Chef Andrew Graham has been cooking luscious desserts like this one since he joined the 130-foot CRN motoryacht Parvati in 2007.
Chef, 130-foot CRN motoryacht Parvati
Date interviewed: December 2010
How did you get into the business of cooking onboard yachts?
I’m a native of Wellington, New Zealand, and even as a boy I always jumped into the kitchen with my mom. The smell of roasting onions got me in there.
I went on to study cooking formally in New Zealand. I covered all the basics of French cuisine and international fare. That was in 2003. Then a friend of mine went to Europe to cook at a ski resort, and I followed him. I didn’t want to go to some restaurant in London and pour drinks. I wanted to go to France and learn more about that food. At the ski chalets, I started talking to chefs who worked there, and they told me that during the summers they sometimes got jobs cooking on yachts. So I went to Antibes.
Did you immediately find full-time work?
In May 2006, I got a one-month trial aboard a motoryacht called Shenandoah. I did fine, but the owner ended up wanting an Italian chef. So I went and did some traveling in Spain, learned about the food there, and then in August 2007 I joined the 130-foot CRN motoryacht Parvati, where I still work today.
How do you like cooking for charter guests aboard Parvati?
I like chartering. The owners are lovely people, but I enjoy a change in the group. I can do dishes for charter clients that are similar to what I’ve done for the owners, but I get a chance to tweak them and perfect them by trying them out on all the different guests.
What are some of your specialties?
I make a nice spaghetti with lobster and fresh tomato sauce. People also like my dessert of poached quince with homemade vanilla ice cream, caramelized nuts, dried bananas, and sweet sherry. Every charter, I do that dessert. It’s always a winner.
To me, it’s fun to mix things up. I love to cook Japanese one day, Malaysian the next day, Italian the next day, and so on. I like to vary things. It makes the food feel really international.
Do you also have recipes for charter guests with strict diets?
We’ve had charter clients onboard who eat wheat-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, who have nut allergies—nothing is a problem. We are prepared for anything.
Parvati is part of the charter fleet at Camper and Nicholsons International. She takes 10 guests with eight crew at a lowest weekly base rate of €75,000. Any reputable charter broker can tell you more or help you book a week onboard.