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Superyacht Chef Competition - Gourmet pleasures: superyacht chefs compete on creativity

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All the best ingredients were there to ensure a successful 5th Superyacht Chef Competition, organised by Yacht Club de Monaco and Bluewater. As part of the YCM's La Belle Classe Academy training centre, the contest once again brought together the cream of fine cuisine, both behind the stoves and in the Jury. "Every year, this event gathers professionals passionate about their art, ready to take on the challenge of producing refined dishes in restricted work spaces so characteristic of a galley. By putting the spotlight on this often overlooked facet of yachting professions, the Superyacht Chef Competition helps reinforce values of the collective ‘Monaco Capital of Advanced Yachting' approach," said YCM General Secretary Bernard d'Alessandri, the evening before when the chefs were seated at a table in the Yacht Club de Monaco enjoying a social occasion.

 

Palace hotel culture

Supervised by Chef Joël Garault, President of Goûts et Saveurs, this vintage once again produced some surprises. A host of professionals joined the international jury to give their verdicts on some memorable culinary experiences, headed by Chef Glenn Viel who succeeded Yannick Alléno this year. The three Michelin star chef promotes eco-responsible cuisine at the Oustau de Baumanière gourmet restaurant. "It's a fast-paced contest. We had very dynamic candidates who produced some fabulous dishes in a very short time. The level was high and everything I ate today very good," said the man who officiates on the jury of the Top Chef show. This year also welcomed Marco Tognon (M/Y Planet - 72m), winner of last year's edition; Chef Danny Davies, host of ‘Behind the Line with Chef Danny Davies' and experienced vegan author of two books; Chef Julien Roucheteau, a former student of the Ferrandi School in Paris and two-time Michelin star; Chef Fred Ramos, disciple of the renowned Jacques Maximin; and Victoria Vallenilla. The Objectif Top Chef finalist was impressed by how responsive they all were: "They don't have much time and are discovering these workstations without knowing where things are. They're also cooking under pressure with an audience watching them. It's already proof of a certain mastery of their profession".

 

Culinary art in the spotlight

Nine superyacht chefs set foot on terra firma to get busy in the workstations set up for them on the quay. Paulo Ucha Longhin (M/Y Hercules - 50m), Joelyanne Lefaucher (M/Y Artemis - 33m), Mateusz Mitka (M/Y Lady Britt - 63m), Margot Laurent (M/Y Leonardo III - 43m), Enzo Di Garbo (M/Y L.A.U.L. - 39m), Giacomo Seregni (M/Y Severin's - 55m), Jérémie Gruson (M/Y Victoria del mar - 50m) and Ava Faulkner (M/Y Light Holic - 60m) tackled the tasks with dexterity. Contestants kept cool heads as the basket of mystery ingredients was only unveiled five minutes before the start. A moment of reflection to get the creative juices going while the public decided via a QR code which extra ingredient to add. Thinking on their feet and flexibility are key attributes of chefs on superyachts. The big winner was Paulo Ucha Longhin (M/Y Hercules - 50m) for his recipe based on glazed lobster, hazelnut butter and bisque, a lemon tartare and caviar, followed by a dessert of mascarpone cream with cocoa and strawberry tartare with basil and lemon cream. "I was very stressed but in a good way but the moment I arrived at the workstation I forgot everything and gave it my best shot. If you know how to organise it all from the start, it can work," said the winner of this fifth edition.

 

This year, contestants combined creativity with sustainability as they had to adhere to an anti-food waste criterium under the beady eyes of Chef Duncan Biggs. They had to use every ingredient in the mystery basket or risk a penalty based on an external scoring grid. This initiative is part of the CSR policy of the Yacht Club de Monaco.

 

 

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