With the late summer months upon us, thoughts often turn to planning an opportunistic holiday. A great place to escape to is the Bahamas and the best way to explore these stunning islands is on board a superyacht.
Choosing a yacht with a wide range of water toys and a knowledgeable crew ensures maximum fun. When the sun goes down, enjoy delectable dishes prepared by a skilled chef dedicated to you and your guests. This is where our chef’s feature comes in, but before we find out more about this talented individual, let’s take a moment to explore exceptional superyacht M3 and properly whet your appetite.
M3 boasts a thoroughly modern, luxurious and cleverly designed interior. From the moment you step on board, the calm atmosphere blends with comfortable surroundings to afford the feeling of a home from home. All the finishes are exceptional, using rich, earthy colours throughout and with her expansive windows, the sense of tranquillity and relaxation is inescapable. This is a perfect yacht for guests to settle down in comfort and enjoy uninterrupted time – perhaps with a good book.In my opinion, one of M3’s standout features is her deep blue hull. As you may know, I love all yachts that have a coloured hull it sets them apart from other vessels no matter which port you sail to. At 147 feet, M3 can host 10 guests in 5 well-appointed staterooms plus 8 crew. Described as the “ultimate cruising yacht”, she can hold almost 12,000 gallons of fuel and has a cruising speed of 12 knots, making exploring the Bahamas effortless.
Her impressive main salon features a striking black walnut floor, two sumptuous cream sofas with uber-soft cushions plus matching leather ottomans finished with smart nail-head detailing. The versatile salon feels airy thanks to her large doors and windows, allowing ample light to enter, but with diffuser blinds for when shade beckons; it also makes this a lovely place to relax in the evening. The adjoining dining area has a large, oval Makassar ebony table and beautifully upholstered matching chairs, providing an impressive entertaining space.
Located forward, the Master Stateroom is complete with a private seating area, walk-around king size bed and magnificent 52” 3D LCD TV. Far beyond the luxury of any boutique hotel rooms, there is plenty of storage space, with ‘His & Hers’ bathroom, complete with marble Jacuzzi and a glass-enclosed marble shower. As an elegant hideaway to refresh, recoup and relax, the master stateroom is a perfect sanctuary. Each of the other stylish staterooms also benefit from space, comfort and excellent amenities.
Leading the M3 crew is Captain Michal Zvalo, who has amassed over 125,000 nautical miles, with extensive cruising experience in North America, Pacific North West, South America, Mediterranean, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, South Pacific, and Micronesia. Michal is considered to be one of the most helpful, knowledgeable and approachable captains in yachting, ensuring those who are fortunate enough to enjoy a charter on board M3 will experience the ultimate cruise.
Another key member of the team is Chef Sara. With over ten years of experience as a superyacht chef, Sara has developed a fantastic repertoire of culinary styles from around the globe. Her passion for food started at a young age and she graduated from Johnson and Wales University with a bachelor’s degree before heading to sea to practice her skills.
We had a chat with Sara to find out more about working on M3 and what inspires her as a superyacht chef.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A CHEF?
My interest in cooking began as a child, I remember always wanting to be in the kitchen helping my mother prepare dinner. In high school we had an excellent culinary arts program. It was then that I learned that I wanted to pursue cooking as a career. A final project during my sophomore year of the program was to interview at a restaurant, whether we wanted the job or not, just to gain experience of ‘real life’ job hunting.
I was hired at a local French Restaurant by a Master Chef of France, Garard Gasparini. He took me under his wing, treated me like a daughter, and taught me everything he could for three years before I went to Culinary School at Johnson and Wales University in 2006.
After graduating from here in Charlotte, NC in 2008 I decided I wanted to combine my love for travelling and cooking into one. Becoming a yacht chef sounded perfect. Additionally, in 2015 I completed My Bachelors online through Johnson and Wales for food service management.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COOKING PROFESSIONALLY?
I began cooking at Pomme Restaurant in 2005. I have been in the yachting industry for nearly ten years and began my culinary adventures at sea in 2009.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE INGREDIENT?
I’ve never really thought about having a favourite ingredient. I do love using fresh herbs and making healthy cuisine packed with mouth-watering flavour.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WINE?
I enjoy trying different wines. My go-to is always Cabernet. I really don’t have a specific one. I tend to stay away from sweet and white wines.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO COOK WHEN YOU ARE HOME ALONE?
I am extremely lucky that my fiancé cooks for me a lot when I’m home which is really welcome! I love to grill at home and take full advantage, because I do not get to grill much on the boat as it can be a fire hazard. I love healthy, Mediterranean-style food. Generally, I will just throw together something simple like fresh veggies, meat, and even pineapple or grilled peaches. Its fast and an easy clear-up after!
