Last week, one of the UK's most talented and creative chefs, Tom Aikens, visited Palma-based mymuybueno Cookery School where he held two intimate one-day courses and shared his culinary expertise with 16 fortunate superyacht chefs. Aikens, who at the age of 26 became the youngest British chef awarded two Michelin stars, taught the students a range of skills and techniques over three signature dishes.
The three dishes included a starter of 'Root & Stem Salad with Mandarin Dressing', a main course of 'John Dory, Cauliflower, Minted Squid, Jasmine', and a dessert of 'Green Tea & Dill Yogurt, Green Tea Sorbet & Matcha Tea Sponge'. Aikens first made the dishes as a demo and then the chefs followed with the practical to each create their own, which they then all sat to enjoy eating with a glass of wine.
Unsurprisingly, the courses were very popular, with the chefs keen to take advantage of the unique opportunity to absorb new ideas from such a legendary chef and integrate them into their on-board roles. “This course will impact my role through bettering my knowledge of certain techniques and ingredients and offer me inspiration for this upcoming season,” commented Romy Jansen, chef on sailing yacht Ghost. “It’s all very positive learning from my peers as well as Tom.”
Others in attendance emphasised the significance of having access to chefs of Tom Aikens’ calibre, which allows them to experience what is being done in the world’s most innovative restaurants. “We work all around the world and often don’t get the chance to eat in amazing restaurants to obtain ideas and keep up with the latest trends,” explained Susan Elliott, head chef on motoryacht Nahlin. “Having access to these day courses enables us to have an insight into these restaurants. It refreshes your mind and, being with like-minded chefs, ideas bounce off each other from the dishes you are learning.”
The courses also offer students stimulation that they might otherwise be missing out on. “Working as a yacht chef you don’t always learn as quickly as you would in a restaurant working alongside other chefs,” added Michelle Bonetti, head chef on motoryacht Icon. “It’s important to continue to learn with chefs such as Tom Aikens to keep you up to date with industry trends and to continually challenge yourself.”
Aikens is one of many guest chefs that mymuybueno Cookery School has hosted to give students the opportunity to learn from their expertise. To date, the school’s other guest chefs include Justin Gellatly, Mark Tilling, Phil Clark, Claire Hutchings, Jurgen Koens and Marc Fosh. CEO Justine Murphy has big ambitions for the future to continue bringing the biggest names in the culinary industry to the school to inspire and excite students with their individual experience in their field of cooking.
“Superyacht chefs get such little time off that going to do a course is a big deal,” Murphy explains. “Bringing these individuals that don’t usually offer courses to Palma to teach in a small class means that the students can really pick their brains on techniques appropriate to the galley. It’s an experience: they can then take this training back to their boat, where it will have an impact on their guests and bring up the standard of the whole industry.”
Images courtesy of mymuybueno Cookery School
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