Provisioning nightmare

Everytime I prepare for a charter, I wonder if I’ve bought too much food. Space is always a premium on yachts, but you need to have everything a guest might ask for.

I’ve had to dash off the boat for mushrooms for an omelette; and call 5 provisioners for passion fruit juice on a Sunday. (When by the way everything is closed in France). And did we have any mini salami sticks for the 7 month old baby?

We had a 3 week charter coming up, and I had 3 shopping carts from Carrefour, and a shopping caddy each of meat, seafood and chicken. (I need a caddy of chicken just to feed our deckhand who eats for 3). Also 4 boxes of ice cream and 5 pallets of produce.

My eyes glazed over the sea of dried goods and delicate raspberries spoiling in the sun. I had a headache. i had to lie down. Where was I going to put it all?

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Overwhelmed, I left the galley and salon in disarray for a nap. i kept procrastinating, until there was only an hour before we went to sea.

Guests were coming back in 45 minutes. Pasta went under the sofa; eggs and potatoes with the pots and pans. Everything was out of dight, but i was afraid to open a cupboard and have 5 kilos of broccoli fall on me. There was a bag of lobsters hiding behind the trash can.

So this week, me and the Asha crew are off to Corsica and Italy for 3 weeks with 8 French guests. Things got off to a rocky start; the guests asked if they could drop off luggage and wine the night before…which seemed OK except we needed to meet them at an Italian port about an hour away. An engineer was still working on the boat and we ended up bringing him with us as we set sail.

We met the agent and the family on the quay, along with 20 boxes of wine. No joke. Five types of rosé as well as tons of juice and soft drinks. Not to mention we had already ordered a huge amount of beverages.

Our stewardess joked if we die at sea, it wouldn’t be of thirst. After the guests left, we hit the remote for the gangway (the motorized plank for people to step on the boat). We heard a nasty clanging sound – the belt had snapped. After hours of trying to fix it ourselves, we were in trouble; if we didn’t fix this problem our charter would be cancelled and would 150,000€.

At midnight, the captain called his Italian mechanic and two men came on the boat at 8am the next morning. The guests were not supposed to arrive until 10am; but instead they showed up at 9am with more food and no way to get on the boat.

Luckily the gangway was fixed, and everyone came on board.
One woman, who is slightly heavier, gave me a container of protein powder and shaker. For her diet. Everyone is on a diet. That’s what people say; No one ever says i want cheeseburgers and macaroni and cheese and eat like a fatso when you step on a yacht. However, people will still want to eat well. So I start with fish and vegetables on the first day and end with steak and chocolate lava cake at the end.

Today’s lunch menu:

Starter
Grilled langouste (clawless French lobster)
Rocket with orange and olive oil vinaigrette
Grapefruit segments
Black caviar

Main course
Grilled St. Pierre (firm flaky fish)
Pasta torrefié with fresh pesto and marinated cepe (porcini) mushrooms
Steamed haricots verts

Dessert
Berries and balsamic vinaigrette

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Dinner musings for tonight:
Scallops with red beet root coulis
Filet mignon roasted fingerling potatoes asparagus
Yuzu sorbet and fresh berries

Everyone cleared their plates. Does this mean I should be giving them more food? Before first and second course, there dolphins and whales in the ocean saying hi to us. I think it’s a good omen for the next three weeks!

Categories: Uncategorized

Author:ivyeats

Ivy Dai is a chef, food writer and food TV host. The California native is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles and has trained with renowed pastry chefs at Hediard and Lenotre in France.

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