Chef, 86-foot motoryacht Wil Power
Date interviewed: December 2009
That was a lovely lunch you just prepared. I especially enjoyed the potato leek soup. Where did you learn to cook?
I am from Hungary. I always cooked there for friends and family, watching what my mother and grandmother did. I learned their tricks.
I did not study cooking at a university or anything like that. My first job was making shoes in a factory when I was 14 years old. I was living on my own, taking all the jobs I could get until I was 18 and able to travel. I had no choice but to make my own food and continue learning on my own.
Did your travels after you turned 18 include culinary lessons?
In a way, yes. My first destination was Austria, where I worked in a pizzeria. Then I went to Italy at age 19 and learned something about the food there.
Italy is also where I discovered yachting. I heard people in Genoa talking about the tourism and how the boats went to places like Sint Maarten. In 2002, I had made my way into the business and was working as a deckhand and stewardess aboard a 72-foot sailing yacht called Golden Eagle that did day charters.
I’m guessing you found yachting far more delightful as a career than factory work.
I loved the boats. It was like a dream. We picked up the tourists from the cruise ships and took them to snorkel and sail around. When business on Golden Eagle was slow, I would do day work on larger charter yachts.
And all the time, I was living in an apartment on Sint Maarten with six Hungarians. So after my 14- or 16-hour workdays as a deckhand or stewardess, I would go home and cook for them. That, it turns out, was good training for becoming a charter yacht chef.
How did you end up aboard the 68-foot Maiora motoryacht Wil Power?
In October 2009, I met Rainy Venter in a crew house in Fort Lauderdale. He was looking for a captain’s job, and a lot of vessels in the size range he was seeking require a couple to be the crew because of the way the cabins are organized. We had not been dating long when Wil Power became available, but we decided to give it a go. We started onboard the first week of November.
That’s about a month ago now. How are things working out?
So far, so good. I can’t complain. I look forward to getting into the duties of being a chef and to getting better and better and we do more and more charters.
Wil Power takes six guests at a lowest weekly base rate of $23,000 for six guests. Paradise Yacht Charters is the management company, and any reputable charter broker can help you book a week onboard.