Career Advice

Yacht Chefs Share Career Advice

1 November 2020 By Staff Report
chef prepares dish

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Dockwalk has been conducting a series of crew interviews on Instagram in our Ask the Crew series @Dockwalk. Here are a few snippets from some of the chefs we’ve interviewed. Check out the rest of the interviews on our IGTV.

Chef Jemma Harrison shares what she might have done differently when coming into the industry:

“I would have joined as a sous chef on a bigger boat if I could because you just learn so much so quickly if you’ve got a decent head chef. I didn’t realize what I didn’t know to work in a galley and it’s not until you watch someone else or you get chatting to other chefs that you [realize] because you think you know it all because you worked in restaurants and kitchens. It’s completely different [on yachts]— just the organization, planning, prep, and the backup of a backup or a backup of a food for when plans change.”

Chef James Howard of M/Y Snow 5 on making the adjustment to cooking on board:

“You need to be very organized. I think it’s essential to have that background in restaurants as well because you really get the stress factor in getting stuff done — just the high volume and high demand is really helpful for being on a yacht if you get that last-minute request. The adjustment is that you have to be ready for anything — the guests can throw anything at you as you’re not working off a menu. Knowledge is definitely power in this industry.”

Chef Nina Wilson on culinary training:

“I think if you want to work on the bigger boats and you want to be paid properly and you want to do a good job for your work, it is important to get a culinary training certificate, even if it’s just a short course. I spoke to a lot of chefs before coming into the industry and before I changed departments, and all really recommended getting some training and then it makes you seem a little more legit. It adds weight to your CV.”

This column is taken from the November 2020 issue of Dockwalk.

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