Hope your week is off to a good start! I moved house over the weekend and one thing helped me get through? The person behind The Superyacht Chef on Instagram. Just in case you wanted all of the drool-worthy food shots in one place, the elusive Superyacht Chef wanted to create a space where luxury yacht chefs can be featured, offer resources, and of course, we get a deluge of incredible dishes and meal ideas! We tracked them down and are happy to feature a mini-interview with them!
What made you want to create the Superyacht Chef website and series?
It happened by accident. I was searching for yacht chef accounts to follow for inspiration while in the middle of a three-month boss trip. There didn't seem to be any single clear place for images. While there were loads of really informative and excellent yacht chef groups on Facebook, nothing was visual. And food is very much a visual thing.
So I set up the Instagram account and started reposting yacht chef images of plates that I loved, that way I could go back and reference it easier later. I guess, a bit like how a Pinterest board would work. After just a few days people started messaging me saying how great it was, and how much it was helping them. So I just rolled with it! Then I set up the website as a resource for yacht chefs, especially new ones entering the industry.
I wanted it to be a bit of a hub where everyone could share what they have done, and what they are achieving in the industry. And also a great place for the newbies to see what the industry is really all about. I love being able to repost industry news, yacht chef specific cooking classes, yacht chef jobs etc in the stories each day. But it’s hard to keep on top of all of the content that gets sent around, so we really appreciate being tagged in posts people want us to repost.
I have to be honest, I have absolutely no idea where this is going! I’m just letting it evolve as the industry requires it to.
The yacht chef spotlight interviews are released every Monday and feature a range of yacht chefs. We have had interviews so far with industry veterans, green chefs, male and female and from a range of backgrounds. People seem to be loving these, and I think it’s fun to help pull everyone together- the industry can be cliquey and hard enough at times, especially for those sole chefs out there on smaller boats!
You're a chef yourself - how did you become a chef onboard luxury yachts?
Ahh I am going to be careful here not to give too much away 🙂 The identity of The Superyacht Chef is closely guarded. But yes, I have been a chef on various sized boats in yachting for over five years now.
How do you prepare for one or two-week charter?
I have only done a handful of charters as I have mostly been private. But our most recent New Year's charter was interesting. We were in the Caribbean and it was a last-minute pick up with no preference list. We had no idea what these guests were going to expect and had to just make a mad dash to St Martin Carrefour.
Luckily they came on and were super laid back and just wanted comfort food, but the stress levels were high going into it.
Normally there would be a lot more time to prepare, and the dry store and freezer would have at least been stocked. I like to have crew meals prepped and be at least 2 days ahead of them throughout a charter too. And things like stocks and desserts made and frozen where there's space. But part of being a yacht chef is also winging it and making it work any way you can!
Do you have a favourite go-to dish for guests that you know will wow everyone and anyone?
Not really, it always depends on the crowd. Sushi and quality perfectly grilled steak tends to be an easy one, unless your guests are vegan 😛
What do you think makes a superyacht charter so special and unique?
The luxury of it all - having your own exceptionally well-trained crew at your beck and call. Knowing you can have whatever you want when you want it from the galley team. And being able to anchor off some of the most beautiful spots in the world, without neighbours! Having your own yacht charter really is the best of the best. The attention to detail from the linens, cutlery and tableware, to the sprigs of micro herbs on your plate: are all meticulous. I don’t know where else in the world you could get that level of service.
Any advice for those entering into the industry now?
For the new chefs to yachting, definitely follow @thesuperyachtchef and check out our website for new blog posts and chef interviews added weekly. We also have a bunch of links and information in there to help green chefs learn the do’s and dont’s of yachting.
I think green crew need to just get their ducks in a row in regards to tickets. Once you have the right tickets, you will get a chance to prove yourself much quicker than a green stew or deck would. When you get that chance, take it with both hands! Enjoy the experience! And if the first boat isn’t for you, don’t take it as a setback. I see a lot of people that just give up after one boat.
If you truly want to work on yachts, you need to have grit.