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Is my cooking schedule 'normal'?
Posted: Sunday, May 22, 2011 11:05 PM
Joined: 20/05/2011
Posts: 3

Posted: Monday, May 23, 2011 6:17 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

Your day is too long . Do yourself a favour , cancel CREW BREAKFAST, make it self serve, self clean, then use this time to open your eyes, enjoy a coffee and prepare for your day . On charter boats you have no choice but to shove food down the punters throats. Youre on a private boat, reduce food or your precious guest will explode. Remember...when guests are bored they eat...activate the guests, tired them out, so that they only eat a light meal , then collapse into their bunks.
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 12:47 AM
Joined: 11/09/2008
Posts: 1

Hey Chef, I will reply in order of your days schedule. 0630: Crew breakfast on a yacht of four is not unheard of but I would reserve cooked breakfasts for off charter days. On charter when possible piggyback your menu so if you are doing x dish for guests breakfast double up the sauce/seasoning/base etc. treat the crew to a special on charter breaky and voilla your prepped for guests breakfast. Crew should do their own dishes. 0700: Have a pre set buffet of fresh berries, fruits, pastries, and dish of the day. At times a dish of the day (reference crew special prep) can save you from being a short order cook. 1030: Crew lunch. View all crew meals as an opportunity to prep a touch extra or double up for guests meals and or aperitifs. Save all extra sauces, dressings, marinades etc. Freeze or store these for whenever you need a super quick canapes. A single cup of extra Tikka Massala sauce in a ziploc bag could transform into a chic mini chicken tikka in a glass as a passed canape. Also it raises the bar on what the crew eat which hopefully shows them you care for them and they will back you up ie. dishes, peeling veggies etc. 1300-1500: Again think about aperitifs when prepping all meals, that way you are already half way there on prep. 1900: Crew Dinner. Try shifting crew dinner to 1800. This opens up your window to prepare guests dinner and may help you plan for the next days events with any extra time. Crew dishes should be done by crew. Vice Versa offer to help or learn about deck work, line handling etc when you have the time. Look after each other and become a solid team. 2100: Guest Dinner, Rock it out. During dinner if the Crew have a bit of down time, use this as an opportunity to strike a deal. Offer the option for some extra help to clean up Galley at night while you are on the flydeck serving a meal, in exchange for crew being able to request meals from their home country or favorite dishes etc. 0000: Get to bed ASAP with at least a vague idea of where you are headed with your meals for the following day. Good Fortune, Drink loads of water, and Taste everything you cook, somehow this will keep nutrients passing through you. E-
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 11:08 PM
Hi Chef,
as a veteran with over 20 years under her belt as a yacht chef, if you keep this schedule, you wont make it three months. Forget the guests being tired, you will be exhausted. I did this, and you are setting precedents. DONT DO IT. This will create a situation that no chef can measure up to or live with if you leave the vessel. You wont be able to live up to it or with it either.

You need to take care of yourself first before you can take care of the crew or guests.  I suggest you have that cup of coffee, plan your day, take that shower, get dressed and do it this way.

1. Let the crew have self serve, muffins bought, croissants, fruit, juices, coffee  etc.
2. Lunch and guests should be the same if not too pricey. Serve one hour earlier for crew, have crew member do dishes
3. Appetizers, same for crew and guests, do double and serve one hour earlier
4. Dinner the same if not too pricey, if guests have filets, do ny strips for the crew. Serve crew one hour earlier and have a crew member do the dishes.
5. this goes for dessert, salad, soup too.

Do you have to go everyday to the store? No, buy two days worth if possible. If you dont have time, then send the guests to get them off the boat.

Keep your menus simple but extremely elegant, no more than four to five items in a recipe. Period. Keep portions small too. The guests want great food, but it does not mean it has to be large, alot of ingredients or pricey..

This will save your arm, too. With being a chef comes carpal tunnel, rotator cuff injuries and you want to make your career last.

Veteran Yacht Chef

Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 6:53 AM
Yes the scedule sucks but thats the way it goes. Alot of chefs cut corners to give themselves time off, but it all depends on how good you want to be. Quality takes time. I've been doing it for over 6 years on boats and another 12 on land and will work those hours day in and out. All depends on how far you want to go!!