Cooking up a storm: Galley gadgets for superyacht chefs
Written by Sophie Allen
Last updated: 09/06/2016
When working as a chef on board a superyacht, galley kitchens aren’t particularly roomy and so equipment needs to be chosen wisely. Gadgets and equipment on board need to be practical, long-lasting and versatile, able to assist you in creating culinary delights at a moment’s notice.
Below, we’ve rounded up some must-haves for superyacht chefs to make life that little bit easier when the pressure’s on.
Preparing frozen ingredients on board
During the summer, guests may fancy something more refreshing. This is where Swiss gourmet device Pacojet comes in, able to prepare a range of sweet and savoury creations from frozen.
Using a unique method called ‘pacotizing’, the Pacojet uses precision-spinning to process frozen ingredients into a fine, smooth consistency, without ever allowing them to thaw and lose any nutrition or freshness.
The Pacojet is able to produce a whole range of accompaniments to dishes, including pâtés, mousses, sauces, and generally anything your imagination desires. It’s also able to make a pretty hefty portion of each; for example according to the makers, Pacojet can mix up to 15l of sorbet, 15kg of mousse, or 150 portions of soup in just one hour. So while the average price for a Pacojet stands at over £3,000, you can certainly get your money’s worth!
Self-cleaning blender for superyacht chefs
If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to £3,000 on board, but you still want a gadget that does a sterling job, you might want to consider the Vitamix food processor.
Faster and more effective than a standard food processor, you can grind, chop, blend and puree an array of ingredients. It also features a radial cooling fan and thermal protection system to prevent any overheating, and what’s more, it’s self-cleaning; so instead of scrubbing, you can start to plan your next culinary creation.
Sensational sous vide machines for chefs
In recent years, sous-vide (or “under vacuum”) cooking has become increasingly popular, particularly with professional chefs. This is due to the ability to cook food at the perfect temperature in a vacuum-packed bag, and quite literally seal in the flavour and freshness of the ingredients.
Sous-vide is adopted for a range of different ingredients, from meat and fish for main courses, to eggs and fruit for breakfast or in a dessert. The two main ways to sous-vide food are via an immersion circulator or water bath.
Sous Vide Supreme, a PID-controlled water oven, is similar to a water-bath, but prevents the need for an immersion circulator by using thermal convection to achieve a consistent temperature. So that’s one less add-on to worry about but nevertheless, be warned that such gadgets do tend to take up a lot of space in the galley.
Immersion circulators such as the Anova simply clip on to the side of a pot or water bath, able to circulate the water to a specific temperature. If you’ve got your heart set on sous-vide cooking, an immersion circulator could be the way to go as it’s considerably less bulky and often cheaper than an all-in-one.
Something else to bear in mind with sous-vide is that for the best results, you’ll need a good vacuum sealer to lock in the freshness and stop any air from escaping. These can be purchased for around £100.
A sous-chef blender replacement
Depending on the overall size of the superyacht, there can be barely enough room in a galley to swing a cat, let alone accommodate a full kitchen staff. Chefs can often be a one-man-band on board, and when this is the case, all-in-one mixers can be hugely helpful on board.
One particularly popular brand is Thermomix, as you can measure, prepare and set your ingredients to cook without worry; it’s the electronic sous-chef you’ve always wanted.
The Thermomix has got some competition though. Magimix’s Cook Expert is giving the much-loved machine a run for its money. Like the Thermomix, it’s able to do just about everything you would need from an extra pair of hands in the kitchen, and like the Vitamix, the Cook Expert is self-cleaning.
However, as you’ll already know, an all-in-one doesn’t come cheap, so prices start around the £1,000 mark, depending on the brand.
If you’re looking to create a new cooking space on board, take a look at our guide to designing a yacht galley or kitchen.
You may also be looking for a galley and catering specialist or want to find those perfect ingredients on board; if so take a look at our list of galley and catering and provisioning suppliers. Or if you’re a supplier working in the superyacht industry, add your business to Yachtingpages.com.