Did you know that over 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted each year? And there’s more than 860 million people who don’t have enough to eat. Therefore, the ultimate goal isn’t to produce more but to waste less. For this exact reason, Maison Del Gusto, Monaco-based gourmet selectors, discuss how they work with their closest chefs to improve food waste on yachts, as well as build relationships for the future.
1. Choose the correct Superyacht Provisioner
Choosing the correct Superyacht provisioner at the beginning is vital. Successful yacht chefs need to be able to build a strong relationship with a supportive provisioner who is on call 24/7 to exchange knowledge, feedback, and experiences. From the very beginning, MDG clients form the foundation of the business.
Eli and her team have created an exclusive community, which contributes to their success in working with their chefs to optimise deliveries, shopping, and reduce food waste.
Head Chef on M/Y GO, Micail Swindells once said:
“Food wastage on yachts starts with using a reliable provisioning company. When your products are the freshest they can be from the start, the management of stock becomes a lot easier for the chefs. Being creative and rotating stock is imperative.”
Stock management, however, isn’t the only consideration chefs need to make; they also have to ensure the product they receive is of the highest quality possible. According to Andrea Marzocchi – Head chef of My Olivia O, “You need to work with a gourmet selector who shares the same excellence in quality vision as the chef they’re working besides. And with Maison Del Gusto, I am happy to say, this is always the case! No waste starts when you get the product as it’s best!”.
2. Cook with your “Food Waste”
Leftovers… When it comes to the yachting industry, the discussion around leftover food is massive. More so now than ever before, chefs are transforming their “food waste” into fine-dining culinary dishes. Yacht chefs have some of the most unique sourced products from around the world. So start getting creative with offcuts and peels, make the freezer your best friend, and use products that will perish first. Being creative with the leftover food and judging how long certain foods last can lead to the most colourful, mouth-watering meals for the crew and guests.
“I think that if you are not a resourceful chef in this day of environmental concern for the future of our planet, then you are doing a disservice to all those trying to make a difference. It takes a savvy balance of giving crew and guests every wish for food but at the same time using your inventory and provisions to extract as much flavour and product out of everything. In my kitchens I use EVERYTHING. Just the other day I blanched tomatoes and saved and dried the skins to produce a cloud of vibrant orange dust for a special dish highlighting the summer’s finest. From high-tech juicers, dehydrators, low temp ovens, immersion circulators, and vacuum sealers, you can transform even stems of broccoli or kale into something different and useful for example. The best crew soups are sometimes every scrap of vegetable in the fridge, boiled with stock, a bit of fat, and some love….throw in a few cilantro stems for the best flavour and season with salt, acid, and heat and blend…..you have a new soup every day.”- Ross Hutchison – Private Chef Mallorca
3. Know your produce
Try to shop organically, locally, and seasonal for all menus. Depending on the location and specific guest demands, this can prove challenging, but it is something we can work on by encouraging guests to change their attitude. Whilst working tirelessly with their chefs throughout the process, Maison Del Gusto hunt high and low to source directly from producers who share a similar passion for flavour and quality as both them and their chefs. At the beginning of the yachting season, MDG will prepare product presentations to send to their chefs and chief stews. After this, tastings are organised on board (or on-site MDG premises) to explain their new products and usages.
If you work on a charter yacht, consider offering local and seasonal menus as this will make a yacht chef’s job easier, whilst reducing the yacht’s food mile footprint. Another element to consider is paying attention to the sustainability index of the product you’re bringing on board. It’s becoming more common now for yachts to have ‘plant-based days’, to reduce the impact on the environment. And even if the guests won’t agree to it, it doesn’t mean that the crew can’t participate.
The Head chef on board M/Y Chop Chopi, Manoel Chrisanto recently shared the childhood story that lead him to learn that by understanding and respecting the produce he cooks with, he’s now able to minimise his food waste on yachts.
“I was born and raised on a farm, where we produced organic produce and cooked fresh seasonal food. Although at times we would have an abundance of produce at other times we would have little and wastage was not an option, therefore making the most out of each product was an essential aspect of our way of living. A valuable lesson for me was from my father, who is a cattle rancher. I’ve learned from a very young age that every cut has its value as long as it’s handled and prepared in the proper way. By understanding and respecting the produce I can minimize waste. Another great technique that I often use is dry aging fish. I have researched and developed ways of extending its shelf life, this has been very valuable, especially during crossing and trips to remote locations.”
4. Preference sheets, preference sheets, preference sheets!
A charter guest preference sheet is a document where the guests on board can clarify their culinary needs. That being allergies and other limitations, special requirements, and foods they dislike/like. Preference sheets are ultimately a way for charterers and chefs to engage in a conversation. Thus, the guests will feel as though they have built a relationship with their chef in advance. You can even include the questions “Would you like the chef to prepare a weekly menu plan for your charter?” and by doing so, if they’re happy to spend some time to check the plan, this could result in less waste at the end of charter.
All in all, It’s crucial t be aware of your provisioning levels and guest preferences to effectively manage food waste on yachts and ensure there are efficient stock rotations.
More often than not, we see that on larger yachts there is the expectation that the chef will plan and prepare a variety of dishes for not only the guest but the crew too. By planning meals and learning about the preferences of their crew, chefs can keep a keen eye on the crew’s consumption of their daily meals to make sure there is minimal wastage. Evan Mende, head chef on M/Y Artefact, emphasised that as a standard procedure on board, “All the chefs are involved in cleaning the walk-in refrigerators daily. It’s at that time that we see what is a priority to use over the next couple of days before any spoilage happens and we then write the menus. What’s very important is knowing the crew and their eating habits to prevent too much or not enough food.”
To support their chefs and chief stews in becoming organised, Maison Del Gusto creates a list, priced by categories and themes to help – with product images when they can to ease their workload and show that there is a knowledgeable team working with them.
Head Chef on M/Y Olivia O, Andrea Marzocchi shares 3 tips on how they minimise food waste food waste on yachts:
“On M/Y Olivia O food waste is a really important factor. We are very conscious about it ethically and for environmental factors. For me, it all starts by making sure all the ingredients are neatly store away in large boxes , never mixed and never on top of each other. The owner call my galley: the pharmacy! “
3 starter tips to reduce food waste on board:
1. Never buy packed salads: only fresh heads and then we wash, dry, and store leaf by leaf between papers in boxes. The salad will last a week without deteriorating.
2. If you can’t get fresh products onboard whilst out at sea, try to be creative using the same vegetables in different ways.
3. Treat the food well, and it will taste better and last longer!
Maison Del Gusto has been in the provisioning sector for several years and worked with some of the most recognised Superyachts in the industry. They provide access to international gourmet food and wine excellences to yacht chefs across the globe. The gourmet selectors pride themselves in being a window on the oldest and best culinary traditions in the world. Presented for the modern market with an attention to design. They hunt high and low for the best options to suit their clients and the charter guests’ preferences while supporting their chefs and chief stews closely throughout the process
Note – Their Showroom is based at 7-9 Rue Louis Aureglia, Le Soleil d’Or in Monaco. They welcome visitors and will arrange for your car to be picked up if you wish to visit. MDG takes orders seven days a week and usually delivers within 24 hours.
Find out more from Maison Del Gusto by clicking here.