Food & Wine

Five Cookbooks Chefs Need Written by Yacht Chefs

5 October 2021By Staff Report
iStock/Maria-Hunter

Despite having so much on their plates, there are some yacht chefs who seemingly skip sleeping and use their free time to branch out. We’ve gathered the cookbooks recently published by yacht chefs that you should add to your collection.

Chef Lisa Mead

Chef Lisa Mead

Fine Dining Made Easy: Galley Gourmet with Chef Lisa Mead debuted in Australia this past July, where it sold out in a week. However, it will be available globally via Amazon and her website in November 2021.

Inspired by her yacht charter guests who would ask for a copy of her cookbook, she finally got her act together to produce it.

“I have put together the most popular dishes loved by my yacht charter guests over the years; a selection of dishes from around the world. Due to the confines of a galley and time constraints, I have been able to tweak my recipes to be easy and quick to prepare, perfect for the busy home cook, while still looking and tasting like fine-dining cuisine. I am also a firm believer in sourcing local ingredients,” she says.

“Definitely the rewarding part of the process was seeing the joy on the faces of people who have bought my book,” she says. “I have had a number of people create a recipe from the book and then send me the pic of them with the dish.”

“I am very lucky to have found a career I truly love. I would describe my cuisine as global,” she says. “I personally love Asian and Mediterranean food.” 

Follow her at @ChefLisaMead on Instagram.

Chef Elizabeth Lee

Chef Elizabeth Lee

Chef Elizabeth Lee, a professional charter yacht chef for 18 years, released her cookbook, Made with Love: Culinary Inspirations from Around the World, in 2020.

“The book showcases 138 gorgeous food and travel photographs taken by my husband, Capt. Warren East,” she says. There are 165 recipes overall, including a few sous vide recipes. “Each recipe is complemented with a beautiful photo to showcase the dish and to give ideas for presentation.”

The premise behind the book is to show that the majority of galleys have very limited space. “Many of the recipes in my book are developed and executed in these tiny areas using ideas for organization and advance preparation, attesting to the fact that gourmet cuisine can be created in the smallest of spaces whether a yacht, apartment, condo, or home,” Lee says.

“Working on yachts is a 24/7 job. I have been developing this book since I graduated from culinary school in 2003. It has obviously been adapted and become more elaborate over the years! I finally had the time to complete the book at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were in complete lockdown in The Bahamas due to the spread of the virus. I took this time to focus, work hard, and make one of my lifelong dreams a reality.”

Follow her at @ChefElizabethLee on Instagram.

Chef Justine Murphy

Chef Justine Murphy

Chef Justine Murphy packed 160 refined sugar-free recipes into the dessert section of her cookbook, The mymuybueno Cookbook, which came out in April 2020. It is filled with plant-based recipes designed to “really blow people away at how delicious they are and just so much healthier for you as a daily guilt-free sweet fix,” she says.

The Cordon Bleu-trained chef is the CEO of mymuybueno, as well as a crew agent, school principal, and mother of two. “No matter what hurdles you ever go through, you can and will achieve whatever you set out to do, if you stay true to them. I want it to inspire people,” says Murphy, who is a former yacht chef — her last charge was as head chef aboard M/Y Outback.

“I had a very difficult childhood and early adult life, but I then joined the yachting industry as my escape, as I was determined to change my life,” she says, adding that cooking is her way to happiness. “From my time on yachts, it inspired me to start mymuybueno and build something very special.” The mymuybueno Cookbook is available on Amazon.

“The ‘my’ in mymuybueno is all about the personal touch,” she says. 

“The ‘muybueno’ part means ‘very good’ in relation to eating food in Spanish — and my nod to our roots here in Mallorca — but they only ever work together and that’s where our unique brand and name comes from,” she explains, adding that, “Good food and good people is my philosophy — and never compromising on my core values.”

Follow her at @mymuybueno on Instagram.

Chef Tim Dellea

While most first-time authors look forward to eventually benefitting from their book’s royalties, yacht chef Tim Dellea was more interested in helping people. That’s why he’s sending all his audiobook proceeds to Action Against Hunger, the global humanitarian organization that helps malnourished kids and provides communities with access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger.

“I started by putting down experiences and tips that I had gathered. I wrote down some recipes and personal memories, but I soon realized that those were great stories to share with friends, but definitely not anything that could help people. I wanted to share the knowledge acquired along the years and my experience — The Yacht Chef was born,” says Dellea.

The Yacht Chef Guide was released in June by Dellea, who released it primarily as an audiobook because “chefs are often busy and I thought audio was the best way to reach them,” he explains. The hard copy form and e-book are now available.

“The choice for Action Against Hunger was really evident,” the superyacht chef says. “We as chefs work on [boats] for extremely fortunate people and we offer to both crew and [guests] an array of food that most people would consider exaggerated, or simply ‘a waste,’ and to keep up with the industry standards, we have to offer variety and abundance of food,” he says, admitting that it is something that has always bothered him. “I thought that giving to this specific organization could help balance up and give back to less fortunate, even if it’s only a tiny bit,” he says, calling it insignificant compared to the food budget aboard yachts.

To help the charity, go to www.actionagainsthunger.org to make a donation. Follow Dellea on Instagram @Tim.Dellea and learn more about the book at @TheYachtChefGuide. Get the audiobook at www.theyachtchefguide.com.

Chef Libbie Summers

Chef Libbie Summers

Libbie Summers, formerly a chef on several private yachts, has first-hand knowledge about building a flourishing lifestyle brand. As the author of several cookbooks, such as Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude and The Whole Hog Cookbook, Summers is the creator and artistic director of her food and lifestyle website, A Food-Inspired Life.

In addition to cooking for two U.S. presidents, her work has been featured in Paramount Pictures, The OWN Network, Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, Vogue, Food Network Magazine, and more. She even did a pilot with the Martha Stewart brand about cooking on a boat — well before Below Deck came along. In fact, Summers credits that first job in television as the one that propelled her into becoming a food stylist.

While in the yachting industry, Summers preferred working on boats in the 100-foot range because it let her get more involved. “I was throwing parties three meals a day, and people liked what I did,” she says. From there, she decided to take it further. “I always thought, this is something you can parlay off the boat.” Summers says it was the artistry and story behind the food, not just the flavor, that inspired her.

You can buy her books via Amazon.

Follow her at @mymuybueno on Instagram.

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