The Yacht Chef take us onboard and explains us how he entered this exclusive world. After years of working in a kitchen he went cooking aboard dive boats and finally reach the galley of a luxurious superyacht!
“My yachting career started back working on live aboard dive boats on the Great Barrier Reef out of Cairns, Australia. I starting working as a chef at the age of 15 and knew when I completed my 4 years of training that I didn’t want a normal land job working in a kitchen. I knew I wanted to get more out of being chef and what better way than travelling the world from working in luxury chalets in the French Alps to amazing family run restaurants in Greek islands. I’ve always had a love of the ocean, being able to interact with marine life and the cherry on top, getting paid to do it!
The first taste of luxury super yachts I got was when I was in Antibes, France. Walking the docks asking if there were any positions available for chefs. Totally unprepared for what was getting myself into and getting plenty of rejections. I came back to Australia got all the necessary tickets and 3 years experience on live aboard dive boats to get my foot in the door.
My first job offer was on a 40m motor yacht as temp chef for 1 month, to go permanent if all went well. Lets just say some things didn’t go well and I wont go into to much detail but they went through a lot of chefs before me. Ok, I will tell you one story. Being woken up at 5am to cook fried eggs for the pilot (a local who navigates a ship through dangerous/congested waters). Not a guest or even crew. Which the 3rd stew at the time said she offered to cook and the captain said NO, get the chef up! Among a bunch of other crazy things I wasn’t used to. I reconsidered if luxury yachting was for me. So I went back to dive boats for a year and got a very promising email from Donna Murray at Super Yacht Crew International and said she had the perfect job for me as Chef/First Mate onboard a 100’ motor yacht. Being a Dive Master and Chef this sounded perfect as I prefer to get outside on deck to mix it up a bit rather than being in the galley the whole time.
Ever since then I’ve been onboard the same yacht for 2 years now with amazing owners and crew. It has changed my mind about yachting and it may take you a couple of yachts to find you fit in with the crew and owners, but don’t give up as the rewards and lifestyle trump all the crap you may have to put up with. I’ve seen and done things I would never be able to do with a normal land based job and recommend it highly to anyone that is considering going into the industry.”
The Yacht Chef / Dean Harrison