I’m Perry Schermuly and I have been working on and off yachts for a few years now. I trained at Boodles Gents club in London, and then went on to five star hotels and Michelin-standard restaurants. I’ve worked alongside Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay to name but a few. At present I am the chef on the 40-metre M/Y Alumercia.
Here are Perry’s answers to the questions that OceanScape Yachts asked him:
OSY: If you could go anywhere in the world onboard a yacht, where would you go and why?
PS: I really enjoy sailing the coasts of the USA. It is so huge and diverse, plus I love southern fried food.
OSY: What is your favourite activity onboard?
PS: I always get the kids in the galley to help out. They love it as cooking seems to be "cool" they say. The look on their faces when they present homemade jam or cookies to their parents is a picture.
OSY: What advice would you give to someone planning a yacht vacation?
PS: Plan well ahead to catch local fiesta days at your destinations if possible, great atmosphere makes for good times.
OSY: What made you choose a life at sea as a superyacht chef?
PS: I chose to cook on board as it is a real challenge to produce food local to where the boat is at any given time and that’s what I try to do whenever possible.
OSY: What are the unique challenges of working in a galley?
PS: The lack of space and the movement. Cooking on the move, windy al fresco dining and in particular, problems provisioning, are the big problems for most yacht chefs.
OSY: What's the most unusual request you've ever had as a private chef?
PS: I was once asked to cook a dinner on a boat moored next to the boat I was working on. So I did; running between the two boats cooking two very different menus simultaneously.
OSY: What are your thoughts on cooking guest-caught seafood? What's the biggest challenge a guest has handed you from their line?
PS: I’m happy to cook guest-caught seafood if the sea in the area has a clean bill of health. My present boss’s son caught a beautiful Yellowtail tuna in Costa Rica recently; we ate that beauty sashimi-style!
OSY: What are some of the dietary request challenges you most enjoy taking on?
PS: Many owners like to eat healthy, light meals or are dieting to lose a few kilos. It’s great when they comment that the food is delicious with such low calorific content. But as all chefs know the secret is to season correctly.
OSY: Is there one brilliant quote you've heard from guests that you'd like to share?
PS: While watching the sunset on the boat (on anchor) one evening a guest asked me why the buildings on shore seemed to be moving.