A collection of spectacular yachts from around the world came to participate in the 51st Antigua Charter Yacht Show. Thirty participated in the Concours des Chefs. Yachts were docked in three different Marinas – Falmouth, Yacht Club and Nelson’s Dockyard.
This year’s simple theme, a ‘Healthy Dinner Challenge’, proved popular with the chefs and the three categories, based on yacht size, filled quickly. It also gave participants an opportunity to search out all the fresh Caribbean ingredients in Antigua.
Chef Stuart Ince aboard the 165ft M/Y Arianna, won his category. Ince was surprised and delighted, as he only joined Arianna a couple of weeks earlier. He says he enjoyed planning for the Healthy Dinner Challenge.
Born in Germany, Ince has been cooking since he was 14. After a stint in the British army, he headed off to college. He spent two-and-a half years at a Culinary School in England, and then worked in several five star hotels in London. At 26, he became head chef. Ince joined the yachting industry in 2001 and worked on charter and private yachts. In 2010, he took a break from yachting to go traveling.
His first venture was overseeing an orange crop in Ibiza where he built up the number of trees from 2,000 per acre to 26,000 per acre over a 30-month period. On leaving Ibiza, he traveled for two years, noting “it is good for the attitude” and “the world does not stop if you stop cooking.”
In November, Ince joined the crew of Arianna and the yacht entered him in the Concours des Chefs.
In 2011, Chef ‘Jerry’ Jarod Pond of the 130ft M/Y Arioso won second place at this competition and this year wanted to do better. He says the Healthy Dinner Challenge was much easier for him as it was the kind of meals he prepares every day. “I really enjoy the challenge and it is good marketing for the boat. Immediately after the chef meeting, I started planning!”
Pond says he was born in Boston and raised by a single mum who enjoyed cooking, “so learned to bake and do pastry – manageable and controllable.” Later, Pond attended the Culinary Institute of America where he earned a degree before working in the baking and pastry industry. In 1996, he took the summer off and went to Ft. Lauderdale, took a job in a café, and was there about four years.
Pond says, “Captain Peter Martin, a friend, came to the café one evening and was telling me about the yachting industry and the need for chefs. I thought it would be a good challenge and started out on the 100ft M/Y Carib Queen, with Captain Peter. I was only hired for one charter, but before the charter was over, he offered me a full time job.” Several years passed and in 2011, when Captain Peter took the job on M/Y Arioso, Pond went with him.
“Seven-and-half years with Captain Peter Martin and cooking on yachts,” says Pond with a smile. “Life is good!”
Chef Toni Leslie of the S/Y Inukshuk says, “Meals should be an adventure and I love to cook different dishes. The Healthy Dinner Challenge was perfect for me as that is how I enjoy cooking – simple, with fresh ingredients.”
Leslie says she doesn’t usually have time for much planning and that for the contest none of her dishes were cooked with salt or oil and the only sugar was natural “except for a little in the Drunken Bananas!”
Leslie was born in South Africa where as a youngster she worked in kitchens with her dad, a chef and owner of a number of successful restaurants in Cape Town. After many years of ‘in house’ training, she moved to London, where she managed kitchens and opened restaurants.
In 2010 Leslie was introduced to yachting and spent a season in the Caribbean and time in the Mediterranean. She has a true passion for cooking and it shows, both in her food and radiant smile. She loves to explore local food markets during her travels, seeking new ideas for delicious dishes.
OTHER WINNERS IN THE 2012 COMPETITION
2nd: Morgan Lonegran, S/Y Red Dragon
3rd: Ty Power, M/Y Lazy Z
Yachts 100 -159ft:
2nd: Jacob Ebert, M/Y Symphony II
3rd: Tonya Bohn, M/Y Amitie
Yachts up to 100ft:
2nd: Robin Thompson, S/V Matau
3rd: Claudia Salomon, S/Y Clevelander
3rd (shared): Emma Whicher, S/Y More Magic
Concours des Chef – Table Setting Contest
Yacht over 160ft:
Winner: Stewardess Jen Lanza. Yacht: Natita
Capt. Jan Robinson’s Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection is available at your local marine or bookstore. Visit: www.shiptoshoreINC.com Email CapJan@aol.com Tel: 704-277-6521. Don’t miss the new cookbook added to Jan’s collection: DINING ON DECK