Our monthly Galley Crumbs blog is back, courtesy of Montclair Chef, the largest network of Superyacht chefs in the industry. Experienced Superyacht chef Chris Demaillet is here with The Top 5 things to do for yacht Chefs to bolster Self-Care while “on Charter”

Chef, If you haven’t started with these 5 simple daily habits, you’ll regret it later!

Ah, the superyacht lifestyle. Sun-kissed days, exotic ports, and the thrill of crafting budget-less culinary masterpieces for the world’s elite. But amidst the glamour and adrenaline rush, it’s easy to neglect the most important ingredient: that’s YOU. Long hours, demanding guests, and the constant pressure to impress can wear down even the most seasoned chef. So, how do we, the culinary geniuses of the seven seas, navigate the choppy waters of self-care and emerge refreshed and ready to conquer the next course? We do so by taking care of ourselves, and if we don’t schedule this into our daily plans, we likely won’t take the time to take care of ourselves. 

Schedule This Into Your Daily Plans

Here is a short list of tips and tricks you can easily implement in your daily guest-on schedule to be a better YOU and a nicer human and crew member altogether – I guarantee that setting these simple daily habits won’t cut down on how much work you will have to do next season, but it will definitely help you feel better and more connected to yourself and your health. 

Remember, even though you like to think you are, you are NOT a robot or a machine, you are a human being and we don’t thrive in isolation and under pressure, we do so by learning to better deal with our environment and learn to listen to ourselves and control our reactions. 

Beside the most obvious and essential advice of scheduling a minimum of a 45 to 60 min for daily break. Yes, I said scheduling – and not taking it only if your schedule allows. You are also important and you need to respect and give yourself a break, literally! Take that time to step outside of your galley and disconnect from the buzz of your timer and to-do list.

Top 5 Suggestions

To help you get though your next season it can be helpful to suggest some easy to implement and proven systems to get you through the season in a better way, here my top 5 suggestions:

1 – It’s just water

Remember that Michelin-starred energy ball humming beneath your skin? That’s your body, and if you want your body and brain to properly achieve all these things you have on your job list, you’ll have to make sure you drink plenty of water, Your brain is almost ¾  water and it needs lubrication to fire off all those hormones, Dehydration can reduce concentration, alertness and cause irritability and depression, so ditch the sugary quick fixes that might seem like a fast-track to energy. Instead, hydrate with plain old water,, aiming for at least one liter per day (coffee and fizzy drinks do not count!).

2 – Nourish yourself and aim

Aim for 2 proper meals daily, bursting with the vibrant colors of fresh fruits and vegetables and your preferred lean protein. These aren’t just meals, they’re investments in your focus, stamina, and creativity, and even though it may seem like they don’t really matter and all you need is a quick fix, they do count and are the key to a healthier more functional brain. 

Remember, if you put the wrong type of fuel in your car, it won’t work. Think of it as the same for your brain, so treat your “engine” right! 

3 – Journal your journey

Journaling your thoughts and feelings for just three minutes, twice a day, can be an eye-opening exercise, revealing patterns and helping you manage stress by putting down on paper what your goals are for the day and acknowledging your success and challenges. Sometimes we are too busy to realize how great we did and what an amazing person we are for achieving so much in so little time, give yourself a high five!

4 – Connect with people

You’re not alone onboard even if you may be a sole chef, you’re part of a crew, a family. So, connect with your fellow crew members beyond the galley walls. Share stories, laugh together, and offer or receive support. Three to four times a day, step away from the stove and engage in meaningful conversations, even if it’s just a couple of minutes each time to catch up. These connections are more than just social bonding, they’re your lifeline to sanity and shared experiences. It may seem like I have totally lost my mind by suggesting that you should spend some of your precious time engaging in short conversations with your crew, but trust me when I say that it is very healthy and will help you process the fact that you are achieving so much. They will likely support the fact that you are really doing a great job and that you must be exhausted after delivering some much, and sometimes this is all we need, some compassion. If our world had more compassion, we would probably experience less stress and less fighting around us.

5 – Find your zen

In the whirlwind of a superyacht season, carving out “me time” might feel like trying to find a unicorn in Antarctica. But trust me, those stolen moments are lifesavers. Start small: 5 minutes of meditation on the bow or on the sundeck before the sun rises, guided by the gentle sway of the waves or by a selected Spotify meditation playlist. This seems like it is nothing, but au contraire, my friends, this is the start of everything. Once you notice the pattern of your brain being flooded by thoughts and emotions, you will realize that it is indeed busy up there and there is a big need for some sort of order. Not to say that you will control your thoughts but simply that you will start to acknowledge that they are there, popping up and passing, and that’s fine. Remember: you are not your thoughts (i.e., you are NOT angry, but instead: you feel anger!).

This short list is just a starting point, a compass on your self-care journey. You can also explore yoga on the bow, fitness routines using resistance bands or bodyweight workout programs or apps, those  don’t require any tools and can be done regularly, or why not trying guided sleep meditations to unwind after a crazy long day or start in between trips if times allows a short food photography class online, a few minutes at a time, and practice by capturing the beauty of your dishes (this will also be essential for your next job application, to be honest).

Final Words

As a chef, your standards are high, and that’s what makes your creations sing. But sometimes, the pursuit of perfection can morph into a self-flagellating monster. Learn to say “enough.” That menu is incredible; savor it, don’t overwork it. Remember, you’re not a team of Michelin-starred chefs, you’re a one-person (or two-person) culinary powerhouse and you are being asked to be on top of your games for a huge variety of culinary styles and techniques , and that’s enough and incredible on its own, trust your skills, and celebrate your achievements, and please, ask for help if you need it and can. There are too many proud people that don’t ever ask for help. I was and am one of them on too many occasions, and once again, this isn’t healthy. We all can take a little support in our endeavors.

Self-care isn’t a chore, it’s an adventure in discovering what makes you thrive. So, fellow yacht chefs, let’s raise our (water) bottles to a life of epic culinary excellence and incredible personal well-being. 


  1. 1 x Liter per day: Ditch sugary drinks and aim for 1+ liters of water daily. Coffee, diet coke, and redbull don’t count.
  2. 2 x colorful meals: Fuel your body with at least 2 proper meals packed with fresh fruits, veggies, and lean protein. White/beige bread and pasta don’t count as “colors” here, even though they are super attractive and convenient when stressed and busy.
  3. 3 x minute Journal: Reflect with 3-minute journaling sessions twice a day. This is your chance to process thoughts and emotions and to reflect and be grateful for what you have.
  4. 4 x conversations: Step outside the galley for short chats 3 to 4 times a day. 
  5. 5 x min per day: Meditate for 5 minutes before or after a busy day. This can be as simple as focusing on your breath and calming your mind.

Montclair Chef specialises in Yacht Crew and Private Chef recruitment globally.

Connect with Chris Demaillet on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisdemaillet/

Montclair Chef website: https://www.montclairchef.com/

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