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FLIBS18: Chef Eric Davis wins inaugural chef event

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Story and photos by Dorie Cox

Yacht Chef Eric Davis won top honors at this year’s Yacht Chef Competition during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show at Pier Sixty-Six. He was named Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Best Yacht Chef of the 2018 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in the event hosted by FLIBS and Pier Sixty-Six on Nov. 2.

Four chefs, each with at least one assistant, were invited to cook before an audience of more than a hundred people, as well as four celebrity judges. Separate kitchens were set up for each of the teams.

Yacht Chef Eric Davis won the Yacht Chef Competition at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last night at Pier 66.

Davis has competed in other boat show challenges during his six years on private and charter yachts, and he said he welcomes new competitions. He has won several awards at the Antigua Charter Boat Show Concours du Chef, including first place for yachts of 125-164 feet in 2016, and second place for yachts up to 125 feet in 2015. He recently joined M/Y Avalon and will compete again in Antigua in December.

Chef competitions are a way for the public to get a feel for what chefs do on board yachts, he said. The format of the Fort Lauderdale event differed from the Antigua competition because it took place on land, off the boat and with an accompanying party. Chefs were not given the ingredient list or time to check out with the mini kitchens.

“The only thing we saw in advance was the cooking equipment, we couldn’t use our own,” Davis said.

In a new kitchen, without his appliances, Davis faced several challenges. For example, he needed a smoker but improvised using the oven and a wine glass. He had planned a pumpkin cheesecake, but there was no pumpkin. But the event felt much like work during a charter in a remote location, he said.

“Lots of our work is last minute and under a crunch with time constraints,” Davis said. “We go in with an outline and then we have to adapt. It’s a big part of being a chef.”

Chef Chris Parthemore and Chief Stew Tina Tubaugh of M/Y Angel Wings

Chef Chris Parthemore of M/Y Angel Wings, a 130 Westport, took second place honors.

“I enjoyed it, definitely a challenge, and I enjoy facing a challenge,” Parthemore said.

With no dishwasher or sink, Parthemore got creative to recycle pans. Not being allowed to bring equipment made for a level playing field, he said. And just like in the galley on board, he had to adjust.

“I had the idea, but once I saw what we had to use, and once the clock ticks down, it forced me to reanalyze the timing for plate-up, level of difficulty and technique,” he said. “It forced me to simplify.”

Working with cooking partner Chief Stew Tina Tubaugh helped make the competition even more fun.

“She helped take away some of the stress, it was like another fun day in the galley,” he said.

During the competition, chefs prepared three dishes of their choice and judging was scored cumulatively, according to Derek Alleman, provisions, appliances and galley equipment specialist with National Marine Suppliers.

Other competitors were Chef Freddy Money, who works with the Tavistock Group, owners of Pier Sixty-Six and The Sails marinas in Fort Lauderdale; and Chef Joel Collado, who has worked as a chef for the past decade.

Both Davis and Parthemore hope the event is held again in the future. Davis hopes the show returns and said this type of event is important for young and chefs interested in working on yachts to see what chefs do.

If the event is held next year, Parthemore hopes to compete again.

“I will come in with working knowledge of what to expect,” Parthemore said. “I grew as a chef having gone through it.”

 

ORIGINAL POST: Nov. 2

Yacht Chef Eric Davis won top honors at this year’s Yacht Chef Competition at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last night at Pier Sixty-Six. Four chefs, each with an assistant, cooked before an audience of more than 100 people, as well as four celebrity judges. Separate kitchens were set up for each of the teams.

Davis has worked as a yacht chef on both private and charter yachts for the past six years. He has won several times at the Antigua Charter Boat Show Concours du Chef, including second place for yachts up to 125 feet in 2015 and first place for yachts of 125-164 feet in 2016.

Chefs prepared three dishes of their choice and judging was scored cumulatively, according to Derek Alleman, provisions, appliances and galley equipment specialist with National Marine Suppliers.

Other competitors were Chef Chris Parthemore, who has worked about five years in the yacht industry, primarily on M/Y Angel Wings, a 130-foot Westport; Chef Freddy Money, who works with the Tavistock Group, owners of Pier Sixty-Six  and The Sails marinas in Fort Lauderdale; and Chef Joel Collado, who has worked as a chef for the past decade.

Dorie Cox is editor of Triton Today. Comments are welcome below.

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About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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