Luxury Leftovers: A Crew Food Fiesta!

20 May 2008 By Chef Peter Ziegelmeier

The charter has ended, the guests are gone…. So, what can we do with the tasty morsels still on board?

Eat them, of course.

Luxury yachts, when properly provisioned, always have more than enough quality food available. This means lots of delectable leftovers can be enjoyed by crew if they’re creative enough to work with the ingredients in the galley…and I think we are all up to the challenge.

Luxury leftovers, such as dried seasonings, bread, meats and aged cheeses, make excellent additions to countless crew meals and can help stave off hunger while the crew continues to work – and play – on the boat.

You’d be surprised at the glorious goodies hiding in plain view in the galley cupboards. What you can’t eat outright, you can add or infuse into something else to make it even more delicious. Get excited, get creative – a gastronomic feast awaits!

Here’s a quick idea to sample and savor. Enjoy:

Chicken a la Crew

Chicken is wonderful to marinate and either grill or pan sear before finishing in the oven. It may sound like it takes a great deal of time, but it’s easy.

Ziploc-style storage bags are excellent for safekeeping of either ready-to-eat items or for marinating foods (try to double bag to prevent leakage and thus cross contamination, especially with chicken).

If you have leftover herbs from a busy weekend, charter or whatever the situation is you can cut those up and make blends with dried seasonings as well. A favorite combination is extra virgin olive oil, dried Italian seasonings, fresh basil, minced onion, garlic and fresh cracked black pepper.

Here’s a huge tip: Do not salt anything in marinades or use a high sodium soy sauce for marinating. Doing so pushes the moisture from the product only to dry the meat or fish out more.

Blend all the ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken and, if you have gloves, wear them to avoid contamination from salmonella and other invisible nasties. Squeeze the herb mixture into the chicken, place into a Ziploc bag, double bag it for safekeeping and refrigerate overnight.

The next day the marinated chicken will be ready for whatever cooking method you desire (broil, grill, bake, fry, etc.). This is when you add the salt for seasoning.

Never underestimate the benefits of bread. Crusty old bread ends are very useful, especially if you have a Panini press. And if you do not have one, I suggest you get one: They are virtually priceless.

I put some crazy sandwiches together with odds-and-ends from our journeys and the crew goes wild. Recently I put dried cranberries, some Sausalito deli turkey, Camembert-Brie style cheese and apple slices into some leftover sliced batard (bread). Add a dash of olive oil on both sides of the bread and into the Panini press it goes… Minutes later, “viola!” – cut and serve with a smile. It’s really gooood….

Here’s my point: Leftovers should never be left out when it comes to delicious dining. With just a few ingredients, and a lot of creativity, you are well on your way to creating interesting and fun crew meals, wherever you may be in the world.

What do you do with your yacht food leftovers? Post your comments below. Share some recipes or some crazy ideas you love to do with leftovers.

If you have other suggestions for convenient and creative crew food – sandwiches, soups, and salads – please don’t be shy. Share your crew food secrets with everyone at and let’s have fun with our food.

“Keep cooking good! See y’all soon! I’m Chef Peter Z…on the sea!"