6 Reasons Why Windstar Has The Best Foodie Cruises

4.66min read

Published 17 September 2020


Foodie travel is a trend that keeps getting hotter and hotter and Windstar is at the head of the class when it comes to innovative guest chefs and culinary offerings.

1. A Taste of James Beard at Sea

Windstar Cruises is proud to be the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, now offering all cruise guests the opportunity to taste tailored recipes from James Beard Foundation affiliated chefs.

The boutique cruise line is rolling out dinner menus containing dozens of signature recipes from James Beard-affiliated chefs such as Top Chef Judge Chef Hugh Acheson and Seattle’s Chef Renee Erickson who have sailed recently with Windstar as a guest chef. In addition, even more new dishes from a broad spectrum of regionally and nationally celebrated chefs including Andy Ricker, Keith Rhodes and Mario Pagan, will continue to rotate onto menus throughout the coming year. The ongoing infusion of new destination-inspired locavore fare from chefs passionate about their craft and creations will enhance and elevate the guest dining experience as the culinary partnership grows.

2. Celebrity Chefs from Catch, Whale Wins, Pok Pok & More

Chef Andy Ricker as the new guest chef aboard the January 20, 2018 Icons of Southeast Asia sailing. The James Beard Foundation Culinary Collection cruise is a 14-day journey from Hong Kong to Bangkok, making Ricker – a celebrated Thai cuisine chef – a perfect choice to guide guests on a feast for the senses.

Ricker is the chef/owner of Pok Pok Restaurants, with branches in Portland and New York City. He first visited Thailand as a backpacker in 1987. Since then, he has spent several months each year living, travelling, eating, cooking, and studying the food culture in Thailand and neighbouring countries, including Vietnam. Among other achievements and accolades, Chef Ricker is a two-time James Beard Award winner and best-selling cookbook author.

Throughout the flourishing partnership, Windstar and the James Beard Foundation are immersing guests in epicurean adventures around the globe.
John Delaney, Windstar President

Also sailing soon…

Chef Keith Rhodes of Wilmington, North Carolina’s famous Catch restaurant and food truck. Chef Rhodes passion for seafood is apparent and every ingredient in his delicious cuisine is consciously sourced from organic growers and local fisheries that support sustainable practices, so he’s a fantastic fit to help guests swim through seafood options in the Caribbean on this special sailing. Rhodes is recognizable from his time on Top Chef and is a James Beard Foundation award semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast. Sail with Rhodes on the Wind Star’s November 10, 2017 Jewels of the Windward Islands sailing to the hidden harbours of the Western Caribbean.

San Juan, Puerto Rico’s (arguably) best chef, Mario Pagán has been preparing meals rooted in Caribbean cuisine since his mother taught him in their family kitchen. Now he is the chef and owner of three San Juan restaurants (SAGE Steak Loft, Dorado Beach & Golf Resort, MARIO PAGAN Restaurant) and has a mission to “bring Puerto Rican food to the world” – which he has furthered through his involvement in the James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change and also through multiple media appearances including the 3rd season of Next Iron Chef. On his round trip cruise departing from San Juan on December 9, 2017, there is no better chef to help guests discover the best flavours of Caribbean Treasures.

3. No Add-on Charges for True Foodie Experiences

Every day on a Windstar cruise offers a cornucopia of choices for foodie experiences with truly immersive culinary experiences such as “Market Shopping with the Chef” at local markets in many ports of call where you may pick up that evening’s fish entree or fresh local produce that magically is made into a gourmand delight by the same chef you shopped with. Each day on board brings a new opportunity to sip and savour new tastes from Galley Tours led by the ship’s Executive Chef and accompanied by a glass of bubbly and canapés to regionally-inspired wine, beer or cider tastings. All of the extras are complimentary Don’t miss out on morning Cooking Demonstrations or afternoon Mixology Classes — and all complimentary on Windstar’s small elegant ships.

AmphorA, the main dining room on each Windstar ship, is center stage for the rotating selection of featured James Beard recipes each evening. The new menus are rolling out to all Windstar ships by the end of the year and are currently available on Star Pride. Star Legend is next in line for the changes. Each dinner menu has two featured recipes from a James Beard-affiliated chef – either a starter, entrée, or dessert. The items are specially notated on the menu, and no “upcharge” or additional fee is charged for ordering these show-stopping dishes.

Guests may order Venison Carpaccio with shaved cabbage and cucumber coleslaw, toasted almonds, and aged local cheese as a starter one evening. The rich but light dish is from Chef Paul Berglund of The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis, MN and a James Beard Foundation award-winner for Best Chef Midwest. Berglund joined Windstar on an August 2017 cruise in Scandinavia, a region where he draws much of his culinary inspiration. On another evening, guests may order Grilled Guajillo Glazed Prawns with charred corn relish and creamy edam polenta as an entrée. The bright and tangy dish is from Chef Annie Pettry of Decca in Louisville, KY and a recent Top Chef contestant. Pettry joined Windstar aboard a June 2017 Culinary Cruise Collection sailing in Spain and Portugal, where she was inspired to create the dish using local ingredients.

Windstar also offers the eclectic al fresco dining at Candles each evening, the perfect setting for a romantic dinner for two. Wind Surf guests have a third evening option where you can treat your palate to the French-inspired café cuisine of stylish Stella Bistro, Wind Surf’s alternative restaurant. You’ll find delightfully indulgent desserts and a wonderful array of wines specifically paired to the meal.

4. Windstar’s Spectacular Signature Deck Barbecue

One of the highlights of your cruise will be the spectacular Signature Deck Barbecue!  Your attentive crew will serve an amazing meal of fresh local ingredients accompanied by their own special brand of entertainment for an evening of entertainment under the stars.

The dinner BBQ happens on every cruise. It is not to be missed. Food is buffet style with lots of good choices…..lobster tails, jumbo shrimp, roast beef, and local specialties.
Member Redtravel, Windstar Guest & Cruise Critic

5. Recipes Galore!

You don’t have to sail with a James Beard Foundation chef to enjoy award-winning dishes and exceptional dining experiences. All of Windstar’s sailings feature highly talented chefs serving up James Beard Foundation Signature Recipes in demonstrations and on dining room menus. Whether it’s a savoury entrée with a contemporary twist or a sinfully sweet dessert, the Culinary Demos powered by the James Beard Foundation will show you how to enhance your cooking techniques for your meals back at home.

6. Taste America & Win a Tahiti Cruise

In addition to the new menu items, Windstar has “hit the road” with the James Beard Foundation stateside as part of the Taste America ten-city tour around the United States throughout October and November. While participating in the events in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Austin, and other cities, Windstar is offering a Dreams of Tahiti sweepstakes with the foundation for an opportunity to win a seven-day Dreams of Tahiti cruise, enjoying local cuisine like poisson cru along the journey.

When You Go

For additional information on Windstar’s unique relationship with the James Beard Foundation and private yacht-style cruising with Windstar, contact your Travel Expert.



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