Chef Christian Richards from 49 metre Trinity yacht La Dea II had a rather rattling request from a charter guest. “Guests often request some bizarre things,” Richards says. “Once a Mexican charterer asked for rattlesnake – luckily it arrived already dead and on ice.”
Another poisonous request landed on the chopping board of Chef Craig Stevens. Currently sailing on board 62.5 metre Icon-built yacht Icon, Chef Stevens won the 49m-plus category at the 15th annual Antigua Chefs Competition. He says the strangest request he ever received from a guest was to prepare poisonous puffer fish, “because apparently it’s good for the libido."
"I said no.”
Fresh from the source gets a whole new meaning with this rather strange cuisine request. Chef Nathan Cox, who calls the galley on the 95 metre Lürssen superyacht Kismet home, once had a guest who requested to drink milk “straight from a cow’s teat that was grazing in a nearby meadow ashore”.
Chef Guy Kidd from 90 metre classically styled motor yacht Nero had some guests who found dining al fresco by the water wasn’t good enough – they wanted to dine right in the water. “The strangest request we’ve had was to serve a floating breakfast – we set up an inflatable table in a remote bay in Turkey,” Chef Kidd says. “All went well until a thunderstorm rolled in!”
Luxury yacht Nero is available for charter.
Chef Richard Ambachtsheer, from the 57 metre yacht Lady Sara (ex-Lady Linda), had clients who were craving familiar foods. “We were in St Barths and the guests had to have bagels from Zabar’s in New York for the next day,” Chef Ambachtsheer says.
“We did it. We got a private jet and flew them in; the pilots taxied them to us.”
Some yacht guests’ comfort foods translate to junk food. Chef Shannon Bates on board the 50 metre Westport yacht Aquavita says the request she finds the craziest is yacht guests who will only eat pizza and French fries the entire trip – no vegetables at all! “I guess that throws me off a little bit,” admits the healthy food-loving Chef Bates.
Sweet and savory can be the ultimate flavour combination, while other gastro-mergers are more questionable. Chef Joseph Henningsen of the 46 metre Richmond Yachts’ Excellence says he had a guest who asked to have peanut butter on his fish. “And I said, ‘Listen, I've never done before, I don't know what to do. How about if I just put it on the side?’ And he basically lathered the peanut butter on the branzino (European sea bass) like it was bread.”
Yacht chefs pride themselves on being able to source ingredients from anywhere in the world, and Chef Guy Kidd of 90 metre motor yacht Nero was put to the test when a guest requested a very rare Yubari King melon. The melon can only be found in a small town in Japan.
“The farmer cuts off all but one fruit from the tree so all the vital nutrients concentrate in that melon,” Chef Kidd explains. “The result is an exceptionally smooth, fantastic flavour.” But it’s not cheap – prices start at €2,500 for a single melon!
Award-winning Chef Kdn Lyne of 40 metre Christensen Sweet Escape’s most outlandish food request wasn’t as wild as it was a head scratcher to deliver. “The most challenging guest I had only wanted to eat Italian food,” Chef Lyne laments. The challenge? “But he didn’t want any olive oil or seasoning, so what did he need me for?”
Hopefully more of Sweet Escape's charter guests will appreciate Chef Lyne's outstanding cooking skills.