That mozzarella will come here!!!

Answers about being a Chef in Super Yachts…

CEYMS30For example these questions are asked:

How many 010meters are your boat?

How many personnel work in the kitchen?

Aaah what is a crew meal? How hard can it be?

Anyway how many people work?

What is the cost of eating in a yacht?

What are the wages of a chef?


What I love most in a pep talk among friends is to see their astonishment while I answer those questions with sweet disdain…

We have not met with you at Ceyms last week because I was very busy just doing what corresponds to the answers to those questions. I was ‘provisioning’ as the sector jargon goes.


Let’s begin by answering the first question:

Remember! The thing you call a super yacht is more than 20-30 meters long for sail boats and between 40 meters and up to 200 meters in motorboats even what we call mega yachts. This answer alone causes astonishment. A similar scene occurred in Halicarnassus/Bodrum as well. Last year during one of my rare escapades in Turkey, I found myself sitting in the middle of a crowded table. Of course while I was under the bombardment of curios questions regarding my profession, a well-known businessman literally chimed in and began to question me with that arrogant face and sweet disdain. First he began to explain how his 30 meter boat is magnificent and asked some questions like ‘what do you cook on the boat’. The talk beginning with an informal ‘you’ transformed into a formal ‘you’ after I showed him the pictures of my plates. The arrogance in his face fell like a wet sticker and asked me with astonishment: ‘I am sorry but I did not understand clearly, what is the wage of a chef in your sector?’. I told him that the wages are between 4 thousand € and 15-20 thousand € according to the length of the boat and experience. In a 30 meter boat you can earn 4 thousand € while a chef of a 100 meter mega yacht can earn 15 thousand € and a private chef meaning serving only the boss can increase this amount with special contracts… He was looking at me with astonishment and asked the key question!

-What is the length of your boat?



The matter is resolved than. He returned to his table with laughing and saying ‘And I was flaunting with my 30 meter yacht’.

In short: The world is full of amazing lives. Therefore my profession sounds sweet from far away but the uncrowned princes and princesses of the superyacht world well know the fact that when you look closer you will see how dense and hard it is. So let me explain it in a little bit more detail.

  • Like any restaurants, super yachts have room sized fridges and freezers which we call cool rooms.
  • Yacht kitchens are not named “kitchen”. We call them ‘galley’ meaning ship kitchen.


  • The size of yacht kitchens reach up to the size of a restaurant’s kitchen according to the boat’s length. Even when the kitchen is small there are industrial kitchen ware in order to serve food with the quality of a restaurant. It is equipped with a very good industrial oven and from rice machines for serving sushi to 15-20 persons simultaneously to any kind of state of the art electronic devices.
  • The funniest question is how many persons work with a head chef? No matter what the length of the boat is there are no 20 chefs in the kitchen. There are no individuals responsible for cold appetizers or grill separately like in a restaurant. We don’t have garde manger or pastry section or soucier. We are solely responsible to prepare a new menu and different foods each day! There is nothing like you make a new graduate commis chef to peel off the onions and walk along the kitchen like a sultan giving orders. We peel off the onions then prepare the dish with a chef’s last touch.


  • If the boat is between 60 and 80 meters there are an assistant chef called sous chef, and if it is 100 meters or above we then have a third chef called crew chef responsible for preparing meal for the crew and help us cleaning. That’s it.
  • A 60 meter motor yacht’s crew consists of 15 while, an 80 meter’s crew consists of 20-22 persons. For 100 meter and above boats this number can reach above 50. So you see it is no joke.


  • You prepare a protein main dish with meat-fish, fish-chicken selection (because there are always vegetarians, allergic people, people being choosy according to their religion or culture), a side dish going well with the main dish meaning vegetables, potatoes, mashes, definitely one carbohydrate like pasta-lasagne-rice, two different salads and a desert. We provide cakes or pastries for refreshment. Michelin quality is not expected for the meal prepared for crews, but the need to be delicious, savory and good in simply Jamie Oliver style. And we prepare them all by ourselves. In order to avoid criticism such as ‘the same food again!’, one day we serve Thai food, the other Italian and the other French so we dance with cuisines around the world. In short we do not serve white beans for mess.
  • The dishes prepared for the bosses need to be a lot more detailed, elaborate and with Michelin quality. Because our bosses are not ‘mere’ millionaires but billionaire families and they already have the opportunity to eat the best food at every corner of the world. And we will be fired if do not serve with a similar quality and variety. It is that simple!


  • The yacht kitchen is not a restaurant kitchen. The boss and the guests do not abide by our hours, we need to adapt to theirs. The time of meals and the number of attendees vary like a stock exchange! While you have adequately prepared dinner for 12, in an instant the number may go up to 20, and in the last instant a guest may come to the kitchen saying ‘sorry I forgot to tell you I am vegan, could you please prepare me a meal with just vegetables’! While the meals are cooked in time, I can hear an announcement from my radio saying ‘Chef, Chef! This is the captain speaking, the meal is postponed for one hour’, and I need to be prepared to keep the dishes warm as well. Or the dinner can be completely cancelled.
  • If we are at the sea for a long time, passing the ocean, then we need to prepare the breads as well.
  • What we are required to do best is to organize superbly by using the limited storage facilities taking into account that we cannot go to a market every day. Otherwise you sit down, hungry.


  • Filling up a 80 meter yacht with dry material ranging from flour to pasta, from spices to more fancy sauces costs 20 thousand €. Adding, meat, chicken and fish, filling up a big freezer completely for both the boss and the crew costs 70-80 thousand €.
  • Of course this figure changes according to the boss being Russian, Arabic, Italian or French. Meaning do we buy Beluga caviar or Wagyu beef?…
  • The order costs increase according to the location as well. If we are at the Caribbean or Pacific coasts, the price of the mozzarella provisioned by airplane is small compared to the price of the jet fuel but nobody cares. That mozzarella will come here!


  • The weirdest thing is being obliged to prepare a different menu each day and being familiar with the ingredients that can be seen at every market in every language around every part of the world. We arrive Spain with the flour we buy from Greece, We then depart to Venezuela with the flour we buy from Spain and we have to maintain the same taste for Italian focaccia every time. Knowing well how you cook a fruit and vegetable or fish that we have not seen before, coming from a tropical island means mastering world’s different cuisines. Do you even think how many dishes I know cooking?

For the ones who are wandering about what is being a head chef in a super yacht, meaning before the rich man’s wealth tires the poor man’s jaw, I wanted to make same small and tasty explanations.

Now, I am going to Mykonos after I fill the storages of a 55 meter yacht heading to Mediterranean. Again in a super sail yacht, heading to cook Italian and Mediterranean foods which are my specialty….

See you in Mykonos…