From the Galley: Chef Training

4 September 2019 By Laura Dunn

Every month, we interview chefs about topics ranging from how they got into yachting to what their strangest guest request has been. While there is no one path that fits all, most chefs have extensive prior training before hitting the superyacht circuit. These superyacht chefs shared their training experience before yachting.

“To train my skills, I went to culinary school in Cannes, combined with a Michelin-star apprenticeship.”  
Executive Chef James Howard, M/Y Latitude

“I grew up on the coast of NSW Australia, and after completing Hospitality & Commercial Cookery certs, I worked in restaurants and resorts in Australia. This includes my uncle’s restaurant in Coffs Harbour where I learned a lot before moving to London and the UK for a couple of years. Then I was off to private chalets and villas around Europe and America.”
Executive Head Chef Nathan Clements

“My skills were cultivated from a young age; my father was the executive chef at the restaurant my parents owned. I started by dropping fry baskets and flipping French toast as a kid, then moved on to culinary school in Charleston, South Carolina. From 16, I spent my time working in the best restaurants Charleston had to offer. After finishing culinary school and working with some of the best chefs in Charleston, I moved to South Florida to further my hospitality experience.”
Sole Chef Thomas Dean, M/Y Vida

“I got my training when I did a chef’s academy in Holland with three years of apprenticeships. In 2017, I went to Tokyo to attend to the Tokyo Sushi Academy for a four-week course. While in Japan, I was invited by the Japanese government together with six Michelin star chefs and butchers from Holland and the UK to do a Wagyu beef tour to promote it in high-end kitchens.”
Sole Chef Stefan Schenk, S/Y Perseus^3

“I started my chef career path in 2013, at the invitation of Capt. Alexander Israel to CRN, a new shipyard with Brazilian owners. I completed five years as chef in this industry. At the time, I worked at a restaurant in Rio de Janeiro. I started doing some basic courses in Brazil. Over time, I improved the techniques. I have a postgraduate degree in gastronomy in Brazil and two specializations in Argentina. But, of course, the fact that I worked on a television program in Brazil made me more creative, since it was live. Another form of training was through the day-to-day in restaurants — I met other cooks, improved my techniques, and got new ideas.”
Chef Marco Lima, M/Y Hana

“I’ve trained my skills in a number of ways. First, I started working at a family friend’s restaurant where the head chef took me under his wing. That led to a series of restaurants in both the front and back of the house. Then on to school, and a series of regional cooking classes in the UK and Europe. I try to stay abreast of trends with online courses, through reading, and by talking to other culinary professionals.”
Freelance Chef Joseph Yacino

“I am self-taught. In the early stages of my career, I would research every night: watch YouTube videos, read recipe books, or look up new things online. I would practice something new every day. I was taught a lot from the chefs I worked for.”
Sous Chef Samantha Graney