Chef Victoria Allman passed away on May 16, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale. She was beloved by all who knew her as is plainly illustrated by the heartfelt memorial posts pouring onto her Facebook page. As a long-time Dockwalk contributor, we initially knew Victoria as the first chef to start off our Dishing It Up column in the magazine in 2008.
We considered ourselves lucky to have her — she reached out about her book, Sea Fare: A Chef's Journey Across the Water, and it felt like fate that we were able to entice her into writing for us. We were fortunate enough to have her talents in the magazine in various forms over the years and are shocked and devasted to hear of her passing.
“Her writing talent was obvious, and she captured the crew lifestyle perfectly on the page,” says Dockwalk Editor Lauren Beck. “But it was more than that — she was so warm and funny and engaging, and always welcomed us aboard whenever we saw her on the docks. Her offer of coffee was always appreciated, and we treasured the opportunity to chat with her and get her insights on the industry and the galley.”
Capt. Michael Antalec was the first captain to hire Victoria into the industry more than 20 years ago, and he reached out to Dockwalkto share a little bit about the chef he held in such high regard. He hired Victoria to work aboard 40-meter M/Y Pari right out of culinary school — without meeting her first, he noted — after the owner fired the previous chef. “She worked out wonderfully,” he says, although it was a challenging start as he had her bring a load of provisions with her and navigate her way through customs in the Exumas before taking up residence on board. Antalec also reminisced about how good her food was, both for the guests and for the crew.
“She was so loved,” Capt. Antalec says. “The owners loved her, and we loved her.” She stayed for 18 months on board before heading to a new job. “We realized how talented she was and were glad to see her go because she was moving on to bigger and better things,” he says. And, he notes, as all Victoria’s friends did in their own way, how very memorable she was. “She was everyone’s favorite,” he says.
As was shared on her Facebook page by Bernadette Allman, “Victoria possessed a quiet grace, and her smile could fill a room. Always one to share her knowledge, her kitchen — [or] galley as we say on yachts — was always open. Open for her to share her passions, her culinary skills, and always a good laugh. … Victoria’s journey is taking a different path, but she will always be with us. Her smile and kind soul will forever be cherished by those that love her.”
The news of Victoria’s death is tragic, and our hearts go out to her husband Patrick and her extended family. According to the Facebook post, Patrick has shared two charities if you’re moved to donate in memory of Victoria:
World Central Kitchen: https://wck.org
You’re encouraged to post your messages on Victoria’s Facebook for her family.