Head Chef Joshua Wallace King on pushing the envelope.
I became a superyacht chef after stumbling across the industry through a friend who had been in the industry for a while and wanted the change from restaurants.
I did my apprenticeship and worked at various Michelin-star restaurants, as every other chef in the industry has, but I feel I have really slotted into my true environment in the industry, constantly pushing to be creative and sometimes slightly controversial.
I made a few mistakes in the industry when I started — I didn’t realize the true potential of what was in front of me. But I grew and slowly found my feet while building a fantastic reputation in and out of the industry. Coming into the industry I would say: find your feet and figure out what part of the industry you want to be in, whether that is on small or big yachts, private or charter. Find the right clientele for you — it will take time but once you slip into the right role for you, life gets really good.
I never really found anything specifically difficult: it’s all about finding the processes and putting in procedures, especially on larger boats to make day-to-day running of the galley smooth. I would say life at 15 degrees is pretty tough especially on an 85-meter!
I was really lucky to have traveled the world on board M/Y Plus Ultra with an amazing team. We created some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the clients and dining was a major part of our trips. We would incorporate the culture, cuisine, and styles influenced by every new country visited. And this went all the way through the boat with help from the engineers to the interior team and deck.
I was lucky enough to marry a beautiful Mexican/Colombian lady after traveling South America (mainly in Mexico). I fell in love with the lifestyle, culture, and especially the ingredients available. This now has a huge influence on the business I am part of in San Diego @superfoodandcompany and fermentation kitchen and in my style in yachting.
“Strangest requests” are not really a thing because I love to push my clients’ expectations by bringing in unique ingredients such as chapulines (crickets). Although this seems like a fad, when used correctly, the flavor created is exceptional.
Follow Josh on Instagram @ChefJoshKing.
This column is taken from the May 2020 issue of Dockwalk.