Meet the Chefs from MDG Experiencing Excellence 2024

19 March 2024 By Aileen Mack

Associate Editor Aileen Mack joined Dockwalk in July 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. If she’s not at a concert or coffee shop, she is lost in a book, movie or a YouTube rabbit hole. Email Aileen at

Premier provisioner Maison Del Gusto is hosting an immersive cultural and culinary gathering in Altamura, Italy, from March 25 to 28. The Experiencing Excellence program aims to connect participants with the land, its traditions, and its people with hands-on experiences and explorative tours that showcase the region’s heritage and culinary wonders. This allows the participating chefs to engage with local artisans, explore the roots of Italian food culture, and embrace MDG’s dedication to culinary distinction.

Along with the selected chefs, Dockwalk has been invited as the media sponsor for this year’s program to share the highlights and insights.

Meet the four chefs who will be in attendance and learn more about their backgrounds, plus working on board and with MDG:

Rhys Bennett, @rhyspbennett

Born and raised in the Southeast of England, Rhys left school and moved to London at 18 to follow a career in cooking. Over 20 years of culinary training, he has worked in restaurants in the French Alps; Melbourne, Australia; and two Michelin-starred Dinner by Heston in London. Then in 2020, he got his first role on board as a sous chef on a 90-meter before moving into a head chef/sole chef role, where he got to work with MDG and their products.

“The one thing about the yachting industry is how vast a knowledge of a variety of food you have to have to be able to offer to the guests/owners we are catering to,” he says. “To keep on learning as much as possible about as much as possible is the ultimate goal, but to also be consistently good at producing dishes as well.”

As for MDG Experiencing Excellence, he sees it as a wonderful opportunity to be around like-minded people. “I’m looking forward to being with a group of people who all understand what it takes to produce the best food they can at sea using the best produce they have at their disposal,” Rhys says. “I am also excited about the itinerary itself which looks incredible, so to learn more about the food/culture in the Puglia region will be an incredible opportunity.”

Ross Dunk, @rossdunk

Fueled by his love for food, Ross’s journey into the culinary world started at 18, and he spent seven years in London working with chefs to deepen his understanding of classical French and modern British cuisine and spent his time off staging at Michelin starred restaurants. And his passion for mountains and skiing led him to working winter seasons cooking in luxury chalets in the French and Swiss Alps, where he met chefs who would go from winter in the Alps to summer on yachts. Ross has spent five years in yachting and loves every aspect of it.

To maintain the highest standards on board, Ross finds it essential to have access to the best products and establish relationships with suppliers and provisioners who have a genuine passion for food. MDG collaborates with some of the best producers to grant chefs access to unparalleled ingredients. By offering chefs the opportunity to delve into the origins of exceptional ingredients, Ross sees the MDG Experiencing Excellence program as a catalyst for inspiration.

“This experience fosters a deeper connection and understanding of our foundational products,” he says. “What makes this initiative particularly noteworthy is its rarity — given the nature of our work, which often places us in remote locations, we lack the luxury of firsthand connections to producers that would be more accessible in a land-based setting.”

Margot Laurent, @margot_laurent_gastronomie

For as long as Margot can remember, she wanted to be a chef, playing with a mini kitchen and all the equipment instead of dolls as a kid. However, yachting was never quite on her radar. While living in Tahiti, a friend sold her his sailboat for a pint of beer, and she spent two years commuting to work on a paddleboard and learning the sailor life. As manager for a high-end bakery/pastry shop, Margot started delivering sweets at the marina and around the lagoon. Word slowly got around with more and more yachts using her services until a captain made her an offer.

After discovering MDG at the 2022 Monaco Yacht Show, Margot was amazed at the diversity of products they exhibited, plus their great adaptability. “MDG provides us with top quality ingredients that serve as the canvas upon which chefs express their passion and creativity in every dish, weaving a vibrant culinary narrative.” She anticipates the program will impact her approach by interacting and learning with fellow chefs and Michelin-starred culinary experts — allowing her to learn new techniques and stay up to date on trends.

“Such an immersion in this culinary spectacle will hopefully expose me to the epitome of luxury yachting. Witnessing the talent of my peers and producers can only inspire growth and elevate my standards,” she says. “I think as a sole chef you can sometimes suffer from working alone and not having anyone to share ideas with so I do hope that this event will remind me of the heights culinary excellence can reach.”

Chun Wong, @yachtchefchun

With more than 20 years of fine-dining experience, Chun Wong owned and ran a wine bar and restaurant in Nice that was nominated for best regional restaurant and received two toques from Gault et Millau, 100 best foreign chefs and best young chef awards in France. In 2019, Chun joined yachting on Alta Vita during a busy charter season and is currently on Papa. While he offers guests a range of cuisines, his specialty is French and Italian with an Asian influence.

“I enjoy experimenting and pulling inspiration from both my Chinese heritage and background growing up in France to combine different techniques and flavors on board,” he says. “My origin and my culture inspire me. Traveling helps me a lot and of course meetings with other chefs.”

Achieving the highest standard of food on board relies heavily on sourcing fresh, premium ingredients, and partnering with MDG makes this easy for Chun. He looks forward to the program and meeting new chefs, discovering new products, and improving his knowledge to help broaden the variety he can provide to guests. “This experience is an opportunity for a chef to improve their knowledge and connect to the other industry professionals,” he says. “And gather inspiration for the upcoming season.”

Be sure to follow along on socials: @dockwalk and @mdg_yacht_provisioning.


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