Chef, 93-foot Maiora motoryacht Asha
Date interviewed: May 2011
That was a lovely lunch that you just prepared, both healthy and delicious. The red smoked salmon was a nice complement to the green lemon salad, and the ratatouille went beautifully with the fresh sole. Where did you learn to cook?
I’m from Bilbao, in the north of Spain. I did not want to go to a formal culinary school, but I did complete a number of short cooking classes, maybe 10 to 15 days apiece, at schools in Barcelona, Bilbao, and also in Cannes, France.
Did you develop any specialties in those classes?
What I like the most is to cook what is healthy. I studied macrobiotic, Asian, vegetarian, and Mediterranean cuisines because I wanted to understand the bigger picture of what is healthy for the body. I didn’t want to learn how to cook butter sauces. I wanted to learn how to prepare healthy, delicious food.
Why did you decide to work on boats?
I knew a French chef who worked on boats, and that chef introduced both my sister and me to boating. All three of us are now chefs on boats. I’ve been cooking on boats for 10 years, and I’ve been working aboard Asha for five years. I have been here since she launched in 2006.
Do you plan to stay aboard now that Asha got a new owner during the winter of 2010-11?
I liked the original owner, but I also like the new owner, and I like the captain and crew. I feel good on this boat, and I don’t want to move.
What are some of the specialty dishes that your charter guests particularly enjoy?
Most of the guests really like my stir fry, especially when I prepare it with beef. I also like to cook lobster on the grill. Sauces, I make well, but I always serve them on the side so that people can choose how much to have. And most of our guests do not want a lot of desserts. They are too full from all of the healthy, good food.
What do you do clients want different things, such as a wife wanting vegetarian food while a husband wants meat?
We try to give each person what they want. Even if it is difficult, we try to find a solution to please them. That’s our job, to make the clients happy. When we are flexible and accommodating, they have a lot of fun.