Top 8 yacht galley gadgets for superyacht chefs
Last updated: 07/06/2017
Any superyacht chef will know that the superyacht galleys and kitchens of yachts gone by weren’t made to be particularly roomy, regardless of their size, so galley gadgets and catering equipment certainly had to be chosen wisely.
Although galley space is not such a pressing issue today with the increase in practical explorer yachts and their first-class kitchens, catering equipment should still be versatile, facilitating the preparation of the most exciting and delicious dishes on board, so Yachting Pages spoke to superyacht galley suppliers to scope out the best superyacht galley gadgets on the market.
1. Cooking on gas
At the heart of any kitchen is the oven or cooker, and although marine ovens will differ slightly in design to cope with choppy waters, this is no different aboard a superyacht.
The marine oven is arguably one of the most useful pieces of equipment in the superyacht galley, with Grégory Gerard at Enodis France naming high-speed varieties as the best on offer at the current moment.
Dubbed “the smallest unit with the biggest results”, he named the Merrychef Eikon e2s high-speed oven as one of the most exciting for the superyacht galley; “One of the most innovative products in the catering industry as far as marine and superyacht galleys are concerned is the Merrychef Eikon e2s high-speed oven. It’s designed to endure the corrosive and jolting nature of the marine environment, and delivers fresh, hot food quickly at the touch of an icon.
“It cooks, toasts, grills, bakes and regenerates fresh and frozen foods, such as sandwiches, pastries, pizzas, fish, vegetables and meat, allowing for rapid menu changes and additional food offerings at the drop of a hat, making it perfect for superyacht cooking.”
According to manufacturers, the Eikon e2s Marine can cook a pizza to perfection in 50 seconds, and steaming salmon steaks in just 70 seconds!
2. Sensational superyacht sinks
Due to space constraints in the superyacht galley, the kitchen sink becomes a much more integral preparation area than on dry land. As such, it’s undergone major innovation in the marine industry to place it at the heart of kitchen food prep and making it an extremely flexible piece of kitchen equipment.
Over at Dornbracht, superyacht sinks have become branded as ‘Water Zones’ describing the spatial separation of different water-related tasks just as they are in the professional kitchen. Specially configured ‘Water Units’ (basins) and ‘Water Sets’ (fittings) have been configured for each Water Zone: preparation, cooking, cleaning, drinking, chopping boards and universal use.
Although not exclusive to the marine industry, Nina Heierhoff at Dornbracht explained that on-demand water dispensers have become one of the most important features in the superyacht galley, providing a combined source for hot and cold water at the press of a lever, perfect for food preparation, cooking, cleaning and on-demand drinks.
She explained, “Dornbracht Hot & Cold Water Dispensers are combined to provide cold, filtered water when the lever is pushed backwards, and boiling hot water when moved forwards, so both are readily available whenever or wherever needed.
“Available in five different designs and three finishes, dispensers all have an exceedingly tall and slender spout that provides plenty of space to work under in the kitchen.”
3. Sous-vide machines
In recent years, sous-vide or ‘under vacuum’ cooking has gained traction in gourmet and superyacht catering, as well as in the home, with food sealed in airtight plastic and cooked for several hours at a low heat to seal in the freshness and flavour of the ingredients.
Using an immersion circulator or water bath, sous vide cooking can be adopted to prepare a range of ingredients and dishes for delightful dinners, from eggs for breakfast, to meat and fish for main courses and fruit for desserts.
One such example is the SousVide Supreme; a PID-controlled water oven - similar to a water bath, but without the need for an immersion circulator as it instead uses thermal convection to achieve a consistent temperature.
Although that’s one less add-on to worry about, these gadgets do take up precious space in the galley – especially as you’ll also need a vacuum sealer for the best results. Immersion circulators such as the Anova Precision Cooker may therefore offer another alternative for those who have their heart set on sous-vide cooking, as it simply clips on to the side of a pot or water bath to circulate the water to a specific temperature.
Speaking to OnboardOnline, Cedric Segula, chef and owner of Secrets du Cuisine and Sea Chef Services, explained, “Sous-vide is a modern method of cooking which chefs should consider as an integral piece of their armoury of cookware. It’s not a cheap piece of equipment; prices for professional sous-vide machines start from around €500 and the sky’s the limit, but it’s certainly worth it – cooking sous-vide can produce the most amazing results that won’t fail to impress guests and leave them hungry for more.”
4. Steaming ahead
If sous-vide cooking seems a little too fussy for your superyacht cooking requirements, steam-injected combi ovens can instead be adopted. According to Galleytek, combi ovens have become one of the most sought-after pieces in galley equipment: “The combi-steamer is top of the list. Baking, steaming, grilling, roasting and sous-vide cooking can be done in this all-round versatile piece of equipment.”
Grégory at Enodis France explained that the Convotherm 4 range of marine combi steamers have an ACS+ system that “ensures peak cooking performance” with “perfect steam saturation, automatic humidity adjustment and fast, even heat transfer for convection to deliver an ideal, constant cooking environment for all dishes.”
He said, “Available in two designs and seven sizes, Convotherm 4 marine units come equipped with disappearing doors with soft-close dampers making them flexible and functional in the superyacht galley. The range follows the principal of ‘form follows function’, with great design combined with intuitive operation and straightforward servicing, plus the ovens offer a new concept in hygiene with all main areas that come into contact with the user – the control panel, door handle and hand shower - made of an innovative material that contains embedded silver ions.”
5. Preparing purées on board
On the other end of the cooking spectrum, frozen-food preparation has become a little more exciting thanks to Swiss gourmet device Pacojet, which ‘micro purées’ deep-frozen foods into the lightest and most delightful dishes; think mousses, pates, ice creams, sorbets, soups, sauces and fillings.
Using a unique method known as ‘Pacotizing’, the Pacojet uses precision spinning to process frozen ingredients into a fine, smooth consistency without ever allowing them to thaw and lose nutrition and freshness. In fact, it can make up a pretty hefty portion according to the makers, mixing up 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 make sure to get your money’s worth!
6. Fancy food processors
When space only allows for one chef in the galley, and budgets don’t stretch to £3,000, an all-in-one food processor certainly comes in handy.
One longstanding popular processor is the Thermomix, as you can measure, prepare and set your ingredients to cook. Among its 12-in-one functions, the Thermomix chops, kneads, blends, steams and cooks in one!
Magimix’s Cook Expert is another popular processor for yachties, as like the Thermomix , it can do just about everything you would need from an extra pair of hands in the kitchen - apart from programming itself! For a similar price, the Cook Expert offers a food processor attachment and optional dicing and juicing capabilities. Furthermore, it’s self-cleaning making for a quicker clean down at the end of the night, but be sure to pick one up on your travels, as it's currently only available in France, Italy, Netherlands and Australia.
With such great responsibility, an all-in-one does not come cheap, starting at around the €1,000 mark, depending on the brand.
7. Blenders with all the bells and whistles
High-performance blenders also lend an element of all-in-one to food blending, preparing multiple dishes in one, making them a much more valuable piece of galley equipment that earns its cupboard space.
The Vitamix range can blend up smoothies, soups, salad dressings, desserts and drinks, catering to the tastes and requirements of guests and crew on board.
8. Brilliant baking assistants
Making baking (and other mixing) a breeze, stand-up mixers can lend a helping hand with everything from cakes and dough to mashed potatoes, mayonnaise and Madeira cakes.
The Hobart stand-up mixers are some of the best on the market, available with a range of attachments to free up tired hands for other cooking endeavours.