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10 Best Charter Yacht Chefs

Charter broker Missy Johnston at Northrop and Johnson Worldwide Yacht Charters says: “It is hard to beat Sarakoglou Dimitrous, chef on the 130-foot motoryacht Happy Dolphin II in the lovely Greek Islands. Sarakoglou has won the Top Chef award given by his charter industry peers at the Poros Yacht Charter Show for the past three years running. This is an award for exceptional cuisine, including taste and presentation. Winning three years in a row against other yachts available for crewed charter in the Greek Islands is an extraordinary achievement.”

CharterWave editor Kim Kavin has several recommendations this week, as well. First is for chef Patrick Roney aboard the 132-foot Amels motoryacht Monte Carlo: “Patrick is a frequent winner at industry-only chefs’ competitions. He gained a great deal of experience working in organic restaurants in California Wine Country, and he can prepare fantastic tasting menus for charter clients using local cuisine no matter the destination or itinerary.”

Kim also is a fan of chef Shane Burke onboard the 113-foot motoryacht Eleanor Allen: “It’s hard not to be impressed by a chef who joined the yachting industry and won the Antibes Boat Show cooking contest all in the same month. His traditional cuisine is delicious, and he dabbles in the cooking technique called spherisphication, too, which means interesting bites on every plate.”

Chef Geoffrey Fisher aboard the 164-foot Trinity motoryacht Wheels is another of Kim’s favorite charter yacht chefs: “He is another major award winner in the industry, and he continues to earn praise from charter clients at the highest levels of the business. Geoffrey’s presentation is just as memorable as the taste of his food. It’s like he makes little works of art on every plate.”

Elizabeth Lee aboard the 73-foot sailing catamaran Wonderful is another of Kim’s choices: “Elizabeth has long been a favorite chef among charter brokers because their clients return absolutely raving about the food onboard Wonderful. Whenever I see the yacht in a charter show, I make a beeline over to see what hors d’oeuvres Elizabeth has prepared. I’m never disappointed.”

Kim was quite impressed with chef Hamish Watson aboard the 183-foot Benetti motoryacht Galaxy: “He prepared a multi-course tasting dinner that spanned two decks of the yacht and included more than 20 guests. The presentation and service were impressive, and every single course was memorable. Absolutely one of the best meals I’ve ever had onboard a megayacht.”

Philippe LeScelleur of the 130-foot Westport motoryacht Arioso also made a favorable impression on Kim: “I enjoyed a boat show luncheon with Philippe’s cooking several years ago, and he remains one of my favorite chefs in the industry. No matter how many new chefs I meet, I still think Philippe’s food stands out among the competition.”

Tarina Shadgett is a newcomer to the industry who impressed Kim at a boat show luncheon aboard the 163-foot Christensen motoryacht Casino Royale: “It wasn’t just the delicious tastes on the plate, but also the presentation. Right after lunch, I told Tarina I thought she had a good chance of winning the annual chef’s competition. She was embarrassed because it was her first year entering—but don’t you know she went out there and won on her first try. She’s that good.”

Mark Miles of the 72-foot sailing yacht Pacific Wave is another of Kim’s favorite charter yacht chefs: “Mark has an agriculture background and knows about food from the farm all the way to the plate. He makes a serious effort to choose exquisite produce and other products at the local markets, and then he cooks in a traditional style that features the most seasonal flavors. He’s just terrific.”

Last but not least on Kim’s list of favorite charter yacht chefs is Gisele Lannamann of the 67-foot sailing yacht Aurora. “I met Giselle when she and her husband were still running the 64-foot Hinckley sailing yacht Gadget, and even then, she was cooking at a level that was way beyond what I expect aboard sailing yachts in that size range. Giselle is a favorite among charter brokers, too, because their clients absolutely rave about her cooking.”