Gourmet Yacht Charters for Foodies
Gourmet yacht charters fill the void for Foodies. People are seeking new culinary experiences rather than simply eating a meal to satisfy hunger. This increasingly refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages, both preparing and consuming, has launched a new trend: culinary tourism. Now, thanks to gourmet yacht charters, food tourism is making waves.
More and more, charter yacht owners believe that hiring top chefs as part of the crew is essential. Not just to please the palate, but as a strategy to rank highly in the competitive charter industry. An excellent yacht chef is a mark of distinction. These chefs not only bring haute cuisine to the dining table, they often provide hands-on classes to interested guests.
To wet your appetites in this series, Gourmet Yacht Charters profiles award-winning yacht chefs that step up to the plate. We provide insights into their onboard cooking styles and teaching strategies. Gourmands who are prospective charter clients, now you can have your cake and then some. Because, a week of spectacular dining on a private yacht is more than a luxury vacation. It’s a privileged experience.
Chef Jade Konst, XENIA 50, Luxury Sailing Catamaran
Chef Jade, (aka Captain Jade) says she does this all the time. Yet even her simplest preparations include an elaborate touch. Life for charter guests onboard XENIA 50 is just a bit decadent. Breakfast on marcapone and ricotta crepes with rum macerated strawberries. Sail up the coast and drop anchor in a spectacular bay. Don mermaid gear and bond with fellow sea creatures. Back aboard XENIA 50, lunch on fennel pollen dusted chicken breast with romesco sauce and grilled romaine hearts, paired with the perfect wine. And it’s healthy indulgence. Jade’s beautifully plated, aesthetically balanced, contrasting courses, use only the freshest, local ingredients.
Despite a busy charter calendar, Jade took the time to talk about life as a charter yacht chef.
I started where most start, in the dishpit. I scrubbed pots and pans at Sunwapta Falls Resort in the Canadian rocky mountains. The sous chef was a friend of mine and she quickly took me under her wing and taught me the basics. From there I landed positions at high-end restaurants and resorts on Canada’s west coast. Every one of these establishments had a sharp focus, ahead of the trend, for farm-to-table, local, sustainable, healthy eating, without compromise to creativity or quality. I always learned from the cooks around me.
What best prepared you for the challenges of a charter yacht chef?
The season at Clayquot Wilderness Resort honed my skills and dedication to great food. It is a very exclusive glamping resort. The expectation for every dish to be amazing is very high. The chef taught me that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel, or be the most creative. There are times people simply want the familiar. But even then, it must be the very best. Use ingredients to the best of their potential. And never compromise your standards and quality, not even for the sake of food cost or efficiency. Be proud of everything that gets served, or don’t serve it.
If I have willing participants! I can elaborate on my basics; Artisan breads, sauces, sushi, taco Tuesday, the perfect egg, fun molecular gastronomy tricks, captains bar tips, discovery of local products and how best to cook them. While drinking plenty of great wine of course! The benefit of having an up-galley on Xenia 50 is that guests can get a play-by-play of what I’m preparing, even if they’re not getting into it hands-on.
Pretty much any thing I can eat with Chopstix. I learned to use them as part of my school curriculum growing up in Vancouver Canada, a very ethnically divers city with much influence from the east. Asian food is my staple go-to. The simplicity of rice or noodles with fresh ingredients and that Umami flavor that is plentiful in soy sauce, miso and kimchi.
What’s your advice for a land-based chef considering a position as a charter chef?
The life style is a big shift, for better or for worse. Chef’s are used to the long hours on their feet. But then, at the end of your shift, you can go home to your cat and your family. On smaller boats you aren’t hiding behind closed doors just doing your thing, you become sommelier, bartender, server and busser.
Your interaction with guests is a big part of the job. That takes a certain personality and many talents, not just cooking. If that seems like the right kind of job for you, then I wish someone would have told me to always have a back up food/menu plan and to be flexible! Guests’ demands, and provisioning on random islands, will test your ability to think on your feet.
What do you love most about being a charter yacht chef?
Seeing people enjoy my creations, while living on the ocean in the tropics. Peter and I share a love for the finer things in life. For us that is sumptuous food, fine wine, a beautiful yacht, astonishing places and great friends. What’s not to love?
2012 Newport Charter Show
3rd place: Smokey tomato chowder
2015 BVI Charter Yacht Show
1st place cocktail: Rum guinep grapefruit daiqueri
2nd place appetizer: Cucumber avocado child soup with Parmesan crisp
2016 BVI Charter Yacht Show
1st place dessert: Starfruit almond sponge with turmeric coconut ice cream and pumpkin seed brittle
2nd place appetizer: West Indian pumpkin squid ink ravioli smoked grouper and basil oil
2017 Grenada Charter Yacht Show
1st place: Lionfish with pumpkin, coconut puree, yogurt spheres and squid ink coral tuille
Contact Select Yachts to book your charter aboard XENIA 50. Before you board, you will have the chance to connect with Jade and Pete to discuss your charter dreams. They will custom-design your yachting itinerary. Your menu, based on your preferences, will include old favorites and new dishes to excite the pallet. On board XENIA 50, Jade and Pete will be your escorts on a journey of the senses.
XENIA 50, 2015 Privilege sailing catamaran, is available for gourmet yacht charters in the Caribbean. This luxury charter yacht accommodates six guests in three 3 cabins, each with queen size berth, fresh water flush electric heads and stall showers. Comfortable salon seating for formal and alfresco dining for six guests. Spacious top deck lounge and forward deck lounge areas, 13 opening ports, salon door opens full 1.5m wide and yacht is fully air-conditioned. Paradise awaits!