What to consider when designing the ideal yacht galley
Last updated: 05/06/2017
To say that the superyacht galley or kitchen has limited space would be an understatement. It‘s therefore essential that each is designed with due care and attention to detail, and with adequate storage to really maximise the potential of the available space in order to facilitate first-class cooking.
Designing yacht galley spaces - large and small
When designing a galley for a superyacht, the vessel’s type, size and purpose should be the three main considerations to bear in mind. Private yachts, more often than not, will not need masses of expensive equipment, only the necessities - taking into consideration the owner's favourite types of cuisines and dining habits. View our top superyacht galley gadgets here for inspiration and space-saving ideas.
For smaller vessels, you'll need to consider whether that third sink is needed and ensure that clever design consideration is a given to the shape and location of hidden cupboards, overhead storage and pantry rooms. Of course, in a perfect world, all galleys would be large enough for a small team of chefs to move around one another without an elbow nudge or trip hazard, however this luxury is rarely afforded aboard a superyacht.
Specialist superyacht galley layout
We spoke to a head chef on board a 160m superyacht, who wanted to remain anonymous, for his galley design and layout recommendations. He said, “Obviously working on such a large yacht, we have plenty of space for most things. I however, have worked on smaller vessels ranging from 50m up to 160m, so I am knowledgeable in many scenarios.
"With regards to layout, I prefer a central cooking island, with work benches and fridges along the walls, but everyone is different. A good wash up area also makes life easier, with a clear directional flow from dirty dishes to clean, and with space for draining etc…”
On chartered yachts, with stews and stewardesses accessing the galley on a regular basis, it's a good idea to design the galley with fast-moving traffic in mind; for example, keeping all cooking equipment, preparation areas and the chef’s general space at one end of the room, and an area for collecting food/disposing of food at the other end, to avoid any clashes or unnecessary mishaps.
Yacht galley storage and equipment
Adequate storage is a given in any kitchen, but often a luxury aboard a superyacht where provisions and equipment are stored away for unsettled periods at sea. To really maximise the available counter space and storage space, fridge freezers, stoves and other appliances should be concealed in cupboards and under counters, optimised with the help of professional yacht galley designers.
Ideally, the superyacht galley should have a day fridge for the essentials, as well as decent sized walk-in fridges and freezers for the freshest cuisine.
When it comes to cooking equipment, Carole Prudhomme from Nautichef said, “A chef should always have a good steel frying pan to use for meat, without the non-stick coating. These kinds of frying pan can be well heated to grill meat properly. On the other side however, a non-stick pan would be used for fish, vegetables, potatoes, eggs etc…
"When choosing a good quality pan, it's important that the base is thick. If you do buy a non-stick pan, you should choose a non-stick coating that doesn’t contain Teflon, PFOA or PTFE. An experienced and professional galley/kitchen supplier should sell equipment that doesn’t contain these toxic materials."
God-send galley gadgets
With arms full of delicious, well prepared food, galley doors can really be a hassle for the superyacht stew/stewardess. Some yachts may find the addition of foot switches are a god send in the galley. For a small price, this extra could avoid some major spillages. Alternatively, the slightly more expensive option of automatic doors could be beneficial to service.
Our anonymous chef explained, “For me, when it comes to cooking equipment and gadgets, high-quality induction stoves, some kind of chargrill and if possible a blast chiller and separate fish fridge with crushed ice machine would be idyllic. Gadgets like PacoJet, Vita Mix, Sous Vide Circulators and a Vacpac machine are also great.”
Furthermore, food and general waste disposal needs to be considered carefully. A rubbish compactor could be used to remove day to day galley waste, or some vessels compact and refrigerate scraps for removal when visiting a suitable port or marina.