Yacht chefs provide a comprehensive range of tailored dishes designed to provide a luxurious and memorable dining experience for those who charter a yacht. The menu comprises breakfast, lunch and dinner and includes everything from exquisite canapés and lavish buffets, to multi-course dinners. The fine dining cuisine features fresh and local ingredients, paired with fine wines and spirits. Those who charter a yacht can expect to receive not only high end cuisine tailored to their exact preferences, but also a high level of personal attention and service, all set against the backdrop of a beautiful idyllic coastline.
The competition is split into three categories according to yacht size - 125ft and under, 126ft - 159ft and 160ft and over. The judging of the 160ft+ category will take place on Tuesday 5th December, the 126ft-159ft category on Wednesday 6th and the 125ft and under on Thursday 7th. The prize giving ceremony will be held on Friday 8th at the Admiral’s Inn.
The theme for this year’s competitions focuses on global cuisine inspirations with an emphasis on sustainable products. As a yacht chef or crew, you get to travel the world, experiencing and immersing yourself in new cultures, cuisines, and ingredients from the countries visited on your journeys. We’d like to see this reflected in your entries!
Chefs will be tasked with creating a three-course dining experience to include first course, main course and dessert. Each course must represent a different cuisine, country or culture. The courses should be inspired by your travels as a chef and with a view to utilising sustainable products. We’re interested to see how the nomadic yacht chef lifestyle influences your ingredients, flavours, techniques and presentations.
At the Chef’s Briefing each chef will also be presented with a ‘mystery ingredient’. The mystery ingredient MUST be showcased in one of the three courses. If the mystery ingredient is not utilised points will be deducted from your overall score.
You’ll be notified just prior to the judge’s arrival.
You’ll provide six printed menus: one for the coordinator and one for each of the five judges.
You’ll have 30 minutes to serve your three-course meal to the panel of five judges and the coordinator of the competition.
For each course: serve five taster-size dishes and one full-size presentation dish (to be photographed). All six plates of each course will be tasted by the five judges and the coordinator.
Please note that you are required to stay within a 30-minute time frame, and if the time is extended, points will be deducted from your overall score.
Chefs will be judged based on a points system following the criteria listed below:
- Appearance and presentation: how visually appealing is it?
- Taste: flavour/seasoning/balanced flavours
- Creativity: creative use of the theme of the competition
- Execution: well executed cooking techniques
- Overall appeal: originality/creativity
Extra points may be awarded for:
- Including a dish that incorporates Caribbean Flare
- The use of sustainable products
- Dishes for special diets i.e. gluten free, lactose free, vegetarian, vegan etc
Stewards and Stewardesses will be tasked with showcasing their expertise in creativity and execution. You’ll be expected to demonstrate what separates the dining experience on your yacht from the rest by presenting a tablescape that features a memorable locale or culture from your yacht travels, utilising sustainable products and the supplied bottle of the iconic Minuty Rose wine. Your decorated table setting should be in the same location as where the chefs serve their creations and include place settings for six guests.
- Appearance and presentation: how visually appealing is it?
- Creativity and originality: creative use of the theme of the competition and the bottle of Minuty Rose wine
- Overall impression
A FEW WORDS FROM LAST YEAR’S JUDGES…
“The clear passion that each chef had for their dishes, careers and the competition reminded me why I am so passionate about my life as a provisioner. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to build relationships with all of the chefs and crew and can’t wait until next year!”
Tommy Baldwin III Founder, Owner, & CEO Shoreside support
“Having judged wine internationally for years, what fun to take on food! So many of the parameters are the same - quality, style, flavour, texture but there is less room for imagination in my normal area, and there was so much here. I thought the standard across the boats was extremely high and a number were truly outstanding. Lots of tables I would pay to eat at!”
Liam Steevenson CEO Global Wine Solutions
“In looking for a successful yacht chef in competition, our impression starts with our eyes, the feeling of being welcomed onto a boat, the attention to detail, the welcome cocktails, the tablescape, the presentation of a menu. We are then courted by the arrival of the dishes. Does the dish seduce our eyes? We must be excited by taste and detail. How well does the chef exhibit technical ability? Balance of texture, flavour, colour? And beyond this, does the chef come out to present his or her work and extend the culinary journey? The intricacies of being a chef are immense and we try to be fair and evaluate from every angle. It is clear that this year we have had such incredible candidates and we applaud and thank you for making our jobs very exciting and challenging.”
Chef Rio Alexander, Executive Chef, Professional Yacht Chef and Owner of The Beautiful Table, an award-winning catering company based in New York
MEET OUR CONCOURS DE CHEF COORDINATOR, ELIZABETH LEE
Chef Elizabeth Lee is a culinary trained charter yacht chef and charter yacht broker who has been working in the yachting industry since 2003 aboard prestigious yachts around the world. She has won many accolades as a chef in the industry including Concours de Chef and Best Chef of the Year. While continuing to work aboard yachts, Elizabeth and her husband Captain Warren East have owned and operated the boutique charter yacht brokerage East Yachts Ltd since 2005. Most recently they have completed the cookbook Made With Love: Culinary Inspirations From Around the World, which has won five esteemed awards, including the most recent awards for Best International Cuisine Book and Food & Sports Book in the world, from the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook awards, the “Oscars” of international awards for cookbooks.
REGISTER TO TAKE PART
Registration for the Chef and Tablescaping competitions is now open!
Only 10 yachts will be accepted in each yacht size category.
Successful entries will receive an email within 48 hours of registering to confirm receipt.
At that time, additional instructions will also be given.
A briefing will be held for all confirmed entrants at the beginning of the show on 4th December, 15:30-16:30 at The Copper and Lumber Store Hotel, Nelson's Dockyard. All entrants are requested to join and must email firstname.lastname@example.org if they are unable to do so.
Register to take part in the Concours de Chef competitions by filling in our online form!
Photo credit: Warren East