“Most captains, pursers, management companies and owners have no issue with buying new lines that cost 3,000-plus US dollars, but ask for a Pacojet [a first-class puree machine] at the same price and it sends their heads spinning,” reveals Slomovits. “Normally the response is, ‘Chef, I am sure you can do without it’.”
When chefs put in a request for new galley equipment, more often than not these requests are followed by a multitude of questions by what Slomovits calls “the powers that be” – whether this be captain, owner, chief stewardess, purser or manager. Chefs will often be asked if there is a cheaper alternative that can be replaced when necessary and about the specific menu that requires the equipment, or simply view the request as a new toy for the chef to play with in the galley. “It always sends my head spinning when I get into these conversations and hear that an owner spent 60 million-plus euros to build a new yacht but doesn’t want the chef to spend 4,000 euros on proper pots and pans.”
For this chef, however, it’s easy to justify spending on these high-ticket items that bring an owner’s on-board galley into the modern world. “My job as a chef isn’t to save my boss money. My job is to serve amazing food to my crew, owner and charter guests. We all know that operating a yacht with the sole purpose to save or make money is like trying to dig a hole in the middle of an ocean with a pasta strainer.”
- Manny Slomovits, chef, M/Y Legend
Chefs must remember whose money they are asking to spend, however, and Slomovits is equally adamant that there is a respectfulness and responsibility that comes hand in hand with these monetary requests. “I always make sure I am not being ripped off and am respectful of using my owner’s money, and staying within the budget. You still have to justify any purchase you make and explain in detail what you’re buying and why. It’s not a free-for-all and it should never be that way.”
For this chef, building a positive relationship with the yacht’s captain and owner goes a long way. This way an owner will know the chef’s spending requests are with the best interests of the owner in mind, with a view to providing top-level food to go with the expected top-level service.
Find the full article by chef Manny Slomovits in issue 74 of The Crew Report – out mid-June.