Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world’s most sought-after destinations, announces its 2010 Signature Collection Host Series which offers guests the unique opportunity to cruise with distinguished experts in the culinary arts, wine, photography and writing.
Hosts in 2010 include: top chocolate artisan Fran Bigelow of Fran’s Chocolates; renowned winemakers Jay Schuppert of Cuvaison Estate Wines and Eric Dunham of Dunham Cellars; San Francisco area restaurateur, author, national radio and television personality, Narsai David; photographer Roger Paperno and author Joe Wolff of the popular travel books “Café Life”; acclaimed restaurateurs Chef Don Curtiss and Michelle Quisenberry of Seattle’s Volterra Restaurant; and Chef Keith Luce of celebrated Northwest restaurant The Herbfarm.
Jay Schuppert – President of Cuvaison Estate Wines
Schuppert, president of Cuvaison Estate Wines, hosts Wind Surf’s Lisbon to Barcelona sailing which departs April 4, 2010, and visits the ports of Tangier, Morocco; Málaga, Spain; Alicante, Spain; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Valencia, Spain. Cuvaison’s winery is situated on the historic Silverado Train in Northern Napa Valley and is known for its award-wining wines. Prior to Cuvaison, Schuppert was with Kendall Jackson, San Francisco-based Southern Wine and Spirits Distributors and was Executive Chef of the Crystal Palace Restaurant in Aspen, Colo. Today, Schuppert leads the premium winery to record profits and global presence. Cuvaison wines are distributed throughout the United States, in 40 international markets, first class airlines and top-rated cruise lines. Schuppert will lecture on wine and conduct wine tastings during the voyage. Cruise fares start from $2,399 per person, double occupancy. For more information on Cuvaison Estate Wines, visit www.cuvaison.com.
Narsai David – San Francisco Restaurateur, Television and Radio Personality
Culinary expert David hosts Wind Star’s Barcelona to Rome sailing departing May 1, 2010. Ports of call include Mahón, Spain; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Alghero, Italy; Porto-Vecchio, France; and Portoferraio, Italy. One of California’s leading gourmets, David is a national television and radio personality, as well as Macy’s Culinary Expert and shares the simple pleasures of cooking, food and wine through education. David launched Narsai’s Restaurant, Market and Catering businesses which quickly became a culinary mecca for traveling gourmets. He hosted the nationally syndicated PBS television series “Over Easy” and was a food columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. David now broadcasts his secrets of gourmet cooking as the Food and Wine Editor at San Francisco’s KCBS radio and oversees the management and new product development of his line of specialty food products. David will entertain guests with a lecture and cooking demonstration on his culinary arts. Cruise fares from $2,399 per person, double occupancy. For more on David, visit www.narsai.com.
Fran Bigelow – Founder and Owner of Fran’s Chocolates
Bigelow will host Wind Surf’s Rome to Venice sailing departing May 2, 2010, visiting Capri, Italy; Taormina, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Hvar, Croatia. Bigelow is considered one of the best chocolatiers in the country and has been credited for sparking the artisan chocolate renaissance in America. Fran’s Chocolates offers a selection of luxurious chocolate confections and signature truffles created with the finest, all-natural, local and organic ingredients handmade daily in small batches with refined techniques. Bigelow’s cookbook “Pure Chocolate” won a “Best Chocolate Cookbook in the United States” award from Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and was a James Beard Foundation Cookbook Award finalist. Further accolades include “Ten Best Cookbooks of 2004” by Food & Wine magazine and the “Best Dessert Cookbook” by People magazine. Bigelow will discuss how she creates extraordinary chocolates and will conduct chocolate tastings. Cruise fares from $2,599 per person, double occupancy. For more information on Fran’s Chocolates, visit www.franschocolates.com.
