Sourcing local produce and yacht provisions in Monaco
Written by Nathan Bees
Last updated: 30/04/2018
It may be the second smallest independent state in the world, yet Monaco’s prime position on the French Riviera, just east of Italy, makes it a yachting haven; richly populated financially and with the sights, services and supplies it offers to visiting vessels.
With its Mediterranean location, fresh produce and provisions are readily available, with dishes heavily influenced by French and Italian cuisines. A visit to Monaco can therefore offer up some exciting cooking for superyacht chefs and delicious dishes for superyacht guests.
We cover the culinary specialities of the Principality and relay some helpful advice for sourcing produce and provisions on your visit.
Local specialities and cuisine in Monaco
Given Monaco’s Mediterranean climate and close proximity to the sea, seafood dishes and those with French or Italian influence often dominate its menus. As a result, almost every meal incorporates a selection of freshly grown fruits and vegetables, with plentiful tastes, textures and nutrition.
While all types of seafood are readily available, Cod is the most popular and features in numerous different meals, including local favourite Stocafi, a fish stew of salt-cured cod in a tomato sauce with garlic, herbs and black olives: A revered meal among locals.
Another Monegasque speciality is Barbagiuan: a deep-fried pastry filled with rice, cheese, leeks, onion and either pumpkin or spinach. It’s typically served as a snack or appetiser, and is also commonly served as a street food in Monaco’s many markets due to its small size and the ease with which it can be eaten.
Socca and Fougasse also originate from Monaco and are, like Barbagiuan, common street foods. Socca is a thin pancake made of chickpea flour, while Fougasse is an herby, salty pastry often served with dips. Easy to prepare, these are popular dinner-party foods served prior to the main course.
Finally, Monaco is also the proud home of Galapian, a tart so delicious that one portion is never enough! A light almond cake loaded with candied cantaloupe and maraschino cherry drops, and glazed with lavender honey, Galapian is a treat for the taste buds – and the perfect representation for the lavish microstate of Monaco.
Sourcing foodstuffs and specialist provisions in Monaco
As you might expect, there are ample businesses in and around Monaco that offer high-quality food and provisions for the yacht. These fall into a few different categories:
1. Local provisioning companies
Of course, there are also a selection of local provisioning companies that specialise in sourcing and delivering provisions to the Principality's visiting yachts.
Maison del Gusto is located within Monaco itself, while Le Coin des Chefs, Gourmet Deliveries, Riviera Gourmet, Turnaround and Patisserie Riviera are just down the coast in France. BWA Yachting is also a reliable supplier to the ports.
These businesses pride themselves on sourcing the finest products and offering them at great prices, developing strong relationships with the chefs they work with in the process. The trust and reliability built up through these relationships ensures visiting yachts only ever receive the best service.
Search for yacht provisioning companies in France and Monaco.
2. Local supermarkets, shops and suppliers
One of the most popular and accessible shops in the South of France is Carrefour; a renowned supermarket chain located in Monaco’s Centre Commercial in Fontvieille. There is also a second branch nearby in Antibes.
It provides a mix of fresh pick-your-own produce and convenient, pre-packaged selections for anyone in a rush, including a dedicated section of fresh ‘bio’ or organic foods. The standard of the produce is high, with staff on hand to weigh and package your goods.
These days it’s not unusual to find superyacht guests with special dietary requirements, luckily the quality of organic foods in Monaco is good and pricing is considered fair in relation to the cost of food generally in Monaco. Other organic outlets in Monaco include La Vie Claire, which has a network of stores across Monaco, and Solis Bio, found under Condamine market roof.
Every good trip needs a selection of Champagnes, wines, and spirits. For an upmarket supplier, Caves and Gourmandises is a worthwhile place to visit as it has a comprehensive catalogue of beverages, many of which can’t be found anywhere else.
3. Local food markets and events
As a food-loving region, there are a number of food markets and events held throughout Monaco all year round. Farmers markets are popular, with each ward typically holding its own every day of the year. It’s a great place to find locally grown fruits and vegetables, fresh meat, bread, cakes and a selection of different cheeses, herbs and spices.
Like a lot of things in Monaco, the prices tend to be higher at markets than at local supermarkets, but there’s a distinct difference in quality that tends to justify the added expense.
Two of the largest food markets can be found in La Condamine and Monte Carlo, both of which are open daily between 6:00am to 2:00pm. Marchè de la Condamine is located on Place d’Armes in the Condamine shopping area, while Marchè de Monte Carlo can be found on Avenue Saint-Charles.
Barbagiuan is most notably eaten on the National Day of Monaco, celebrated annually on 19th November, and in recent years a festival has been launched – the Fete du Barbagiuan – to celebrate the pastry. Hosted by A Roca, a company that promotes local gastronomy, a number of cooking demonstrations and classes are held to educate people on how best to create the dish at home.