Expectations vs reality of the Superyacht Galley
Working onboard a Superyacht as a chef seems like a glamourous way to earn a living. You get to travel the world and interact with billionaires, all while earning a paycheck. But, are the often untold truths of the Superyacht Galley? Times are changing and people are beginning to speak out about the reality of life working on a yacht.
We asked a selection of Superyacht chefs the same question – Prior to beginning your yachting career, were you aware of the reality of working as a yacht chef?
This is what we’ve concucled:
It gets overwhelming
In most cases, Superyacht chefs formerly worked as chefs on land, so the switch to serving uhnwi was always going to be a daunting task. Whether it be for guests or for the crew, yacht chefs are serving food around the clock which can be overwhelming at times, to say the least.
Generally, there will be different sections in a normal kitchen, but on a superyacht, everything is basically confined to one space. So it’s key that in a galley with minimal space, they need to stay organised before it becomes a nightmare to work in.
“So I worked in restaurants prior to yachts and was a CDP. But, also responsible for making a different amuse bouche every night and was often able to be flexible and jump between sections. I first joined a 65m yacht as crew chef and got stuck into that role of making everything from scratch. And, giving many different healthy options for the crew of 10/12. I would definitely say that I wasn’t aware/ Prepared for the reality of a superyacht chef role. Although I’m creative and good in hot kitchen and patisserie, having to do it all, all day, gets overwhelming”.
It can get lonely
It’s not all travelling and socialising. Often Chefs spend the majority of their day in the galley, hidden away from guests and crew. If you’re a solo chef, or there’s only a couple of you, then you can imagine that loneliness sets in quickly.
“We never sit and eat with the crew. This is because it feels awkward to sit and watch people eat your food. Which, adds to the isolation in the department”
You need to do a lot of self-criticism
Self-criticism is key to progressing. You’ll often find on board that guests have specific dietary requirements. One could be vegan, another gluten-intolerant, and another kosher. It’s not an easy task to produce three or four different menus each day, making sure to perfect each one. And on land most chefs will have a head chef above them, advising them and giving their final say. Whereas, if there’s only one chef on board, the only person to criticise their food is themself and the guests/crew on board.
“Cheffing on a Superyacht is completely different from a restaurant because there, the head chef has the final say. Whereas if it’s just me, I’m agonizing over every plate. And, waiting with bated breath to be judged on every meal. Which can always be hard to not take personally.”
Though you work long hours in not-so-great conditions, you feel honored to do so.
There are times when you wonder whether the stress is worth it, but then you remember that you’re always learning new tricks, tips, and cooking techniques, all while being on board a million/billion-pound Superyacht. Not forgetting, you’re a part of a great community of chefs who support one another through and through.
“I had no idea on the length of hours & how HOT it would be in a galley down in the Caribbean. I love my job, I love to cook, travel & meet new people & make my guests dream holiday become reality but I truly don’t like sweaty wet bras, aching feet & a brain that constantly buzzes all through the night with the next days’ order of food prep
Thank you for reading our yacht chef’s responses.
Did any of these untold truths of the superyacht galley surprise you? Let us know.
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