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10 Best Charter Yacht Chefs

Many have earned awards at culinary competitions held around the world

Charter broker Missy Johnston at Northrop and Johnson Worldwide Yacht Charters recently cruised on the 125-foot motorsailer Navilux in Croatia, where she says she enjoyed “outstanding meals created by chef Dragan Grbic. A published chef and well known from top restaurants in Croatia, Dragan, at age 33, has decided that catering to a small group creating magic in his galley is his latest culinary interest. He seeks out the best and most interesting ingredients available, such as true wild asparagus, Croatian fresh truffles, Ston oysters straight out of the sea from the shell farms, freshly caught fish, farm-raised beef, lamb and chicken.”

RJC Yachts is thrilled that chef Steven Manee of the 126-foot motoryacht Sea Bear earned the top prize at the recent Newport Charter Yacht Show culinary competition. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Charter broker Amanda Brilliante at CharterWorld says: “The standout for me was a lunch on the 125-foot Cantieri di Pisa motoryacht Mabrouk in Poros, Greece, by chef Thanos. Stellar table setting and impeccable service.  Some modern twists on traditional dishes, with use of some unusual (and “global”) ingredients that paired beautifully into fantastic new flavor combinations. The portion size was absolutely perfect, excellent progression of the dishes and top-notch wine pairings. A beautiful printed menu and wine list was provided, with explanations for each dish.”

Chef Tracy Ireland on the 129-foot expedition motoryacht Safira made an outstanding luncheon for CharterWave editor Kim Kavin at the Newport Charter Yacht Show: “It was a breezy day, and she served a first course of parsnip soup that was absolutely perfect. I was so thankful for her artisan breads, too, because I could use them to sop up every last drop of soup from my bowl.”

Chef Giovanni Bruno of the 191-foot Proteksan-Turquoise motoryacht Baraka impressed Kim at the MYBA Charter Yacht Show in Italy: “His lobster risotto was phenomenal. Huge chunks of fresh lobster with little bits of risotto, instead of the other way around. It was a perfect portion size, too.”

Chef Alberto Affer of the 94-foot Southern Wind sailing yacht Windfall also earned Kim’s attention in Genoa this spring: “He did this great tasting menu that featured all the regions of Italy with everything from wild boar salami to a honey-almond yogurt parfait. His range was fantastic, and every bite was delicious.”

Chef Dave Hawkins put out an impressive buffet lunch for a large crowd in Genoa aboard the 202-foot VSY motoryacht Sealyon: “Most chefs do a three- or four-course meal at these boat shows, but this chef turned out something like a dozen different samples for close to 30 people. The organic lamb sliders were out of this world, as was the tuna sushi and sashimi. Everyone was raving about the bloody Mary oyster shooters, too.”

First prize among superyachts in the Genoa show’s culinary competition went to chef Andrew Dorschner aboard the 187-foot Abeking and Rasmussen motoryacht Diamond A. He told Kim: “I was born in Russia and raised in Britain and Australia, and like to travel, so I’ve been to 30 countries, eating my way through them, trying the genuine article. I learned from all of it.”

First prize among smaller yachts in the Genoa show’s culinary competition went to chef Bertrand Sechet of the 100-foot sailing catamaran Allures, who told Kim: “My background is scientific. I am an engineer. I was a teacher of physics and biology, but food was my passion.”

Last but not least, Fraser Yachts Worldwide says the 207-foot Royal Denship motoryacht Force Blue just got a new chef who is “highly experienced and trained at the world-renowned hospitality brand Cipriani, recognized for its distinguished venues and service all over the world.”

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