How To Get a Job as a Yacht Chef

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10 Feb 2020

How To Get a Job as a Yacht Chef

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 transferable 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:

● Provisioning

● 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 to check out our post, "A Guide to the Yacht CV". Meridiano even provides templates that you can work with available for all registered crew members (don't worry, it's free). It's important to know that yacht 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 professional kitchen experience.

Finding Work/Daywork

Although it is rare, there are daywork jobs for chefs. Temporary chefs are often hired to cook for crew during yard periods, for crossings, between seasons, or while the yacht's permanent chef is on vacation. Be sure to let crew agents know that you're open for temp jobs and daywork. If you're new to the industry, be open to any kind of work, as long as it gets your foot in the door with what you want to do. Spend some time in the galley (yacht kitchen) to observe how yacht chefs make use of storage spaces and efficiently utilize the space. If you're assisting the current yacht chef for the day, ask lots of questions to get the inside scoop on what to expect, their challenges, and what they wish they knew before working on yachts.

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