On October 20, Chef Hannah Staddon of M/Y Mucho Gusto, a power catamaran based in The Bahamas, launches her new line of 250 yacht chef jackets under her brand Funky Chef. Her company debuted on Kickstarter with a selection of five chef jackets specifically for women in sizes from XS to XXXL. “I feel like the market’s already flooded with unisex and male jackets, so we wanted to make a line that was tailored toward the female figure,” says Chef Staddon, the founder of Funky Chef.
Her line of chef coats has darts in the back, “so the jacket automatically is more curve-hugging and [it’s possible to make] adjustments in the back as well,” she says, referring to the ties that can cinch the jacket in more tightly. If you prefer a roomier fit across the chest, she recommends sizing up — then you can still pull the waist in nice and tight.
“We’re making the jackets in bold and fun prints, but are also including a range of the classic black and white with funky trims, because not all chefs have the flexibility to wear a full funky jacket,” Staddon says about her five available styles. “They’re going to be in some really fun prints.”
- Solid black with leopard print trim
- Full leopard print with black trim
- Full lemon print with white trim
- White one with lemon trim
- A wild card
“I’ve got a completely wild jacket because not all chefs can be in a fully funky jacket. Maybe just a little bit of funkiness. I’ve got to cater to as many people as possible,” says the yacht chef/founder.
The Light Bulb Moment
The idea for Funky Chef came about organically a couple years ago when Staddon grew tired of trying to buy off-the-rack chef jackets, which never fit properly. “I always had to get them tailored and who has the time to get things tailored, right?” She then took some black and leopard print material to a seamstress, showed her what a standard chef jacket looked like, and explained exactly what she wanted. “And I tried it on when she made it and it was just — oh, I get goosebumps thinking about it now,” Staddon says.
Then, last October during a 10-day vegan training course in the UK, Staddon’s teacher loved her outfit so much that she asked Staddon to have some made for her, which sparked the idea to start her own company.
“So I came back, had a couple more jackets made up, did a little amateur photoshoot on the boat with a couple of friends that were in the area, and showed a couple more friends,” Staddon says, adding that her friends all wanted their own chef jacket as well.
However, as a full-time chef alongside her captain husband, she had to delay honing in on the process due to a full charter season. But things got going recently once she found a small clothing manufacturer in South Africa.
Chef Staddon chose a pear to symbolize her company. “With women, we’re all different shapes and sizes. I’m pear-shape, so that’s why the symbol for the company is a little pear.”
“Every time I wore my jacket, I was just thinking ‘Oh, it looks funky,’ compared to every other jacket that I’ve ever worn, which is just a boring uniform. That was just the way I felt in the jacket, so I just called it Funky Chef.”
Galley Girl Weekend
Ahead of the launch, Staddon spread the word on social media, rounded up ambassadors, and hosted a September event for her ambassadors to provide feedback ahead of the Kickstarter launch. Dubbed “Galley Girl Weekend,” she invited her Funky Chef brand ambassadors for a jam-packed three days that featured several different female chefs from different industries.
Eight chefs came together as brand ambassadors:
- Hannah Angel, charter chef on M/Y Seaboss
- Hannah O’Connor, chef on M/Y Gemini
- Lesley Valerius, private catering, Chef’s Kiss by Lesley
- Grace Dvornik, yacht and private jet chef
- Erica Asti, private chef
- Elizabeth Lee, yacht chef, cookbook author of Made with Love
- Jules Kainani, private catering, Pure Prana Chef Services
- Tayla Willows, yacht chef, “Queen D”
“We lived together, cooked together, ate together, laughed together, did each other’s hair and makeup, danced, learned new skills, and also just supported each other by sharing our experiences and giving encouragement,” says Staddon. “Hosting a Galley Girl Weekend was so much more uplifting and enriching than I could have ever dreamed it to be. I really look forward to planning the next one.”
To stay up to date on all things Funky Chef, follow them on Instagram @FunkyChefCo and keep an eye out for more updates.