16 - 03 - 2022

The Superyacht Chef Competition 2022: a showcase for luxury yachting and to discover trends and tricks of the great chefs on board.

But do you have to be a star chef, or do you have to buy expensive ingredients to cook and eat on a boat?

The answer is obviously no!

As has been the case for some years now, next April 7th in the enchanting setting of the Yacht Club of Monaco, the chefs in charge of the onboard kitchens of superyachts from all over the world will fight for the prestigious Superyacht Chef Competition 2022.

A unique competition of its kind, an opportunity to witness the spectacular performances of world-renowned chefs but also to discover new trends and to catch some tricks from these masters.

Chef Guillarme Gomez, ambassador of French gastronomy in the world, will oversee the jury that will decide the winner of this competition.

The participants who will compete will be nine, from all over the world and who run the most famous kitchens on board of luxury yachts: in forty minutes they will have to prepare a dish using unknown ingredients trying to avoid wasting any of them. That’s what’s new in this 2022 edition, the introduction of the anti-waste principle.

The basket of ingredients will only be revealed during the last minutes and will mainly contain seafood.

Being an onboard chef is a demanding job, long work shifts and a lot of responsibilities.
The spaces or the means available in this work aren’t barely comparable to the mere mortals who delight to cook on a boat, and on the other hand, the expectations are very high, meals prepared by these chefs must meet high standards.

Get inspired by the chefs on board for an anti-waste, healthy and tasty cuisine.

But if u have chosen a sailing holiday with friends or your family, with or without a skipper, to prepare a meal, usually a task for the passengers, might be challenging, you might have to roll up your sleeves because onboard life makes you hungry!

The main question is:
In order to cook and eat well onboard, do you need to be a star chef or have expensive ingredients or equipment available?
The answer is, of course, no!

In this article, instead of making a shopping list, we will try to focus on what aspects and what secrets we can borrow from top chef’s kitchen.

Organization and imagination are the watchwords for healthy and tasty meals that consider limited space and equipment but that can enhance the ingredients available. It is good to know that all the rented boats have the essential appliances among the basic equipment, even though their dimension might seem small.

Don’t expect to find a ventilated oven, a planetary mixer, or a blast chiller among the equipment of the on-board appliances, but you can make up for the lack of imaginative utensils and genuine ingredients to be able to give the pleasures of good food even in the middle of the sea.

When you are at your first experience, cooking on a boat is an undertaking, that can scare, but it takes little to manage to organize meals on board as if you were a starred chef.

One of the tricks of the great chefs is to make a briefing before departure, not only the number of people or the days of navigation but even forecast of meals, snacks and water per capita.

The briefing for yacht chefs is a sort of vademecum that they never abandon, where preferences and, most importantly, allergies and intolerance are reported.

There is a saying in Italian which says “In mare non ci sono taverne” literally “by sea there are no taverns” which means that onboard life might be hard and without leisure. In the open sea you will have no chance to go to the supermarket to buy that indispensable ingredient. Making a pre-departure briefing will allow you to optimize your organization trying not to being caught unprepared.

You can easily find online advises and tips on what to buy and how to stow supplies.

In addition to the essentials (oil, salt, sugar, spices) it is necessary to prefer foods that don’t need to be kept in the fridge such as canned goods (legumes, corn, tuna, ready-made sauces), dry foods (crackers, rusks, bread rolls, biscuits which are useful even if you should suffer a little sea sickness), dried fruit, ready-made soup, pasta, and rice. For fresh products, it is better not to stock up for a couple of days, as the heat and humidity quickly spoil fruit and vegetables. You can always refuel in the ports where you will morr during you sailing holiday.

We talked about the briefing and refuelling of the galley, but among the variables to be considered we can’t avoid taking into account the weather conditions.

Cooking while you are sailing or trying to elaborate long preparations is not advisable, it is better to wait until you are in a sheltered and quiet area, to avoid accidents.

Weather and sea conditions, whether you are in the middle of the sea or anchored in a port, may influence the choice of the menu: if there is a lot of wind and you don’t want to eat your meal below your deck, it is better not to serve salad, or if there is a strong roll you won’t opt for a soup!

What if you want to try your hand at your boat holiday with some preparation worthy of a super chef on board?

An idea could be to visit the Instagram profile of the guide par excellence, the Michelin Guide which, during the months of lockdown collected gourmet preparations but which can be replicated even by mere mortals! At #michelinguideathome you will find these recipes suggested by world-famous chefs, with the necessary ingredients and the way to prepare those starred dishes in a simple way.

Onboard holiday means being immersed in nature, being able to experience days of relaxation and freedom cradled by the sea. Even the moment when you meet at your table might be special: a meal in the open air or under the stars, an aperitif while admiring a sunset over the sea can turn into the perfect opportunity to combine good food and nature, adding a pinch of luxury.


Translated by Biagio Vitolo