Finding a Healthy Balance
Catering for crew on board superyachts gets trickier and trickier with growing trends for different dietary tastes and requirements.
It can sometimes be challenging enough for chefs to keep serving up healthy, tasty and varied meals for the crew, especially from the confines of a cramped below deck yachting environment when the primary focus is on pleasing owners and guests with their culinary prowess.
Some chefs make a point of requesting that crew refrain from making specific dietary requests whilst they’re on charter, regattas or during boss trips.
However, if crew are vegetarian, vegan, lactose or gluten intolerant they will genuinely need a more creative diet which can be challenging for a chef to constantly cater for. Whilst some chefs might ignore crew needs altogether when they’re catering for owner or guests, this doesn’t make for a happy crew. Coupled with an increased social conscience about eating healthily, this puts even more pressure on chefs to serve extra vegetables which might not be available, especially if storage space for fresh produce is limited.
Chefs stock up as much as possible before cruising to remote locations where provisioning just isn’t possible, but storage can be a genuine problem on yachts.
Chef and crew have to agree a mutual level of respect in order to reach a balance.
Crew need feeding regularly to keep them happy and motivated, but they have to accept that during busy periods meals might be slightly more basic.
With genuine dietary requirements chefs need to cater for them and it’s been suggested that perhaps crew should take a medical test in order to prove them to the chef cooking their food. But perhaps crew expectations have to be managed as well, if they know ahead of time what the pressures are going to be on the chefs and the chefs are aware of all crew dietary requirements when they’re stocking up then everyone’s informed ahead of time. That way they’re much more likely to be able to cater for a range of different tastes and dietary requirements.
Crew should also have realistic expectations of their chefs, so they keep the chef stress-free during busy periods.
As there is increasing awareness of our impact on the environment and particularly the production of beef and the increase in methane gas, some chefs are looking to expand their repertoire by presenting more vegan dishes, thus expanding their skill level and at the same time winning over the traditional eating habits of the meat eaters.
Reaching a happy balance is key, producing meals with a mixture of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables, so crew can eat the diet they want and chefs are appreciated for their culinary expertise.