IS THERE A CHEF YOU ADMIRE THE MOST? WHO AND WHY?
I have two chefs that I will always admire. Chef King: my high school teacher who taught me so much and really pushed me. Chef Gasparini: Even though he shouted at me in French when I burnt the baguettes or threw away something we could have saved for a stock, he cared for me like family. He was a leader and believed in me and wanted to teach me everything he could. I’m always grateful for those who have taken the time to teach me.
WHAT IS THE MOST STRESSFUL PART OF YOUR JOB?
Working with short notice can be a challenge at times, however I don’t find it to be too stressful anymore. With experience in the industry it’s easier for me to plan menus based on preferences quickly and source out special ingredients. I have a network of friends who are chefs in the industry that are a phone call away who can always offer advice. This helps a lot, especially if you find yourself in a time sensitive position!
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 CAREER HIGHLIGHTS?
1)Getting my first job on a yacht!
2) I would say one of my major highlights was obtaining my bachelor’s degree online while working full time on a yacht. My captain at the time really wanted me to succeed. My life for three years pretty much consisted of work and school. Completing it was a big achievement for me.
3)Moving from a yacht that had the capacity for 8 guests and 5 crew to one that had 12 guests and 10 crew. It is simply another ball game! I learned a lot about planning, provisioning, and cooking for 22 people!
HOW DID YOU GET INTO YACHTING?
After school I wanted to travel and meet new people. I’m from a very small town in Virginia so career opportunities were limited. In 2009 I drove down to Fort Lauderdale and visited all the crew agencies. Eventually I was delighted that the hard work paid off and I was hired.
WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THE YACHTING INDUSTRY?
My view of working in the yachting industry has been positive. I am grateful for all the amazing experiences I have had while in yachting. I’ve met friends for life and I have seen places that I would have never had the opportunity to see. Yachting is a great way to save some money while having only minimal expenses as you are so busy and not on land! The crew and itinerary are also important factors that really help shape your personal experience of working on a yacht.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO BEING A CHEF ON A YACHT?
My first job on a yacht was as a yacht stewardess on a 100’ Broward. I learned a lot on that boat and it was a great introductory into yachting. After having more experience, I became solo Chef on my next yacht.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE YACHTING DESTINATION?
I love Harbour Island in the Bahamas. It’s always been one of my favourite places. I love the pink sand beaches and have made so many great memories there. I also recently went to Grenada, which is a lovely place.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COOKING IN A RESTAURANT TO A YACHT?
While working in a restaurant you have a full kitchen staff working as a team: a dishwasher, head chef, baker, sauce chef, line chefs, grade managers. However, working on a yacht you create your own menus, provision food, wash dishes - everything. You are fully responsible for the whole process, most notably the end product. You must be able to manage your time and organize yourself. I love having the ability to make my own menus and create new dishes and every charter guests’ preferences are different. In a restaurant you have one menu and you make the same dishes over and over. It’s also nice to use the crew as guinea pigs and to practice new dishes on them!
WHILST ON A YACHT, WHAT IS THE MOST UNUSUAL REQUEST YOU HAVE HAD FROM A GUEST?
I was in the Exumas once and we had a guest ask us to fly in fresh tomatoes. Other than that, nothing too unusual so far. There are however the random knocks on the door at 1am for grilled cheese sandwiches!
WHAT IS YOUR MOST INTERESTING OR FUN EXPERIENCE FROM YOUR TIME ONBOARD THE YACHT?
Some of my best experiences have been with crew on days off in the most fantastic places. Just going to the beach, or exploring a new destination plus having time to relax with friends and a local cocktail!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FIRST TIME CHARTER GUESTS?
It’s very important to thoroughly fill out charter preference sheets with as much detail as possible. As a crew, we want to make sure that our guests will have the very best experience while onboard. By reading the guest preferences we get a good feel for the type of vacation the guests are looking for. For example, we can pinpoint whether guests prefer a more relaxing time, are quite adventurous, or if their focus is on service and food. As a chef, I provision all goods before the trip begins and it can be difficult to run out and grab required items during the trip, due to location and time at sea. Preference sheets ensure we can provide the best experience for our guests, so my advice would be to fill them out with as much detail as possible.
USD 145,000 WEEKLY
USD 145,000 WEEKLY
USD 150,000 WEEKLY
USD 145,000 WEEKLY
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To book your next charter on M3 visit www.oceanindependence.com
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