Merry Christmas from the Galley, Part Four

20 December 2018 By Laura Dunn

In honor of the holidays, five yacht chefs have contributed an original recipe to Dockwalk, each with a Christmas flair that will keep you in celebration mode all month long (or longer).

In today’s edition, British Head Chef Stuart Lewis aboard M/Y Broadwater invites you to recreate an original recipe. His delicious focaccia bread is sure to put you in the mood for a cozy Christmas in the galley. Follow him on Instagram at @ChefStuartLewis for more cooking inspiration.

Sage, Smoked Cranberry Rock Salt Focaccia Recipe   
By Head Chef Stuart Lewis

When cooking for guests on a high-pressured day, it’s all too easy to forget about bread. This recipe is super easy and will leave your guests wanting more when they smell the fresh bread’s enticing aroma.

500 grams strong flour
20 grams of semolina
15 grams of activated yeast
50 grams flavored extra virgin oil (dependent of your variation)
320 grams of water weight is essential (tried and tested)
10 grams salt regular
5 grams smoked cranberry Maldon salt

Pre-heat the oven to 250°C. Mix the flour and the semolina together and rub in the yeast, and let stand for five minutes. Add olive oil, water, and regular salt. Cover mixture with olive oil and allow the dough to proof in a warm place with cling film on the bowl, for 90 minutes. Add smoked Maldon salt, then place it in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and place over resting tray. Keep brushing with oil every 10 minutes until cool. You’ll get perfect bread every time.

Christmas Q&A:
What’s your favorite holiday dish that you look forward to every year?
I do not have a favorite holiday dish. As chefs, we cook, not eat, and dedicate our holiday to others enjoyment. We do this because we love to see other people happy, so I suppose my favorite dish is to see people’s happiness. However, cauliflower cheese with truffle and gratinated parmesan comes pretty close.

What makes this time of year so special for you?
The enjoyment of others.

Any holiday cooking tips for other superyacht chefs?
With minimal time and space to prepare masses of food, it sometimes feels impossible to cook anything else than your three- to four-hour turkey. One quick tip I learned years ago that has been a blessing: Debone your turkey, leave in brine for 24 hours to tenderize, then roll it in your stuffing of choice. Next, wrap it in parma ham, as this minimizes waste and can be prepared the day before. This will feed so much more people and save you a lot of oven space.

Any holiday provisioning tips or advice for cooking for your guests?
Get your orders in early with proven agents, make sure you get everything you possibly can before leaving the states.

What are wishing for at Christmas this year?
Mariah Carey.

About the Chef:
I decided to become a superyacht chef in 2016 after being a private chef for some of the world’s most prestigious people. I wanted to be recognized as the best and I still believe we are the leading yacht in the culinary realm! Therefore, I am the best superyacht chef out there! As for training my skills…three years of 100-hour weeks in London’s top restaurants will do it.

Traveling the world’s most desired places is what I love most about my job. The most difficult part of the job is dealing with incompetent people, individuals who join the industry for fun or money, and those who have no passion to excel or have any formal training. One thing I’ve learned on the job is dealing with incompetent people.

My cooking style is light and clean and my favorite cuisine to make is healthy molecular gastronomy. This is huge in my style of cooking and leaves guests stunned and longing for more. I also love making bread, so my favorite thing to cook is all types of bread. My ideal guest has no dietary requirements and are open to exploring their pallet.

The strangest request I’ve ever had was from a 12-year-old charter guests who had just arrived and asked for a selection of sushi and hoisin duck at 3 a.m., thinking I have all that stuff ready to go.