Windstar Cruises Announces Guest Chefs For James Beard Foundation Themed Cruises

Windstar Cruises is excited to mark the 10th Anniversary of its partnership with the James Beard Foundation in 2025. To further commemorate this milestone, Windstar will be welcoming five distinguished “All-Star” chefs, four who have previously sailed with the cruise line as part of the ground-breaking partnership and are guest favorites. 

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 nonprofit organization’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. 

Speaking about the partnership Windstar President Christopher Prelog said: “We are thrilled to recognize our 10-year partnership with the James Beard Foundation. 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.”

James Beard Foundation themed cruises in 2025  

March 15, 2025 with Chef Jamilka Borges on a 7 day “Windward Ways & Tobago Cays: Aruba to Bridgetown” aboard Windstar’s 312-guest Star Pride

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 semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year and was also honored as Best Chefs America’s Rising Star Chef. In 2019, she was recognized as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.

April 12, 2025 with Chef José Mendin on a 8 day “Spanish Symphony: Lisbon to Barcelona” aboard Windstar’s flagship 342-guest Wind Surf 

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 semifinalist for Best Chef: South.

June 29, 2025 with Chef Jennifer Hill Booker on a 11 day “Baltic Beauty: Stockholm to Copenhagen” aboard Windstar’s 312- guest Star Legend

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.

August 27, 2025 with Chef Jennifer Jasinski on a 9 day “Adriatic Archipelagos & Greek Goddesses: Venice to Athens” aboard Windstar’s flagship 342-guest Wind Surf 

Chef Jennifer Jasinski won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2013 and was a semifinalist 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 recognize Jasinski from the show.

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

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 our 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. 

Contact us for additional information and to book your voyage with Windstar Cruises.

Also read: First Look At The Spectacular Suites Aboard Four Seasons Yachts

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