Mighty Meals From A Small Kitchen
From the Smallest of Kitchens Comes the Mightiest of Meals!
By: Chef Shelly Tucker
s/v Three Moons threemoonsyacht.com
Shall we spoil ourselves with a fully crewed private yacht charter captain & chef? Or, should we step outside our comfort zone, book a bareboat and take care of all the sailing and provisioning ourselves? All charter yacht adventures face this great debate; we've included some helpful tips to help you decide!
If you choose to prepare your own meals aboard, exploring the world by charter offers curious cooks a boatload of new experiences, including the opportunity to try new spices and recipes from exotic destinations. While you can always find restaurants ashore, we recommend bareboaters purchase enough provisioning to cover breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and some of your dinners. There's something about being out on the water that makes everyone really hungry!
Many vacationers find the most convenient provisions/beverages option to be placing their order in advance of the charter. This takes the hassle out of provisioning by pre-stocking your bareboat with quality supplies. Many Charter companies offer their own provisioning packages. Compare packages online as they often have customizable options designed to suit every preference. Options range from basic charter kits with condiments, spices, paper goods and cleaning supplies to split provisioning which provides breakfast, lunch and snacks for each day and dinner for half of your time onboard. Full provisioning packages are designed for those who plan to dine onboard for all meals. Of course, even bareboats have the option of hiring a chef!
If you choose not to book provisioning with your charter company you can order direct from the local grocery stores. This option can be cheaper and many groceries offer free delivery. The two largest grocery stores in Road Town, Tortola are Bobby's Market Place and Rite Way. You can simply download the order forms from their sites and submit your order directly or choose to self-provision the day your charter starts.
Keep in mind that the prices for provisioning in St. Thomas, USVI are about 10% higher than in the U.S. In Tortola, BVI, it's more like 15-20% higher. When it comes to booze, hard liquors and wines are slightly cheaper than in the U.S. and beer tends to be a bit more expensive. You may be amazed to find that the mixers and sodas are more expensive than the alcohols! It's no wonder the drinks are strong in the islands!
Food isn't the only thing chefs must consider aboard. Almost everything you will consume will need to be supplied, including charcoal for the grill. Be sure to check your specific yacht information pages for a list of items included with your charter and then make your own list of "must have" items.
If all of these provisioning considerations leave you thinking you don't want to spend your vacation feeding and cleaning up after the crew, there may be a better option!
The meals provided aboard a professionally crewed charter yacht are comparable to a 5 star restaurant. Charter yacht chefs offer top quality food and immaculate presentation. Expect to find yourself excitedly wondering what is in store for the next meal, whipped up in our tiny efficient galleys. Charter Chefs accommodate guest requests and adjust their menus to their tastes. We stock our galley with all of your favorite ingredients and try to produce ever-more-awe-inspiring meals as the week's vacation goes on. I always enjoy introducing guests to new islands tastes and flavors!
Filling out a preference sheet for your yacht charter chef can be boring; but remember, chefs aren't mind readers. Just like Murphy's Law, if you don't tell your chef that you hate brussel sprouts, chances are they'll be served! Provisioning for unusual items can be difficult and your chef will need to know about any of your special dietary needs before your arrive. If any of the members of your group are lactose intolerant or require gluten-free entrees, please let your chef know in advance. It's very important that you get together as a group to fill out your food preference sheet and contact the captain or chef if you have any last minute requests. Another important point is to let your chef know as soon as possible if you are planning to eat ashore. While all chefs love to cook and show off their talents, they are always more than happy to suggest the perfect restaurant ashore that will enhance your sailing vacation experience in the islands!
A Special Recipe from Chef Shelly Tucker, s/v Three Moons:
Award-winning Three Moons Yacht Aloha Pineapple Delight
Ingredients: 4 (8-oz. pkgs.) cream cheese-softened, 3/4 cup pineapple-coconut marmalade-divided, 1/2 cup sweet & spicy mango chutney, 4 scallions-finely chopped by hand, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 2 cups pecans-lightly toasted, 1 fresh pineapple-crown removed (choose a pineapple crown that looks good!)
1. Soften cream cheese and stir in 1/4 cup pineapple-coconut marmalade, mango chutney, chopped scallions and garlic powder.
2. Spoon mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a long oval. Wrap the cream cheese mixture in additional plastic wrap and allow to chill for several hours or overnight.
3. Just before serving, remove the cream cheese mixture from the refrigerator and coat with the remaining pineapple-coconut marmalade.
4. Starting at the base of the cream cheese oval, place pecans in rows, working your way up. The pecans will begin to look like the exterior of a pineapple as they are placed on the cream cheese!
5. Garnish with the pineapple crown and arrange parsley around the base. Serve with assorted crackers. Yields: Lots for Party! 10-12 servings.
s/v Three Moons
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