British Sous/Crew Chef Leandri Kersch of M/Y Lunasea on how cooking taught her some big life lessons.
I became a superyacht chef in December 2018, but I did have to take six months out after my first gig to recover from a psycho head chef.
I went to culinary school and worked in some well-known London restaurants for some amazing chefs.
The best part about my job is that I’m absolutely obsessed with food and cooking! That totally cliché answer of getting to cook whatever I want is part of it, as well as being creative and showcasing my personality through food for crew and guests alike.
The most difficult part of the job is only having one day off a month, which is pretty killer.
The biggest life lesson I’ve learned through the job is to know your worth. If the boat isn’t right for you, you have to know when to walk away. Trust me, there are other jobs out there that match your personality and criteria, it’s just about hitting that Goldilocks Effect. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but there’s literally no such thing as an uncomplicated boat romance — at least one of you will fall for the other (but hopefully both)!
My style of cooking is simple, sexy, and effortless. Also, colorful … I hate beige plated food.
My favorite cuisine is Mediterranean/Middle Eastern. Anything with loads of herbs, spices, and bold, exciting flavors. For good measure, let’s throw Korean food in the mix too. (I absolutely love gochujang, a fermented soy bean paste and a store cupboard ESSENTIAL — its spicy, deep, rich flavor offers sweetness and umami at the same time; similar to sriracha, but better.)
My ideal guests are adventurous and generally eat light and healthy, but will also indulge a bit because they’re on holiday. They’re the kind of people who will polish off the salad on the table.
One of the strangest requests I’ve had was when the principal guests bought back a Chick-Fil-A burger with a bite out of it and asked for it to be reheated and put on a plate for his dinner.
Follow her on Instagram @ChefLeandri.
This article originally ran in the May 2021 issue of Dockwalk.