Anyone who isn’t familiar with the superyacht industry may be inclined to think that superyacht crew are constantly swanning around the globe on an extended vacation, however anyone who has worked on-board yachts in one of the world’s most exclusive industries will tell you that life working on-board a superyacht isn’t always plain sailing or an easy life!
But it is especially true about working as superyacht Chef as it is arguably one of the toughest jobs on-board.
The Chef on-board a superyacht has to prepare all crew meals which despite not necessarily being at the same standard as guest meals have to be quality, filling and healthy to keep the crew happy and nourished. And then of course there are the guest meals.
These have to be the very highest level of culinary expertise and there is no room for error here as guests are paying for the elite in luxury and the food has to live up to these exacting standards.
Each dish that is prepared from first thing in the morning until often the middle of the night has to be simply perfect.
Depending on the size of the yacht, there often won’t be a team of Sous or Pastry Chefs or Cleaners or Waiters on hand to help either as you will often be the only one in the galley, which by the way is much smaller and confined than any commercial kitchens.
Whilst a superyacht Chef is expected to provide the finest restaurant standard meals and continually innovate and experiment with different menus they will also be expected to be fully ok with being asked to make bacon butties or steak and chips in the middle of the night if the owners or guests request it last minute.
Guests on superyachts expect a great deal and one of those expectations will be your ability to remember guest preferences, allergies, likes and dislikes and a willingness to cater for different types such as vegetarian, gluten-intolerant or kosher. With a bit of luck the guests may have sent across their preferences list ahead of the charter, or the boat will have a log of owner preferences from previous years’, but a good Chef will know to always know to be prepared for the unexpected.
The hardest periods will be during the peak season, which varies depending on where the yacht is based, and this is when the hours and demands will be highest.
Even after the last meal of the day is served, there can be a long evening of planning ahead for the superyacht Chef who can be moored at sea for days at a time without easy access to the shops. Ex-yacht Stewardess turned Greycoat Lumleys Consultant, Annie, recalls “One time when we were in the middle of the Bahamas, the yacht owners wife had a craving for Wagu Beef so we had to send out a sea plane to locate some on a neighbouring island”. On another occasion, Marketing Manager Charlie recalls being docked in Montenegro and the guests requesting fresh pastries that morning from a specific bakery somewhere in Italy!
So, it sounds like a lot of work and it certainly can be! But there are also the perks and they are pretty good.
Superyacht Chefs are paid extremely well and there are often great tips to be had at the end of a charter. For a substantial part of the year there are no guests on-board as the yacht undergoes extended maintenance and deep cleaning, readying it for the next Mediterranean or Caribbean season, during these periods the hours are fewer.
This is also the time when you can get a day off in a tropical paradise and can enjoy exploring where you are docked. The opportunity to travel the globe in luxury and experiment with exotic, seasonal produce from across the world are of course major draws and there is a great sense of satisfaction knowing you have done your best to provide your guests with a truly amazing and memorable experience.
If you think this sounds like your dream job, then give us a call to discuss our current opportunities ….