After you find a job on a yacht, you’ll quickly learn that yacht chefs are required to do more than just prepare meals for the guests. They are also responsible for running the kitchen, planning the menus, cooking for the crew, and provisioning the kitchen. In order to work on a yacht as a chef, you must be trained in culinary arts and have the ability to work on a yacht. Captains look for chefs who are adaptable and desire to serve with excellence. Here are some other things you need to know to get started:
What skills are required?
If you’re going for a chef position, captains want to see that you have experience in a professional kitchen. If you’re wanting to become a crew cook or stew/cook, it is a little more flexible. There are transferrable skills that you can bring from land–for every yacht job! As a yacht chef, it’s likely that you’ll have to take a position as a sous chef or sole chef before managing your own kitchen. Here are some skills that you’ll want to know to be a yacht chef:
- Knife skills
- Galley (kitchen) organization
- Knowledge of different cooking styles
- Ability to adapt to allergies and food restrictions
- Willing to work within a set budget
- On-time meal preparation
- Experience cooking at a restaurant
- Culinary trained=a plus!
- Health and safety knowledge
- Bonus skills: knowledge of new cooking techniques (like sous-vide) and cooking experience at fine dining restaurants (award-winning a plus)
Formatting Your CV
You will want to tailor your CV to the position that you are looking for. Make sure you include all yachting experience in one section and then a separate section for relevant land based experience. Be sure you aren’t making mistakes in your CV. Crew Compass even provides a template that you can work around. It’s important to know that land CVs are different than land CVs. When a captain is hiring, they are going to be looking for your certificates and qualifications, cuisine specialties, time on the sea, and land professional kitchen experience.
Although it is rare, there is daywork for chefs. Crew chefs can cook for dayworkers if hired. You must actively search for work in order to rise in the yachting world. Be open to any kind of work, as long as it gets your foot in the door with what you want to do. Spend time in the Galley, getting to know how it works on in a yacht kitchen. It will be small, but doable. Once you become a head chef, you can run your own kitchen and create dishes and menus. Pretty exciting, right?
Image courtesy of yacht chef George von Waltsleben. Follow him on Instagram: @von_chef