Epicurean 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)

June 20, 2018 | Hidden Harbors of the Cote d’Azur
Chef Maxime Bilet
Maxime Bilet is the co-author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, which received the 2012 Book of the Year Award from the James Beard Foundation, among many other awards. For many years, he was the director of culinary arts and sciences at The Cooking Lab, housed within the Intellectual Ventures Lab in Bellevue, Washington. He is a co-inventor on 12 patents that resulted from his experiments. He is currently working on connecting his fine arts background with culinary education and cultivating a better understanding of the different ways food naturally connects with the arts and sciences. He recently won a Washington State grant from the Mayor's Office of Seattle's Storefronts program to showcase this inter-disciplinary approach in a 5,600 sq. ft. space on downtown Seattle's waterfront.
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June 27, 2018 | Spanish Symphony
Chef Anthony Sasso
Growing up in Glasco, New York, Anthony was always surrounded by art, music, and creativity. After graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, Sasso’s culinary career began with stints at Union Pacific and Bobby Flay’s Bolo. Then on to Andy Nusser’s Casa Mono. Sasso moved to the Costa Brava to work at the renowned coastal marisqueria “El Hogar Gallego.”  When Sasso returned to the States, he was promoted to head chef at Casa Mono, and later began an apprenticeship at Fleisher’s Butcher Shop. In 2008, Sasso became one of the youngest chefs to be recognized by the Michelin Guide, obtaining his first of eight consecutive Michelin stars for Casa Mono. He joined La Sirena in January 2017 as executive chef. 
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June 27, 2018 | Spanish Symphony
Beverage Expert Ashley Santoro
Wine director/sommelier Ashley Santoro had a humble introduction to the industry, bussing tables at the age of 15. Now, Santoro, the former wine director of Casa Mono and Bar Jamón, is the wine director at The Standard East Village, The Standard Café, and Narcissa. In addition to her work at The Standard, she also devotes time to traveling and teaching wine courses. Santoro has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times and Wine & Spirits Magazine.
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August 17, 2018 | Norwegian Splendors
Chef Evan Hanczor
Evan Hanczor is the chef at Egg, a farm-to-table breakfast-focused restaurant in Brooklyn with an outpost in Tokyo and a farm in the Catskills. He is the co-author -- with George Weld, Egg's founder -- of Breakfast: Recipes to Wake Up For and also the creator and curator of Tables of Contents, an edible reading series hosted monthly at Egg. When not scrambling eggs, he works on food policy with the James Beard Foundation’s Chef Action Network, collaborates with multi-disciplinary artists on culinary/artistic experiences, and partners with several food-focused nonprofits on both local and global issues
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November 26, 2018 | Tahiti & the Tuamotu Islands
Chef Emily Luchetti
With six cookbooks to her credit and numerous awards, Emily Luchetti has helped to define what great pastry in America means. As chief pastry officer for Big Night Restaurant Group, she oversees the pastry operations for The Cavalier, Marlowe, Petit Marlowe, Leo’s Oyster Bar, and Park Tavern Restaurant. She was awarded the 2004 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef and was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. With a passion for vanilla, she can’t wait to bake treats made with vanilla fresh from the islands and plans to escort guests on excursions to local vanilla farms.
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November 26, 2018 | Tahiti & the Tuamotu Islands
Beverage Expert Shelley Lindgren
Owner and Wine Director Shelley Lindgren of A16 and SPQR in San Francisco, was honored by the James Beard Foundation in 2015 with the Outstanding Wine Program award for her work at A16. Her reputation for seeking out Italian wines made with lesser-known grapes has earned her recognition as a wine pioneer. She continues to search for evocative wines from around the world and plans to serve interesting pairings aboard Wind Spirit in Tahiti.
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December 15, 2018 | Windward Islands Surf & Sunsets
Chef Jose Mendin
Chef/restaurateur José Mendin co-founded and created the Pubbelly Boys restaurant group and the Comma Hospitality Group (FCHG), with notable Miami restaurants such as Habitat, Pubbelly Noodle Bar, Pubbelly Sushi, Baja Bao, and PB Ysla in Mendin’s hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mendin will be returning home on this cruise, which is a roundtrip journey from San Juan, bringing his ability to revitalize and re-imagine ancient and traditional recipes by maintaining the integrity of a dish’s roots while infusing it with modern touches. He earned James Beard Foundation nominations for “Best Chef: South” from 2012 to 2016. He looks forward to showcasing his love for big flavors aboard Windstar and sharing his favorite restaurants and flavors with guests in San Juan.
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