Keith Luce – Executive Chef of The Herbfarm
Executive Chef Luce of The Herbfarm, the Pacific Northwest’s only AAA Five Diamond restaurant, will host Wind Surf’s Rome to Venice sailing departing June 6, 2010. Ports of call include Capri, Italy; Taormina, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Hvar, Croatia. Luce trained at the New York’s Rainbow Room, Le Cirque and La Côte Basque as well as top Michelin-starred restaurants in France and Italy. He also served as Sous Chef in the White House during Clinton’s first administration and Opening Chef of Spruce in Chicago. Luce went on to work as Executive Chef at Five Diamond Relais & Châteaux Little Nell in Aspen and later opened San Francisco’s acclaimed Merenda. His accolades include America’s “Top 10 Chefs” from Food & Wine magazine and “Rising Star Chef of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation. Luce will speak on culinary techniques and provide cooking demonstrations. Cruise fares start from $2,749 per person, double occupancy. For more information on The Herbfarm, visit www.theherbfarm.com.
Eric Dunham – Winemaker for Dunham Cellars
Winemaker Dunham of Dunham Cellars will host Wind Surf’s Rome to Venice sailing departing July 25, 2010. Ports of call include Capri, Italy; Taormina, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Hvar, Croatia. Dunham trained in all phases of winemaking through an internship with Hogue Cellars and served as assistant winemaker at the prestigious L’Ecole No. 41 winery under the tutelage of Marty Clubb. Dunham handcrafted small lots of premium Cabernet Sauvignon under the Dunham Cellars name achieving prestigious awards including a Gold Medal and a 93 rating at the World Wine Championship. In the Spring of 1999, Dunham and his family opened the winery in a converted WWII airplane hanger at Walla Walla’s Regional Airport. Dunham Cellars was “2008 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year” and their wines have received accolades from The Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast and Food & Wine magazine. Dunham will discuss the wine making process and conduct wine tastings. Cruise fares from $2,749 per person, double occupancy. For more information on Dunham Cellars, visit www.dunhamcellars.com.
Chef Don Curtiss and Michelle Quisenberry – Owners of Volterra Restaurant
Chef Curtiss and Quisenberry will host Wind Surf’s September 5, 2010, Rome to Venice sailing which visits Capri, Italy; Taormina, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Hvar, Croatia. Curtiss was formally trained in classic French cuisine and taught at the Sofitel French Culinary school. He led the helm at Miami’s Le Café Royale before becoming Executive Chef of Café des Artes on Ocean Drive. Curtiss’ Northwest culinary adventure began in 1992 holding Executive Chef positions at Al Boccalino, Assaggio, Prego Ristorante as well as Chef Partner at II Fornaio. He and wife, Quisenberry, own Volterra, named after the Tuscan hilltop where the couple married. The restaurant features seasonal Tuscan specialties showcasing Curtiss’ innovative style including all natural, organic meats and poultry as well as house made pastas. Volterra has received international acclaim and numerous awards including Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence,” and Zagat’s “America’s Top Restaurants.” Guests will discover Tuscan cooking with Curtiss and Quisenberry. Cruise fares from $2,749 per person, double occupancy. For more information on Volterra, visit www.volterrarestaurant.com.
Photographer Roger Paperno and Author Joe Wolff of the Café Life Book Series
Photographer Roger Paperno and author Joe Wolff host Wind Surf’s October 17, 2010, Venice to Venice sailing which visits ports of Rovinj, Croatia; Opatija, Croatia; Trogir, Croatia; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. The duo produced the popular travel series “Café Life Rome”, “Café Life Florence” and “Café Life Venice.” The books profile family-owned cafes and bars in Italy featuring photos, interviews and history. In addition to the book series, Paperno has done photography for numerous clients including The Gap, Banana Republic and Saturn Cars. Over the last 25 years, Wolff has written advertising and marketing pieces for a variety of businesses. Paperno and Wolff will share their experiences about working on the book as well as traveling, photography and writing. Cruise rates start from $2,599 per person, double occupancy. For more information on Paperno and Wolff, visit www.rogerpaperno.com and www.joe-wolff.com