Amandine Founder Kate Emery answers some challenging questions, for YACHT Turkey magazine, about Covid-19 and how the virus is affecting chefs in the industry.

How has the virus affected your business and yacht jobs for chefs?

This is a worldwide virus with a global impact on nearly every industry out there and yachting is no different.  The restrictions on travel combined with the very real health and safety concerns of this virus means that without a doubt the yachting industry has been impacted.    This Summer charter bookings  dropped, private owners changed their summer plans and some crew were cut to reduce costs and limit the financial impact on yacht owners.  It’s not all doom and gloom though… many yachts kept their crew and many owners chose to self -isolate on their yachts for the summer.  Chefs are also in a fortunate situation because most yachts normally need at least one chef on board to function, so chefs’ jobs are a bit more protected in this sense.

It is predicted that everything will change completely in the world after this period. Especially the way people do business. Do you think there will be a change in the way people are hiring chefs?

There will always be a need for yacht chefs and private chefs because many people, particularly our clients, do not want to, or are not able to, cook for themselves.

I believe there will be some change in our industry but for the most part change is good!

Firstly, I think the world will be more aware of how important personal hygiene is to avoid contamination of germs.  Whilst this is already a critically important factor in the every-day life of a chef I believe the rules, regulations and training around this will need to be tightened (something we are already doing at Amandine) to ensure that maximum protections and reassurances are given to customers and that all chefs are trained to the highest possible standards when it comes to food hygiene.

Attitudes towards eating out at restaurants will change which could have a positive impact on private chef recruitment.  Even after the lockdown people’s normal social behaviours have changed and meeting up with groups of people or eating out amongst groups of people is not the same any more.   Customers who might have previously eaten out on a regular basis are more likely to want to be cooked for at home and if this is the case there will be a surge when it comes to recruitment of private chefs to work on land.

With so many people around the world having been affected by this virus, it will be more important than ever for people to eat well in order to stay healthy and boost their immune system.  Before we had even heard of Covid 19 there was already a high demand for chefs with special skills and knowledge in nutrition and healthy eating.  There’s no doubt we will see an even greater demand for chefs with these skills going forward so our advice to chefs who may be stuck at home looking for something productive to do is to expand their repertoire of healthy, nutritious, immune boosting recipes and meal plans.

Unfortunately, due to the huge worldwide financial impact of Coronavirus I think it is prudent to consider that this will impact the level of salaries for yacht crew and domestic staff including chefs.  Even the uber wealthy will lose money from this crisis and they will be looking at ways to recover their losses as quickly as possible going forward and tightening their expenditure will be one way of doing this.

Lastly, at Amandine, we predominantly operate on line so we are in a strong position because we were already set up to handle the ‘new way’ many other companies were forced to operate.  In this respect nothing changes for us!

As far as I know, Amandine entered the catering business for customers who wanted to hire a chef for this period.   Do the chefs cook at their own place and send it to customers?  How does the system work and demand is intense?

Before we branched out into yachting it’s true that the business started with predominantly villa chef placements and as part of this we have from time to time offered food delivery.  As a result of the current situation we have adapted our offering to expand this part of the business and use our international network of chefs to prepare meals and have these delivered to our clients in a safe and secure way.   We have also partnered with a number of companies that are able to offer delivery of high-end ingredients and equipment to both professionals and amateurs that love to cook.

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