Regina Charboneau is a well-known chef who has cooked for the likes of Prince Charles and Oprah Winfrey. She will join Queen Elizabeth II on her world tour this fall, where she’ll be in charge of two onboard kitchens that serve more than 2,000 guests each day at four different stops

“Regina Charboneau, the noted chef who has been featured on Food Network and Cooking Channel, is joining American Queen Voyages as a culinary consultant.”

Regina Charboneau, a well-known chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author, has been named the new culinary ambassador for American Queen Voyages.

Charboneau, a native of Natchez, Miss., is well-versed in the culinary and agricultural traditions of many parts of the United States, notably the radically disparate areas along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and is known as The Biscuit Queen.

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Charboneau already has the expertise as American Queen Cruises grows beyond river cruising to Lakes & Oceans and Expedition voyages in areas like Alaska. Indeed, she began her work as a chef in the Alaskan woods (she knows her fish!) in order to fund her culinary studies in Paris. She returned to Natchez in 2000 after working at a private club in Anchorage and running restaurants in San Francisco.

Natchez Mayor with Chef Charboneau and American Queen's Kari Tarnowski Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson with Regina Charboneau and Kari Tarnowski, American Queen Voyages’ senior vice president of marketing and sales. (Image courtesy of American Queen Voyages)

When the American Queen paddleboat resumed sailing in 2012, Charboneau was the culinary director. She has always remained a friend of the corporation as it has changed over the years, but their friendship has now been re-established.

In an interview with, she remarked, “I am flattered and humbled that they thought of me.” “I’ve been a professional chef for 42 years, and this feels like the ideal career for me at this point in my life.” My whole life is coming full circle. It’s something I know I’ll love and put my all into, and it’ll be a fantastic collaboration.”

Charboneau will share her expertise with American Queen Voyages guests in a variety of ways, including sailing on the ships, offering restaurant suggestions in port cities, and preparing a dish for each place on the cruise itinerary. She also intends to organize special sailings with some of her culinary pals.

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Pints of beer

According to Kari Tarnowski, executive vice president of marketing and sales for American Queen Voyages, while a ship is in Pittsburgh, Charboneau could give a pierogi-making demonstration or offer a recipe for guests. It might be toasted ravioli in St. Louis, as well as the history behind how certain meals became popular in different places.

“Regina can teach them how to manufacture them, and they can do it themselves,” Tarnowski added. “We’re expanding on the concepts of ‘Encounter Travel’ and ‘Discovery Runs Deep,’” according to the company’s rebranding.

“Whether it’s on the Mississippi or Ohio rivers, Regina is going to help bring it all together – the cuisine and culture, an understanding of people and their origins, and the tales that tie it all together,” Tarnowski said.

“Mississippi Currents: A Culinary Journey Down America’s Greatest River,” a thoroughly researched compendium of river dishes from St. Paul to New Orleans, is also written by Charboneau.

In October, she and a local chef, Tootie Morrison of Abby Singer’s Bistro, won the Golden Fork title at Food Prize 2021 in Shreveport, La.

To celebrate the new relationship, Charboneau is presenting seasonal meals that embody American Queen Voyages’ Rivers, Lakes & Ocean and Expedition experiences. Corn pudding packed with mustard greens from Natchez, Montréal pork pie from Québec, and Alaskan King crab soup from Sitka, Alaska are among the dishes. Click here for the recipes.

“We’re tying it all together with Regina since many of our best trip memories include a cuisine or culinary aspect,” Tarnowski added. “We’re privileged to have her on board.”

When booked by January 4, 2022, American Queen Voyages is offering a special Year End Sale with savings of up to $5,600 per stateroom on select 2022 and 2023 sailings, including the Victory I and Victory II. Click here for additional details.

  • regina charboneau biscuits
  • riverboat cruises
  • columbia river cruises
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