On the Job

Top Provisioning Tips from Superyacht Chefs

1 March 2023 By Lauren Beck
A woman picking out fruit at the grocery store.

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Lauren Beck is the former editor of Dockwalk and was with the publication from 2006 to 2023. At 13, she left South Africa aboard a 34-foot sailing boat with her family and ended up in St. Maarten for six years. Before college, she worked as crew for a year, and then cut her journalistic teeth at Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal online. She loves traveling, reading, tennis, and rooting for the Boston Red Sox.

Love it or hate it, provisioning is inescapable in yachting. Whether you provision yourself or you’re able to use a provisioner, the key to it all is being organized. Below, a few superyacht chefs share their hot tips for getting it done.

“My top tip if self-provisioning would be to have your shopping list triple checked and ready — and remember the shopping bags! It’s always a nightmare when you forget those. Provisioning for me recently has been a complicated process — more and more captains are wanting quotes and to compare companies against each other and I always feel really bad when a company quotes, and I don’t use them. I’m trying to stand my ground more and get the captains to trust my judgment.”
– Chef Nina Wilson on an 80-meter motor yacht

Chef Nina Wilson

“Use a provisioner for the specialty goods and unique items you can’t get at the local shops. It’s been pretty good provisioning in St. Barths — there’s a good range of ingredients, but there are some items I would like to ship in to up my game in the galley.”
– Chef Dean Harrison, M/Y Gene Machine

Chef Dean Harrison

“When in the Caribbean, find out when the locals do their shopping as it will probably be the same day or day after the food shipments arrive so the food will be freshest. Always buy more than you need, to avoid disappointment with surprise food spoilage. The costs of food have been okay in St. Martin, but a friend paid $16 dollars for a small cauliflower in Nassau. And if you’re provisioning from the U.S., the shipping and tax can be as much as the food itself.” ­
– Chef Julian Brown

Chef Julian Brown

“Be specific. Remember that the provisioner is there to do the best job for you and you too have your part too. Provisioning companies are not mind readers and the more specific you are, the more likely they are to get it right first time. So take your time putting in that first order. Getting it right the first time, it saves time, money, and avoids confusion. Communication is key and building a good rapport is important to ensure the best service is provided.”
– Chef Anthony Bantoft on a 75-meter motor yacht

Chef Anthony Bantoft

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