Chef, 100-foot sailing yacht Dark Shadow
Date interviewed: May 2010
It’s interesting that you became a chef, since you so hated eating as a child.
I’ve always loved cooking even though I didn’t like eating. It was hard growing up with an allergy to all animal proteins. Fish, meats, dairy—they all put me into anaphylactic shock. So I cook by smell, and the captain tastes things if I am uncertain about the spices.
Have you developed any specialties by sense of smell?
I have worked in restaurants with different kinds of food, but I am Italian, so I think my best dishes are pasta and seafood. Many guests also like my sushi.
How do you prepare a menu for a typical week’s charter?
I talk with the guests to see what they like, and we make a menu to accommodate them. I listen and watch and learn the guests’ habits, not just what they want but also when and how they want it. Then I can give it to them, whatever it is.
With your keen sense of smell, do you enjoy offering certain wines with meals?
Yes. I am happy to suggest wine pairings for the guests. My favorite is Amarone, which is of course Italian, but there are many other options.
What else should CharterWave readers know about you?
Boating is in my family. Many people on my mother’s side work on boats, and I have spent the past six years working on and off with Dark Shadow, as well as with Capt. Mike Donnithorne aboard the 88-foot Wally sailing yacht Tiketitoo. We offer a good program for charter, I think. We have a good amount of experience and do our best to please the guests.