Ulysses Luxury Yacht ~ Private Chef Interview
Have you ever dreamed of cruising around in a luxury charter yacht? If you’ve ever been lucky enough to experience the yachting luxury lifestyle from the perspective of a guest then you’ll certainly be aware that it’s an experience like no other, full of the finer things in life. Some people call luxury yachts their home; some live and work full time on these magnificent super boats. These fortunate few get to experience almost everything that the guests do and they get paid for their time as well!
Shane, a New Zealander who has been living on yachts for over 10 years, is currently the chef on board the superyacht Ulysses based in the Mediterranean. He recently shared some of his story and some of his best yachting experiences from his time spent traveling around the globe and it certainly sounds rewarding living amidst the ultimate luxury lifestyle.
How did you end up on yachts?
“I started out working in restaurants like most chefs and worked my way up to become the sous-chef at a Michelin starred restaurant. One day by chance some friends of mine phoned me up saying they knew somebody looking for a chef on one of their luxury yachts. I jumped at the chance and have been on boats ever since.”
During his time working on luxury charter yachts Shane has travelled all over the globe. “In total I have clocked up over 200,000 nautical miles which will be pretty hard to beat. I have been fortunate enough to have seen so many wonderful things and met some incredible people along the way.”
What Memories Stand Out?
“My best cooking while yachting experience would have to be cooking a spit roast pig on a pink sand beach in Fakarava, an atoll in the west of the Tuamotu group in French Polynesia. Everyone got involved including the guests and everyone wanted a go at turning the spit. When you see everyone else enjoying themselves so much, all the hard work is worth it. Whilst we were here we went diving with the boss and saw some incredible sea life including bottle nosed dolphins and hundreds of sharks.”
Can you always get the supplies that you need?
“Shopping on a luxury superyacht is not always easy. On my first boat in Chile I had a real baptism of fire. We were making a crossing to Pitcairn Island that would take 5 weeks and so I had to make sure that we had enough provisions. I hit the fish market in Valdivia and pretty much took everything. I ended up leaving the market with 14 shopping trollies packed full to the brim and two whole pallets of fruit and veg. It took me a couple of days just to pack everything away and clean and freeze the meat and fish for the journey. After all this I still didn’t have enough food and so I took a helicopter to Carrefour to stock up even more. It’s a yachting lifestyle memory of mine that I’ll never forget. Now that I’m based in the Med there are great provisions and shopping is a lot less stressful. I use Gourmet Deliveries as I really like them, and they will get me all the yacht supplies I need delivered straight to the boat. When I have a 2 day turn-around I can’t really afford to shop – I fill in their form and they get it sorted.”
What is your style?
“I don’t have a particular style. I love markets and fresh ingredients. I don’t really tie myself down and just let my ingredients govern what I cook. I want people to come onboard and feel at home so they let me know what they like and I go with that. I can do American, Mexican, Korean, Japanese, French, Italian – anything they want. I get lessons from some guests and I give cooking lessons to others. I do love a good BBQ, and we have one onboard MY Ulysses. I like getting the right cuts of meat. I suppose it is a “primal” way to eat. I also make my own pasta.”
What do you do in your free time?
“Nowadays I have the chance to spend more time at home in New Zealand with my family as I only work in the summer. I love snowboarding and so I also spend a lot of my time off in Alps D’Huez or Tignes in the French Alps riding some fresh snow. I live near the mountains in NZ so it reminds me of home when I’ve been away yachting for a while, plus the snow is better and the hills are higher. I also love to eat steak and drink red wine.”
If you want to find out more about Shane’s incredible luxury yachting story and try some of his exquisite cuisine, My Ulysses is available for yacht charter in the Mediterranean this summer with Fraser Yachts.