Chef's corner: Andrew Reagan, chef of 75.5 metre Wheels
A brand new 70 metre Amels was an impressive start to a career as superyacht chef. Now, Andrew Reagan joins 75.5 metre Wheels after working with the owner on his previous boat. Andrew talks collaborating with guests, keeping up with trends, and some of the strangest requests he’s had on board.
"It sounds a bit cheesy because I’m a chef but I genuinely love cooking. I love cooking an array of different food, I love travelling and being at sea, and I love meeting new and interesting people. I worked in Michelin restaurants for many years where it’s all blood, sweat and tears but I got out of that. I’m not the pan throwing kind.
I’ve got to keep on top of my game. On board I’m learning all the time because you get thrown curveballs with new food fads and dietary requirements, but I still go on courses. My last one was a pasty course in Barcelona and there was also a molecular gastronomy course, just to keep on top of what’s going on.
My favourite thing to cook is Asian food. One of the owners loved Asian food so much he sent me to Hong Kong where I spent two months working and learning.
The strangest request I’ve ever had was for a dog. I would have to cook for it daily. The owner would tell me what it wanted - veal and creamed spinach with a little jus. She would then taste it and if she was happy she would give it to the dog. It would even sit at the head of the table on a pillow. And that’s not all, the dog would only drink Evian water. We were once in Denmark and we couldn’t find it anywhere, so we had to charter a plane from the South of France to bring a load of Evian to the boat.
My ideal guest is someone that loves food. Someone who would go to the market with me in the morning, pick out ingredients and say “oh look what can we do with this”. We would then come back and cook lunch and dinner with whatever produce we could get. It actually makes my job easier and it’s fun to put a menu together with guests.
I remember once on Octopus we had taken on seven tonnes of meat. It’s not like we’re a cruise ship, we were just a private yacht with 10 guests! We picked up the meat in San Francisco and then when we arrived in New Zealand, we picked up another six tonnes."