The Newport Charter Yacht Show in June offered many opportunities for crew to shine from the Chef’s Competition to contests for the captains and interior crew.
June 19 saw the chefs take center stage, this year with a new dessert theme — with an eye toward specialty diets. Head Chef Carolina Velandia of the 198-foot M/Y Blue Moon claimed the win over the eight contestants. Her dish — Picante São Tomé Chocolate Tofu Mousse — was both lactose and gluten free, blended chocolate with spices and included passion fruit curd and Moscato jelly cubes. Velandia was assisted by her Sous Chef Rhett Sauers.
Just two points behind was Chef Terry Gatewood of the 123-foot M/Y Temptation, who created a Lemon Blueberry Posset, which he explained to judges was a food remedy and sleep aid in the 15th century. In third — and only half a point behind — was Chef Gaylinn Fast of 120-foot M/Y Lady Victoria, who created an Acadian Woodland Trail. Her dessert imitated a terrarium, complete with a yogurt panna cotta base, chocolate biscotti “dirt,” green snickerdoodle “moss,” and merengue “mushrooms.”
The judges — Viveré Chocolate’s Robert Bowden, Food Network personality Kevin Des Chenes, Superyacht Association President Kitty McGowan, and Newport Exhibition Group Executive Liz Nittmann — had a hard task to winnow down the winner. Judging was based 40 percent on taste, 35 percent on presentation, 15 percent on creativity/originality, 5 percent on incorporation of special dietary restrictions, and 5 percent on table presentation.
“If anything, it’s harder to be a yacht chef,” Judge Des Chenes said. “You have to brave the elements; space is an issue; you’re always in different places, so you need to use different ingredients; and there’s always a challenge, especially with desserts…the fact that they were able to plate and execute in this humidity is impressive.”
The chefs were not alone in the spotlight. Three Captains’ Competitions — fender filling/covering, drone piloting, and flower arranging — allowed the deck crew to showcase a few of their skills, and an additional three Crew Competitions — Tablescaping, Specialty Cocktail made with Keel Vodka, and Designer Water — made up the rest of the crew extravaganza.
Deckhand Andre van der Linde from 133-foot M/Y Serque won the Captains’ Competition, and M/Y Temptation was the Judges’ Favorite Tablescaping with its Garden of Eden setting. M/Y Four Aces collected quite a few accolades, scoring a Fan Favorite Tablescaping, plus winning both the Specialty Cocktail contest for its “Ginger’s Pickling Peaches” concoction and the Designer Water contest.
For more info, check out www.NewportCharterShow.com.
Photos: Billy Black