Speaking to many yacht chefs, it seems that today's superyacht galleys are too inefficient; having domestic items and home utensils in a place of work. The Crew Report spoke to chef Manny Slomovits about the struggles superyacht chefs face on board. “What bothers me the most about galley design and equipment these days,” Slomovits tells us, “Is that you have this 50-million dollar yacht being built and they are so worried about hiring a chef in advance to actually help with the design. They leave it until you end up with this ‘Susie Homemaker’ kitchen built for the Mrs. rather than for cranking out crew meals on top of charter guests or owners meals at the same time.”

Credit: Shaw McCutcheon

“You always end up with sinks that never fit a sheet tray in them and a fridge that can never hold anything more than a couple bottles of Evian,” Slomovits continues. “Chefs end up climbing up and down stairs all day long and trying to fit packets of basmati rice in the cracks of the wall or behind electrical wires. We need industrial self-cleaning ovens in the galley. My elbow grease works fine but after seventeen hours of standing on my feet, I really could use some smart equipment.”

We asked Slomovits why the functionality of the galley was so important to get right. “The galley is where majority of the action that really counts comes from,” he replies. “Try telling your boss that food isn't going to be ready since the yard or build captain decided to go with ‘whatever’, rather then actually building a fully functioning galley. I have been on a yacht with a country kitchen where I used to put some of my provisions in the crew area and crank up the AC since I had no cooler space to work with.”

So how do these problems in the galley keep coming about? “It boils down to the build and the chef not being involved” Slomovits explains. “They always bring in the chef last, trying to save money. If my boss and charter guests are going to get top quality meals, I need top quality ingredients and equipment. A good chef is only as good as his or her sharp knife and clean cutting board.”

"I have been on a yacht with a country kitchen where I used to put some of my provisions in the crew area and crank up the AC since I had no cooler space to work with.” - Chef Manny Slomovits

But Slomovits explains that the build is not the only time when having an ivested chef on board is important. “Some boats just don’t want to keep a chef on staff year round,” Slomovits says. “So you have the freelancers come in and do the charters or boss trips. This is when you end up with this jigsaw kind of galley with all sorts of mixed matched equipment everywhere. We are creatures of habit and like using specific equipment so each chef will go out and buy those tools to be successful. This costs extra money and eats away at the potential charter tip or bosses bottom line. It's much better to have a full-time chef year round.”

It appears that the majority of the problems in the galley start when a chef is not involved at the design stage. “I wouldn't expect some architect or engineer to understand what the interior crew have to deal with; its just fractions and angles to them,” Slomovits concludes. “That is why I stop at every booth at a boat show and try to network with as many designers as I can. This way I can make a difference slowly. One thing is for sure, before you design a yacht you should always ask a talented chef and chief stewardess what they really need in order to make the boat function properly for the owner and charter guests. It's the attention to detail that makes the difference in the long run.”