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Seasoned Chef 20+ New To Yatching
William Morrison
Posted: Monday, October 25, 2010 4:43 PM
Joined: 09/10/2010
Posts: 4

Im in the process of getting my first Yatching job I love the Ocean and I dont get see sick. So Combining my love of cooking with the Yaching seems to be a good fit. I have been in high end restaurants 5star / 5 Diamond so I know food on land. What should I know about cooking on a yacht? What questions should I ask the captain prior to taking the job? What do I need to know about provisioning? Are the gallies to small to store enough food for the entire trip? Thank you in advance for any assitance.
Posted: Monday, October 25, 2010 6:22 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

Yachts operate on coastal trips. These are short one or two week trips and in areas in which galley supplies are readily available. Plenty of room for storage, plenty of very fine supplies available from dedicated yacht provisioners and plenty of money available for getting the job done. A yacht chef should answer specific questions , but from my experience as captain , the challenge for chefs is not supplies or cooking ...its the people....guests crew and the very compact environment in which you live and work. All yacht crew face this challenge.
Posted: Saturday, October 30, 2010 1:55 AM
Joined: 30/10/2010
Posts: 1

Try a book called "Superyacht Chef" by John Harris at
Posted: Saturday, October 30, 2010 6:01 AM
Joined: 26/05/2010
Posts: 1

It's only slightly different working on a boat in my experience. There is a lot of time wasted on cleaning and other things that a Chef doesn't usually have to take care of. On smaller boats you'll be spending at least a third of your time keeping your galley clean and doing your own dishes etc. In a larger boat it's different thou. Provisioning is a fun challenge. Instead of faxing off an order sheet you can wander the markets and pick your own produce and meats. I love it because you get to go on land in every destination and are constantly being inspired by the ingredients of the day etc. It's my favourite part. Unfortunately as a dedicated fine-dining Chef myself you do have to make things a wee bit simpler just because you don't have the team that you're used to. No kitchen hand to peel carrots for you etc.However, to wake up in a new destination everyday is incredible and the job is rewarding in so many ways aside from the obvious financial ones! Things I usually ask the Captain are: What floor is the galley on? Does it get any sunlight etc? What equipment do you have? Size of galley? Size of storage etc? How many hours a day are you expected to work? What's the crew accom. like? But as soon as you know the name of a boat you can find out a lot of information from their webpages. Good luck and all the best!
Posted: Saturday, October 30, 2010 10:02 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

This is a good observation. A chef on a yacht is a crew and must be versatile. Many tasks to be accomplished with the available manpower. Simple things like the daily shoppnig trip ashore are best accomplished when a seaman chef drives the tender. Waste of manpower if you have to supply the chef with a driver.. Important to get your small boat driving license. Maintenance is a big part of all crew life...a good seaman chef should be prepared to handle many of these tasks. Chefs, as was pointed out above , are the crew who are most often ashore shopping. Being street wise and observing the scene, making mental notes of pleasant cafes to recommend to guests, the layout of the shopping district, speaking with dock masters, port authorities then recording their name and mobile phone number or solving other boat business while ashore are all part of a chefs responsibility.
Posted: Saturday, October 30, 2010 6:38 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

Besides the things Tina noted, especially the "one man show" aspect, the other issues I see land based chefs having to figure out dealing with is lack of storage on boats. Some boats it's not an issue, many it is, especially cold storage. The galley size and cooking area are also much more limited on many boats than restaurants. The good thing is you are generally cooking for less people. If you are on a "coastal boat" working the Med and able to constantly provision, not a big issue on the storage. I am not on such a boat. Getting quality provisions in Indonesia is not simple, and once we are out on a trip to the Mentawis with the owner, there is no provisioning, and we have very little storage. It is a continuous challenge.

My chef also is out on deck handling lines during docking evolutions, and when underway on multiday positioning runs is my lookout/watch partner.

