KING BABY | WHO SAID ROCK’N’ROLL WAS DEAD?

Who said Rock’n’Roll was dead? Step on board King Baby, and it really does live on!

Baby King is a magnificent 140-foot yacht that was influenced by rock ‘n’ roll and the jewellery brand King Baby. Built in 2016, King Baby has a very inviting interior that oozes passion for music and entertaining guests. This yacht makes a lasting impression on everyone who has experienced her.

When you first step on board, you are left speechless as the sexy rock’n’roll-inspired interior is spectacular and is a testament to Evan K Marshall who designed both the interior and exterior. When you are walking around, you have so much space, and everything is modern, clean and stylish. Few details that you really can’t help but notice the Keith Richards’ doors, the custom coffee tables, the vintage hood ornaments and the guitars that are displayed as art. 

King Baby is spread over three decks, allowing the yacht to have five stunning staterooms. The main deck is home to the owner’s suite with his and her en-suite bathroom with both a bathtub and shower. There are a further three king staterooms below deck which also have en-suite bathrooms and even a spacious twin cabin below deck too.

King Baby also has another hidden gem, and that is Chef Rio, born in California, he developed a passion for food early on in life. He grew up around Northern California’s organic food movement, and with the support of his mother and grandmother, he began to experiment with homegrown vegetables and meats from surrounding farms. He has always had a passion for travel, encouraged by his family he soon developed a love for the ocean, windsurfing, boating, and scuba diving. Today, Rio is known for his farm-to-table cuisine, making him genuinely unique.

I had a chance to talk to Rio and find out a little more about him.
Let's get to know Chef Rio.

What made you want to become a chef?
I started studying the culinary arts while I lived in Paris in my late teens, not because I thought it would be a career move, but because I loved French epicurean culture.  Over the course of my teens and twenties, I lived in Rome, Paris, Cairo, Madrid, San Francisco, New York, and LA.  I was pursuing a career in the high art world and would entertain often throwing dinner and cocktail parties, mixing business and pleasure.  At that point, several people approached me wondering if I might do private chef work for them, because of my exquisite tastes and pairings.  As I began private chef work, I think my love of the food world in tandem with my appreciation and love of artistry evolved to the realisation that being a chef allowed me to be creative on a daily basis and earn a decent living.

How long have you been cooking professionally?
I have been cooking professionally since 2003.

Do you have a favourite ingredient?
My favourite ingredients are black mission figs, octopus, prosciutto, and avocado.

Chef Rio

Chef Rio

What is your favourite wine?
If its red, I love it big and chewy; Barolo, Margaux, Pauillac, Petite Syrah. Whites I love crisp Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand or a full-bodied Macon White Burgundy.   

What do you like to cook when you are home alone?
When I am home alone, I do a lot of fresh juicing, and I often cook light Vietnamese style salads and noodle dishes.

What is the most stressful part of your job?
Being a chef is stressful from A to Z.   Provisioning a massive yacht requires a ten-page spreadsheet of inventoried items, a highly specific shopping list, sourced from specific countries, with specific qualities.   Then comes being a solo chef; I cook for ten crew and twelve guests alone, that’s in excess of 60 portions of food a day.  Then comes detail and artistry.  Then comes client interaction and service, making each guest feel like royalty.   Last week it was three vegans, three pescatarians, and three who preferred meat:  So three different dishes for each dinner?   When full on, it’s up at 6 am and to bed by 1 am.  Perhaps the most challenging part of being a yacht chef is also away from home and family for very long periods of time, and always having a deficit of personal space.

What are you your top 3 career highlights?
1) I get to be a true culinary artist: the more creative and over-the-top, the more applause and success.  
2)  I get to work with the best ingredients from all over the world.  
3)  I get to work in exotic locations and see things most people will never experience:  have you been to all the uninhabited islands in the Kumamoto and Marquesa Islands in the South Pacific?

How did you get into yachting?
I started a catering business in the countryside of the Hudson Valley.  I was instantly extremely busy doing high-end wedding work during the warm season, but catering died entirely in the winter.  I needed something seasonal to sustain my life, and a close friend of mine was a chef on yachts and brought me into the industry.  My first boat was a 164’ Westport owned by a billionaire from Texas.   I still work for him from time to time.  

What is your view on the yachting industry?
The yachting industry is a challenging milieu to work in and build your career upwards.  However, it offers you a vision of the world that most people will never see.  As a chef, it gives you ultimate creative potential with no budget.  Also, if you’re good at what you do, it’s a recession-proof career.  

Citrus & Cherry Salad

Citrus & Cherry Salad

What is your favourite yachting destination?
I love opulence:  Italian and French Riviera.... But at the same time, the remote experiences like the Galapagos and French Polynesia are mind-blowing.

What is the difference between cooking in a restaurant to a yacht?
You have a constant revolving door of different clientele and preferences, and your menu is always changing. You also must always exceed clientele’s expectations.  Quality over quantity.

What is your most interesting or fun experience on board the yacht?
Living the island life while it’s below zero at home in New York.

What advice would you give to first-time charter guests?
Be open-minded to trying new things and having culinary experiences from a culinary master.  Most chefs in this industry are here because they are brilliant in one way or another; let them show you an amazing time! Also, be very specific about preferences, and special requests when interacting with a charter broker! 

This yacht is a little gem that you need to experience and my advice, go with your close friends, and I promise you won’t regret it! 
‘King Baby is both inviting and provoking. Thanks to her stellar onboard atmosphere, you may walk on the yacht, but you’ll strut when you leave… always wanting more.’

Visit Northrop & Johnson for more info.

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