7 Ways To Nail Your First 7 Days As A Yacht Stew.
Hear about the real yacht life, info on how to kickstart your superyacht career and tips on becoming a super stew.
A Chief Stew with 6+ years experience in the superyacht industry. I help aspiring crew confidently land their first job and teach the skills needed to be a stand out YACHT STEW.
In this episode, I chat to Sam Molyneux who has worked as a sole chef, sous chef and head chef on all kinds of superyachts. From a small 26m when he first started to a classic sailing yacht, followed by motor yachts up to 92m, building a good solid reputation in the industry!
He shares a wealth of knowledge into what to expect as a superyacht chef on these boats and tips to help crew with one key takeaway- never stop learning!
“Keep your head in the game and stay up to date. On superyachts when you are serving high-net-worth individuals there is always a new diet, always a net thing to cut out. Research these and cater to them by upskilling – there are options like online vegan courses or gluten-free baking classes. There’s so much information out there to help you be a better chef.”
To align with Sam’s number one motto ‘Never stop learning’ he took a year off from yachting spending 6 months at Ashburton cookery school to really hone in on recipe development and improve certain cookery skills as well as doing stages in Michelin-starred restaurants around the UK.
Sam also worked on a classic schooner sailing Yacht called Addix. As a head chef, he provided fine dining meals to guests and got to enjoy fresh Maine lobsters from the ocean whilst sailing the east coast of USA. Working as a chef onboard he says there’s very limited space with underfloor freezers and dry stores, with cupboards stacked on one side of the galley. Sailing for 6 hours on a certain tack can be interesting for a chef! if you’re on the tack when you’re on that one side and you need to pull something out of the cupboard. It makes it very difficult while you’re also working to prepare meals. It’s a good challenge and a lot of fun!
In comparison to the sailing yacht experience, Sam worked on a 92m Feadship yacht. He says “this was a massive step up in terms of size, space and luxury. There has a different calibre of guests as it was $1.5 million a week to charter. This yacht had separate walk-in freezers for crew and guest. So everything galley wise was as close as to a professional restaurant space was as you are going to get. However with larger yachts the bigger you go the more you are tasked with the impossible such as last minute dinners for 60-70 dinners, charity events for 300 people. You’re always playing catch up on a yacht, the bigger it gets the crazier tasks you’re expected to pull off you and remember you haven’t got that team of 30 chefs like you would in a Michelin starred restaurant.”
“The job is demanding but it’s a good opportunity to learn, it’s a great feeling when you pull off the impossible service with high net worth individuals whoever it is at the time – world leaders, kings, celebrities. Knowing everyone has done their part to make it happen. You’re all apart of the same team.
“Sam shares that everyone is literally in the same boat, teamwork makes the dream work! The relationship from the galley to the service team is important.”
What I encourage is getting the interior excited about the menu by having a meeting before service to ensure the service team understands every item. So they know the menu inside and out when the guests fire a question, it also gives the interior team more confidence to present the meals at the table.
The flow from service is really important and it all comes from the food in the galley. If you’re prepared you can organise a great menu to pair with the crockery, glasses etc. which flows onto table decorations and canape cocktail hour.”
Chef Sam’s tips:
I’m a chief stewardess with over 6 years experience working in the superyacht industry on boats up to 88m. I help aspiring yacht crew by propelling them with the know-how and tools to confidently break into the superyacht industry.