Not 10 seconds after I’d stepped aboard the 107-foot Ocea motoryacht Paolyre, chef Sylvie Vuillard was holding out a plate and asking me, “Would you like to try some of my homemade chocolates?”
I honestly didn’t understand why the offer was posed as a question. Who would say no to that?
As it turns out, fantastic homemade dark chocolate is just one of Vuillard’s culinary gifts. She was born in Switzerland (hence the appreciation for top-quality sweets) but has spent her entire culinary career seeking ideas from other nations and other cultures that she can adapt for yacht charter clients to enjoy.
One way that Vuillard allows charter guests to sample what she’s learned is through her appetizers. She makes plates of pre-lunch and pre-dinner nibbles so guests can taste without feeling pressure to finish anything they don’t adore.
Her appreciation of Turkish cuisine led to her appetizer of pide (Turkish pizza). Italian-food lovers can taste her parmesan aubergine. She makes Swiss gruyere puff pastries, French gougeres (another type of pastry), Asian curried prawns, Japanese sushi, Spanish grilled chili peppers and, yes, American mini-hamburgers and mini-hot dogs.
“I try to find, in every country, something to inspire me,” Vuillard told me. “I go to school. I learn to make the product.”