Windstar Cruises, a leader in small ship luxury cruising, is excited to mark the 10th anniversary of its partnership with the James Beard Foundation® in 2025 – expanding their series of yearly themed culinary sailings.

Windstar Cruises' Star Breeze
Windstar Cruises’ Star Breeze

To further commemorate this milestone, Windstar will be welcoming five distinguished “All-Star” chefs, four whom have previously sailed with the cruise line as part of the ground-breaking partnership and are guest favourites.  

The five acclaimed chefs — Jamilka Borges, José Mendin, Jennifer Hill Booker, Jennifer Jasinski and Larry Forgione (new to Windstar) — will bring their regional culinary expertise and signature dishes to sea.   

Windstar is the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation.

The non-profit organisation’s mission is to celebrate, support and elevate the people behind America’s food culture, while championing a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity and sustainability.

The Foundation firmly aligns with Windstar’s commitment to fresh and local epicurean experiences around the world, as well as efforts to reduce food waste. 

James Beard Foundation sailings include plenty of time to personally interact with the chefs through a chef-hosted dinner and wine pairing, two onboard cooking demonstrations with takeaway recipes and a shoreside market tour.

More than three dozen James Beard Foundation-affiliated chefs have sailed with Windstar since the partnership’s inception.  

“We are thrilled to recognise our 10-year partnership with the James Beard Foundation,” said Windstar President Christopher Prelog.

“We take pride in the numerous chefs who have sailed with us, shared their stories and crafted signature dishes – enhancing the culinary experience for all of our guests on Windstar.” 

Details for all five James Beard Foundation themed cruises in 2025 can be found below.   

15th March 2025 with Chef Jamilka Borges on a seven-night “Windward Ways & Tobago Cays: Aruba to Bridgetown” sailing aboard Windstar’s 312-guest Star Pride 

Windstar Cruises “All-Star” chef - Chef Jamilka Borges
Windstar Cruises “All-Star” chef – Chef Jamilka Borges

As the owner of Lilith, Chef Jamilka Borges was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico where she developed an interest in art and food early in her life. In 2015, she was named a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year and was also honoured as Best Chefs America’s Rising Star Chef. In 2019, she was recognised as a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. 

12th April 2025 with Chef José Mendin on an eight-night “Spanish Symphony: Lisbon to Barcelona” sailing aboard Windstar’s flagship 342-guest Wind Surf 

Windstar Cruises “All-Star” chef - Chef José Mendin
Windstar Cruises “All-Star” chef – Chef José Mendin

Chef/restaurateur José Mendin co-founded the Pubbelly Boys Restaurant Group in 2010 and has since opened several other restaurants in Miami including La Placita, which pays homage to his Puerto Rican roots, and the beloved Casa Isola in Sunset Harbor. The latter also recently expanded to Mexico City. Mendín is a five-time James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best Chef: South. 

29th June 2025 with Chef Jennifer Hill Booker on an 11-night “Baltic Beauty: Stockholm to Copenhagen” sailing aboard Windstar’s 312- guest Star Legend 

Windstar Cruises “All-Star” chef - Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
Windstar Cruises “All-Star” chef – Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker has taken her Southern culinary heritage, her belief in healthy, seasonal foods and her classic French training to create a unique cuisine — modern southern healthy cuisine with a French accent. She wears many culinary hats as chef: cookbook author of Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent and Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow; reality TV personality; culinary educator; and business owner, most recently the acclaimed Bauhaus Biergarten, a place for German and European food and drink, in Springdale, AK. Chef Booker is an alum of the James Beard Foundation Chef Bootcamp for Policy and Change. 

27th August 2025 with Chef Jennifer Jasinski on a nine-night “Adriatic Archipelagos & Greek Goddesses: Venice to Athens” sailing aboard Windstar’s flagship 342-guest Wind Surf 

Windstar Cruises “All-Star” chef - Chef Jennifer Jasinski
Windstar Cruises “All-Star” chef – Chef Jennifer Jasinski

Chef Jennifer Jasinski won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2013 and was a semi-finalist for Outstanding Chef in 2016 and Outstanding Restaurateur in 2020. A Wolfgang Puck alum, her restaurants – including Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Ultreia and Stoic & Genuine – consistently rank among Denver’s top establishments, solidifying her remarkable legacy in the culinary world. Fans of Top Chef Masters will also recognise Jasinski from the show. 

7th October 2025 with Chef Larry Forgione on a 12-night “Southeast Canadian Explorations: Montreal to New York” sailing aboard Windstar’s 312-guest Star Pride 

Windstar Cruises “All-Star” chef - Chef Larry Forgione
Windstar Cruises “All-Star” chef – Chef Larry Forgione

Chef Larry Forgione is hailed as “The Godfather of American Cuisine” for his role in changing the way Americans eat today. At his restaurant, An American Place, he embraced the virtues of national cuisine and used only seasonal, local ingredients, beginning the entire “farm-to-table” movement. Chef Forgione’s An American Place Cookbook won a James Beard Award for “Best American Cookbook” in 1996 along with the Foundation’s 1992 “Best Chef in America” award.  Chef Forgione co-founded and developed The Conservatory for American Food Studies at The Culinary Institute of America. The Culinary also presented him with an award as the “Pioneer of American Cuisine” for his far-reaching influence.  

Find out more about James Beard Foundation cruises with Windstar.  

For reservations call 0808 178 2233 or visit www.windstarcruises.com

Source: Kate Selley PR

Images: © 2024 Windstar Cruises. All rights reserved.

Windstar Cruises – My Cruise Blog


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