Photo by Flickr, Joe Shlabotnik

Michelin Star-awarded chefs Michael Mina and Heinz Beck, Master sommelier Robert Bath, and mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim are part of the distinguished roster of food, wine and spirit experts aboard Crystal Cruises' 14th annual Wine & Food Experiences of Discovery cruises in 2010. Aboard seven Wine & Food itineraries, the special guests will draw inspiration from the destinations visited, as well as their own expertise in worldwide specialties to lead demos and lectures, tastings and pairings, and cocktail and pastry making classes.

Crystal's culinary options have long been a cornerstone of guests' luxurious vacation experience, says Toni Neumeister, vice president, food & beverage operations. The breadth and caliber of talent on the Wine & Food itineraries is extraordinary, and further exemplifies our practice of delivering excellence.

In addition to the designated Wine & Food themed cruises, the ultra-luxury line's annual President's Cruise will befittingly feature former White House Chef John Hanny. Aboard the May 3rd voyage from Piraeus to Dubai, hosted by Crystal President Gregg Michel, Hanny will present several presidential-themed dinners and White House favorites from several administrations.

Culinary experts for 2010 include:

Chefs and Foodies

  • Michael Mina - Creator of restaurant group including one Michelin-starred restaurants;
  • Heinz Beck - Executive chef of three Michelin-starred La Pergola, Rome;
  • Tom Aikens - Michelin-starred chef and owner of London's Tom Aikens Restaurant;
  • Andr Soltner - Former executive chef/owner of New York's legendary Lut ce;
  • Serge Dansereau - Owner of Sydney, Australia's The Bathers' Pavilion;
  • Aglaia Kremezi - Greek cuisine expert and acclaimed cookbook author;
  • Paula Wolfert - James Beard Award winning Mediterranean cookbook author;
  • Simon Johnson - Australia's leading purveyor of quality foods, and
  • Jon Ashton - Food correspondent for The Daily Buzz and Relish Magazine chef.

Sommeliers and Wine Experts 

  • Doug Frost - One of only three worldwide to achieve both Master Sommelier and Master of Wine;
  • Robert Bath - One of only 79 Master Sommeliers in the U.S.;
  • Gerhard Retter - Wine and cheese sommelier at Michelin-awarded restaurants throughout Europe;
  • Mel Master - Leading Rhone Valley and Languedoc wine exporter and famed restaurateur;
  • Victoria Ordonez - Member of Spain's largest wine exporting family;
  • Cameron Douglas - New Zealand's first and only Master Sommelier, and
  • Filippo DiBelardino - Italian wine expert and vice president of Banfi Vintners-Fine Wines.

Cocktail Concoctors

  • Tony Abou-Ganim -National Ambassador of the U.S. Bartenders' Guild and creator of Crystal's exclusive cocktail program;
  • Julio Bermejo - considered the U.S. Ambassador of Tequila;
  • Livio Lauro - National president of the United States Bartenders' Guild;
  • Francesco Lafranconi - Cofounder of the U.S. Bartenders' Guild Nevada chapter, and
  • Audrey Saunders - Celebrated bartender of the Carlyle Hotel's legendary Bemelmans Bar, owner of New York's Pegu Club.

Crystal Wine & Food itineraries are scheduled for March 30, Auckland to Sydney; April 29, London to Rome; May 25, Venice to Barcelona; September 5, Istanbul to Barcelona; September 17, Barcelona to Venice; November 22, roundtrip Lisbon; and December 12, roundtrip Los Angeles, Mexican Rivera.

On every itinerary, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity boast numerous dining options, including specialty dining from Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio and Vintage Room experiences showcasing celebrated wines.

Always an incredible value, 2010 Crystal Cruises offer two-for-one cruise fares, free airfare, shipboard spending credits and a price guarantee. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit