Chef Jimmy Tancrell and Chef Alex Forsythe
– Photos by Dorie Cox
At work in the galley, many yacht chefs feel isolated from other chefs in the industry.
“It’s a solo job,” said Beverly Grant, of Crew Solutions. Not quite as insular as in the “old days,” without cell phones or internet, but still less social than some other crew positions.
In response, Grant and a group of culinary leaders gathered for a World Kitchen Chef’s Roundtable yesterday at Bahia Mar to foster chef connections and collaboration.
Chef Ainsworth Ferguson
Chef Ainsworth Ferguson is on board to work together. Currently on M/Y Kashmir, he shares tips with other chefs, especially when it comes to local food, often a challenge for a chef in a new destination.
“As soon as I land, I go out in the streets and build my menu off that,” Ferguson said.
He recalled early years when he was taught to prepare turtle meat, a tip that could help another chef, so he pays it forward by sharing. And he appreciates what other chefs know.
“I’m still humbly learning,” Ferguson said.
Head Chef Keith O’Dell
“Let’s be a community of chefs,” Grant said.
Head Chef Keith O’Dell and Sous Chef Lachlan Robinson of M/Y Horizons III weighed in on sharing provisioning information, especially with current shortages in the supply chain.
Chef Alex Forsythe became adept at doing things for himself as a yacht chef. He now works as chef in Aspen, Colorado, and wants to stay connected with yachting. Chef Jimmy Tancrell spent six years as a yacht chef, but started Jimmy T’s Provisions in Costa Rica. He provisions with discussion attendees John Pinkerton of Yacht Chandlers, and Aaron and Limor Michaels of Culinary Convenience. Each company optimizes for each boat, even when it is a mix of provisioners.
Chef Lachlan Robinson
Yacht chefs have great stories of how they started and how they have transitioned, said Chef Dean Silva of Today’s World Kitchen. Another organizer of the roundtable, Silva’s group aims to meet the goal as a “community created by chefs, for chefs” with a job board, blogs, videos, and culinary expertise.
The discussion also touched on how yacht chefs transition out of the industry.
“Yachting is addicting, but I want to open a restaurant,” Ferguson said, noting that he also wants to stay connected with his colleagues. “I’d love for us all to open 54 restaurants together.”
Photos by Dorie Cox