Dietary requirements: Dirty words to a chef and especially me!! Just joking – Calm down.
Another challenge the yacht chef is faced with every day, is the minefield of dietary requirements. Now, with the guests, obviously there is no question about any requirement, allergy, quirky requests (food related) or the latest trends. Who am I to question the point of a flipping egg white omelette with cheese and bacon inside and a side of sausage?
Crew I think are different.
Normally an allergy is of course catered for but a lifestyle choice is not! and that person has to work around the meal that is served.
On this boat however we have……………………….. drum roll please……………………………..
A celiac, a shellfish allergy, a poultry allergy who is OK with eggs (is that possible??) a vegetarian and a vegan.
The vegan being the chief stewardess and we do not want to get on the wrong side of her.
Luckily this is only a temp job and the vegan stew (nice idea) gives me an opportunity to try out a few new ideas and develop my repertoire.
The great thing about a vegan stew/broth is that anything veggie goes. For best results mince onions, celery, carrot and garlic to from the base sauce which you sweat off in a little vegetable stock until softened, then chuck in chunks of any other veg you like including another onion, carrots, mushrooms etc. (avoid Aubergine as it goes a bit too soggy!) Add herbs to choice, top up with veg stock, some tomato purée and adjust seasoning and thicken with a little cornflour to achieve the right consistency.
We are now entering the high risk area for Somali pirates and after a briefing from our security team we black out all windows. We have a drill to recreate a pirate scenario and assume our roles to be taken in the event.
This far out at sea, all food waste (slops) can be thrown overboard from the back of the boat for obvious reasons, creating unhappy deckhands. Well, with no lights and no moon this is a dangerous exercise; walking the length of the boat in pitch black before your eyes can adjust, feeling your way along the handrail with the waves crashing beneath you; one wrong move and its game over!
Tomorrow — Oman.