New and simply delicious on the high seas this year is the Culinary Cruise Collection, pairing Windstar Cruises and super-chefs from the illustrious James Beard Foundation (JBF) aboard eight designated sailings in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.
Windstar president John Delaney points out that “other cruise lines have one celebrity chef, but thanks to our partnership with the James Beard Foundation, we will have an array of incredible culinary superstars in our ranks for the 2017 season.” Graeme Cockburn, Windstar’s executive chef, is a member of the exclusive club of chefs to have the honor of cooking at the James Beard House in New York City.
Cruise guests will have a chance to interact and taste creations from the guest chef aboard each sailing, who will demonstrate the preparation of their signature recipe, a dish that will also be served at dinner. The menu of special activities will include other culinary demonstrations, as well as unique epicurean shore excursions and local market tours.
With the exception of July, Culinary Cruise Collection departures are scheduled monthly through 2017, with the final pick, Icons of Southeast Asia, sailing on Jan. 20, 2018 from Hong Kong to Bangkok. Chef Lee Anne Wong of Koko Head Cafe in Honolulu will be on board, introducing exotic flavors and techniques of Asian fare; an original “Top Chef” contestant, Wong boasts a notable media career as a television chef and author of “Dumplings All Day Wong.”
Just to whet your cruise appetite, a sampling of a couple of the other Windstar culinary sailings:
- Aug. 4: Lands of the Midnight Sun, with guest chef Paul Berglund of The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis, who celebrates the city’s Scandinavian food heritage at his restaurant; he is a James Beard Foundation award-winner for Best Chef Midwest. Additionally, as a former officer in the U.S. Navy, Berglund will be no stranger to sailing on a cruise journey from Iceland to Norway and finally to Ireland.
- Oct. 18: Islands of the West Med, in the culinary care of chef Amy Brandwein who embraces seasonal Italian fare at the Centrolina in Washington, D.C. She will continue to produce cuisine relying heavily on fresh market selections during the sailing, which visits Alghero, Portovenere, Portoferraio and Rome. Brandwein is a 2017 James Beard Foundation award finalist for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.
The Windstar Cruises and the James Beard Foundation’s travel-culinary alliance, which began in 2016, aims to elevate genuine local culinary encounters for cruise travelers. It also introduces travel enthusiasts to the important work of the Foundation, including focusing on sustainable food advocacy and identifying the vital influence that leading chefs and restauranteurs have on their communities. For more information, call (877) 768-1043 or visit windstarcruises.com.