MAIN PICTURE: CHEF FILLETING FISH ON DECK WHILE SAILING
Off charter (no guests) the working day on a Superyacht usually starts at 08.00 and finishes at 17.00. But, I’m awake at 6 so sneak out of my coffin sized bunk, careful not to wake the second engineer above me. Obviously the next few days are going to be really tough as I’m not only trying to impress with my cooking, but it’s as if everything is set to trip me up. All ingredients were ordered by someone else. All the machinery is strange. I don’t know where anything is and it’s going to take twice as long to do anything until I’m up to speed. Luckily the chef who’s departing has given me a great handover and prepped a day’s worth of meals that just need cooking.
8.am, face mask on for the journey, he’s saying his goodbyes, answering a few last minute questions from me and filling a water bottle with gin. Safe travels!
A kilometer away, through the window, there is a tiny island with 20 palm trees, a house, a jetty and a brilliant white spit of sand surrounded by the turquoise Indian Ocean.
To work on a yacht is, obviously, to be out of touch with reality. An opportunity I’m thankful for after 30 years of toil in restaurant and hotel kitchens. I feel I’m finally earning a fair wage for my profession. The crews of yachts live a life of endless perks and I guess that’s fair when you are away from home for months on end. These guys are no different
I’ve been instructed to embellish the crew breakfast they make themselves (they break at 10am) with anything from fresh smoothies, fruit platters, muffins to flapjacks.
Obviously they will never make it to lunch at 12 otherwise!
A typical lunch might be a soup, fresh bread, a salad or two and cold meats.
Another day maybe a pasta, a salad and a warm fish or meat.
The crew break again at 2 for afternoon tea but luckily they struggle on without needing anything from me.
Dinner is served at 6pm and tonight it’s Goan fish curry with pilau rice.
I think the captain would like me to join for breakfast and afternoon tea but to be honest I’m too flipping busy.
Now imagine if you can fitting this day around an endless breakfast for 12 guests all waking at different times. Guests lunch between 13.00 and 15.00, their three course dinner with canapés sometime after 18.00 and any number of crudités, snacks, fruit platters and charcuterie platters scattered through the day.
But for now it’s just crew and that makes me so happy.