and local publications, such as Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, The Washington Post, and many more. In 2007, Jamie opened her second Hank’s Oyster Bar in Alexandria, Virginia. Her third Oyster Bar opened in 2012 near Eastern Market. Hank’s Oyster Bar on the Wharf, the fourth and largest location, opened in October 2017. She expanded the Hank’s brand in 2016, with the opening of Hank’s Pasta Bar and Hank’s Cocktail Bar. Following the success of all six restaurants, JL Restaurant Group was formed. She has received numerous awards and nominations including in both 2008 and 2014, when Hank’s won the coveted and publicly voted RAMMY for “Best Neighborhood Restaurant.”
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September 24, 2019
West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza
Chef Duskie Estes
Growing up in San Francisco, Duskie began cooking at the age of five in her EZ-Bake oven. She is a graduate of Brown University and known for being a fierce competitor on Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef. Duskie Estes and John Stewart opened zazu kitchen + farm in 2001. They are committed to buying from local farmers and farming themselves, raising their own rabbits, ducks, chickens, goats, sheep, and pigs. Duskie and John moved to Sonoma County from Seattle where Duskie was the chef of Palace Kitchen and voted City Search’s Seattle Best Chef in 2000. Under her leadership, Palace Kitchen was rated by Gourmet magazine as one of the top 20 restaurants in the country in 2000. She was coauthor on Tom Douglas’s Seattle Kitchen, which received the James Beard Award in 2001. Zazu has been recommended in the San Francisco Michelin Guide 2008-2018.  Duskie and John were on the cover of Wine Spectator, received the Star Chefs’ Sustainability Award in 2009, and were crowned King & Queen of Pork at Aspen Food&Wine, 2011.
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October 14, 2019
Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast
Chef Chris Pandel
Chef Chris Pandel, chef/partner of Swift & Sons, Cold Storage, and newly opened Dutch & Doc’s, offers foods that are rooted in classic French technique and predominantly local Midwestern ingredients, making his cooking rustic, yet refined. In 2008, Pandel opened neighborhood eatery, The Bristol with a menu featuring handmade pastas and charcuterie; farm-fresh, locally sourced produce. James Beard Nominee, Balena, opened with a menu consisting of handmade pastas, pizzas from the wood-fire oven, and locally sourced, farm-fresh meats and produce. Pandel opened Formento’s in January 2015, an Italian-American heritage restaurant reminiscent of a1950's "red sauce joint.” At Swift & Sons, opened in 2015, Pandel provides his signature focus on high quality, locally sourced ingredients and classic cooking techniques presenting a menu of reinvented steakhouse classics, “boutique beef,” thoughtful vegetarian dishes and seasonal sides. Pandel then opened Cold Storage, a casual seafood concept offering fresh seafood, salads, and sandwiches. Pandel’s most recent opening is Dutch & Doc’s – a casual, brasserie-style restaurant a mere 500 feet from Wrigley Field’s home plate.
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