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A superyacht chef speaks

Yacht owners and those wealthy enough to eat in the best restaurants on the planet may expect a supremely high standard of cooking on their yachts. Whether this is feasible or not is a whole other thing. Michelin standard cooking on a yacht? Yes, possible, but where is the Michelin style infrastructure that all Michelin cooks rely on to deliver the goods?


“Superyacht Owners Deck” by We are Viva is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

It takes a huge detachment of gourmet experts to cooperate to convey to stunning cooking, and this is something that is not possible without a huge amount of preparation and a team of at least ten, and that is not including the foragers, the people who source the freshest food on the day. A Michelin star restaurant often will have a team of twenty – and a dish can take up to twenty hours to prepare collectively.

Cooking on a yacht is a totally different dimension. The kitchen is smaller, there is no sous chef, no specialists, no margin of error. A yacht gourmet expert needs to prepare and expect the unforeseen. They should be capable figure out how to provision arrangement in remote areas, utilizing what’s accessible locally to make their menus and be clever with it. Provisioning suppliers can help with this, and superyacht suppliers do worldwide delivery. Be that as it may, not all yachts enable their culinary experts to utilize this asset, due to budget control, so a gourmet specialist will frequently need to shop in neighborhood markets.  If the owner or charter party has a sense of adventure, this is not a problem. But for new owners or first-time charterers, the expectations of excellence in all matters relating to a superyacht may be unrealistic.

Then you have the general mish-mash the way that storage room for hardware is restricted on yachts –  ice chest, cooler, for example,  and dry-stores space on board generally. On bigger yachts with integrated coolers and coolers, and bigger galleys with a segment for baked food, significantly more can be achieved. However, on smaller vessels it is a daily challenge that yacht gourmet specialists need to confront. To add to the space issue, food that says wow needs extra specialist equipment which the cook needs to compliment his repertoire.

When I first came on board , moving from  a Michelin-star restaurant , I had to get with the superyacht programme. For a start I was  not used to doing practically everything myself – from pot-washing and cleaning to provisioning, upkeep of stores, menu-arranging, costing and budgetary control, also providing food each and any dietary prerequisite. I had to adapt to this new environment without lowering my standards or expectations of what I can achieve as a cook.

I have seen cooks come from top restaurants , allured by the glamour of a superyacht, and worn down by the different working environment and stress of being cook, manager and accountant at the same time. Generally experienced owners and charter parties understand the conditions and challenges that a chef faces and go out of their way to compliment the skill needed to serve top restaurant quality food in what is essentially a movable feast.

(Image courtesy of y.co)

When it goes right, it is the best feeling in the world; when it goes wrong you take all the blame. That comes with the territory of being a chef on a superyacht.


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