Posted: Sunday, October 31, 2010 5:03 PM
Joined: 06/10/2008
Posts: 6

I was in the same exact position you're in right now about 7 years ago. It is a bit of a transition coming from restaurant brigades with lots of people doing whatever you need them to do. Now, it's a one man show and you'll be doing everything from peeling potatoes to washing dishes to creating and plating meals. Sounds easy enough, but believe me, it's a bit of a transition. The other dynamic you'll have to learn to deal with is living in close quarters with the rest of the crew. You're no longer the man who's in charge of everything and it could take a little while to change that mindset. The best advice I can give you is make sure you take care of the crew as much as you can. Make sure you're providing their meals on time and that you're making meals that accomodate individual tastes as best you can. You'll be dealing with many different dietary concerns and cultural differences on a yacht that you've probably never been exposed to. Don't let them take advantage of you, but try and design menus that accomodate their likes and dislikes. I often serve the crew family style with a variety of different dishes so that they can choose the foods they like for themselves. Also, try and do something special for the crew once in a while. Provisioning is a challenge at first, so don't be afraid to get the advice of your neighboring chefs when you arrive at a new port. Chances are that they've been there a while of have been there before so they'll have a good idea about how and where to get local ingredients. Provisioners are your friends also, especially if you're in an area where good quality ingredients are scarce. You'll be surprised at what you can find, however, if you get off the boat and head into town. Sometimes I've found the greatest and freshest ingredients from a local vendor at a roadside stand! I myself try and incorporate as much local flavor as possible in my menus. The guests really enjoy it and it gives them a sense the region they are visiting. Good luck with your new adventure!
Posted: Sunday, October 31, 2010 7:40 PM
Joined: 08/06/2008
Posts: 12

Hi William You sound as though you have a good culinary background, although you don't say how long you have worked in 5star/diamond restaurants. I am guessing that you are USA based and assume that you are currently looking for employment on that side of the 'pond'. What should you know about cooking on a yacht? That is very dependent on the size of the yacht, be it mono hull or cat on charter in the Caribbean or working on super/giga yachts. Key questions include: Private, Charter or mix of both, delivery. These will then raise a range of follow-up questions. Location of yacht, itinerary, does the yacht use a provisioner, max number of guests, number of crew, is there a crew chef/sous chef, budget per person (charter), preference sheets ........... I think you get the message. What you will need to do is get your C.V. (resume) up to acceptable maritime standards. Do you have a current Food Safety (Hygiene) Qualification? STCW95 (soon to be upgraded) is essential. Superyachts and larger i.e. Mega and Giga will have stainless steel heaven galleys. Some of the brand new builds have the most amazing facilities, equipment and resources. Storage/stowage on small (sub 70') sailing yachts tends to create challenges for chefs used to all singing all dancing walk-in refrigeration. Watch out for my new book The Marine Cookery Bible, which will be on Amazon around the end of February. Good luck. Malcy
William Morrison
Posted: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 12:29 PM
Joined: 09/10/2010
Posts: 4

Thank you everyone for you input I am grateful. I am going to get my stw95 on the 15th. With having no professional yachting experience what else can I do to hopefull land my first galley. I have put my resume in at several companies. here is the list of place so far Years of experinece 4 years Upscale Country Clubs 6 years fine dining 10 years Going throu family & Corperate Restaurnts Cooked at the James Beard House Cooked with Patrick O'Connell Cooked with Charlie Trotter Stage at Le Bernardin's thank you again for your help
Posted: Friday, November 12, 2010 7:49 AM
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 1

i may have a gig for you!!!
William Morrison
Posted: Sunday, November 14, 2010 2:37 AM
Joined: 09/10/2010
Posts: 4

I am earger to find out more please let me know when you have time. Thank you,
William Morrison
Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 6:38 PM
Joined: 09/10/2010
Posts: 4

I am still looking to find my first galley. I keep checking all of the crew sights to find any leads everyday, but no job as of yet. I am willing to work fulltime. Does anyone have any suggestions to getting the first job? thank you for your help,
Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 7:09 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277

William (my two-bits ),


Based on these suggestions:


Create a CV web site with sample menu(s) such as these:


Add photos of your specialty presentations (matched or linked to the appropriate menu entries)


Send CV copies and/or the URL to listings on:


Good Luck,



Posted: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 2:02 PM
Joined: 18/11/2010
Posts: 2

Hi William, and everyone else at Dockwalk. I am provisioning agent (but I prefer friend) soon to be travelling to St Maartens from the UK. If I could be of any assistance to your provisioning needs I would be more than happy and enthused to do so. Superyacht Supplies provides a huge range of consumables and products, without sacrificing superior quality, in lighting quick time. If you see me on the docks (I'll be the one with a huge smile, considering my escape from the current British blizzard, and wearing a Superyacht Supplies shirt) please call me over for a friendly chat about the service I can provide you, or about anything else. We aim to help you! I hope you find your feet in the yachting world William, good luck in the future. If anyone would like any information please feel free to contact me. Enjoy the coming season! Shaun Ransom