Chef interviews

In the galley with Nicholas Street-Brown

Nationality: British Years Experience: 22
What are you doing / where are you working right now?

Sole chef on a 56m Perini currently based in Antigua.

Who is your food hero (dead or alive) and why?

David Thompson, the Australian chef, his knowledge of Thai food is incredible!

What three ingredients could you not live without?

Olive oil, salt and vinegars

What are your three favourite cookbooks and why?

Thai Food by David Thompson, Momofuku by David Chang , The French Laundry by Thomas Keller. All of these books inspired me in a big way at different stages of my career.

What three kitchen gadgets could you not live without?

Kitchen aid, Vitamix and Japanese mandolin

What piece of equipment should every yacht have in the galley?

Kitchen aid or something similar, I can do so much with it. The grinder attachment makes the best falafels!

What would you say are some of the most overrated ingredients?

Generic edible flowers, truffle oil and foie gras

What would you say are some of the most underrated ingredients?

Cauliflower, chickpeas, tahini

What has been the most popular (or requested dish) on a yacht by a guest so far?

A yoghurt panna cotta I made for a group of charter guests one night and they requested it another 3 times on a 10 day charter

If you were a guest on a yacht, who would you want to cook for you and why?

Rick Stein – he’s super interesting and well travelled and what better person could you find to be plucking ingredients from the ocean!

What music do you listen to in the galley (if at all)?

Literally everything funk, soul, hip hop, rock I am a massive music buff. I’ve even got collaborative playlists with other crew members, my favourite is galley vibes!

Best galley tip/hack?

Keep the crew healthy, happy and well fed! It will make your relationships on board better and life easier.

What is the most difficult location you have ever had to provision in?

And what bit of advice can you give to figure out where to go? There’s many to be fair, we are quite often at anchor and on charter so I have to send someone out to shop for me so I put my trust in them to pick the right ingredients. Also using agents can have its complications when it comes to both being on the same page.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Probably thinking of new dishes all the time. It can be quite challenging cooking for 12 crew and 12 guests on a two week charter.

What do you see as being the biggest challenge for chefs in the industry moving forward?

I think in any industry it is finding your happy place where you can bounce off people and thrive in a positive environment, but finding that isn’t always easy.

What would you say to people who stereotype chefs as being prima donnas with big egos?

They’re probably right a lot of the time. There’s a lot of prima donnas out there who don’t have the skills but come with a big attitude. But on the reverse there’s a lot of good guys out there who have spent years putting in the hours and and really learning their craft.

What is your attitude toward crew with dietary requirements?

It’s their choice and I’m here to feed the crew and guests. Whatever they decide I’ll cater for it!

What is the weirdest most bizarre thing you have ever been asked to cook?

Someone once sent me a load of llama to cook up, I wasn’t really sure what to do!

Name something you have cooked for guests that you are most proud of.

I had a New Year’s Eve booked out restaurant and we lost all power 10 minutes before guests started to arrive and our main cooking appliances were all electric but we pulled through! I was super proud of the whole team that night.

When you are interviewing a chef to work for you, how do you know if they are any good?

You don’t really know if they’re good in a sit down interview but a good personality and positive attitude always helps and you can guide them in most other areas.

What one thing should all chefs do to help the environment?

I think get clever with your veggies, keep an eye on what and how many chemicals you’re using especially working on water, even better if you can eradicate it.

What one thing can chefs do to limit food wastage?

Use everything!

If you weren’t a chef, what would you want to be?

Probably playing sport as a profession or getting paid to make music.

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