- 45.02m | Sunrise | 2009 (2018)
A haute cuisine degree from EHIB Mallorca and a gastronomic innovation and design degree at Camilo José Cela University are just two of the accolades Chef Pedro brings to Mochafy22 - a yacht built with both space and style in mind.
Boasting more than 12 years' experience, guests on board can expect healthy Mediterranean dishes that pay tribute to Chef Pedro's home country of Spain, and he names Joel Robuchon, Yotam Ottolenghi and Spanish chef Joan Roca among his biggest culinary influences.
Don't be shy about discussing your menu preferences with him either - Chef Pedro runs an open galley, welcoming guests into his kitchen with open arms.
Guests can most certainly expect an exquisite culinary experience during a charter on board Mochafy22, where Chef Pedro loves to serve up fresh tapas – think sourdough bread, jamón ibérico, Spanish omelette, croquetas and grilled prawns - but is equally adept in fine dining.
Here Chef Pedro answers all our culinary questions, from his kitchen heroes and inspirations to his incredible ability to cater to all tastes and preferences.
Can you tell us a little about your background?
As a kid I never realised how lucky I was growing up with real food. By this I mean no instant microwave or prefixed meals. I guess this is where I started to develop and appreciate the art of real homemade food with fresh yet simple ingredients, and I believe this is something no cooking course or cook book could ever teach me. I have also taken, and continue to take, numerous cooking courses and feel very fortunate to have gained experience through all my travels (both work and pleasure) visiting places such as Mallorca, Scotland, Poland and working on yachts for 12 years.
What motivated you to become a chef and where did you train?
I chose this job because it allows me to travel and work anywhere in the world, and I am extremely passionate about it. I am continually improving my knowledge and still take specialty courses to improve myself and my techniques. I did my official training in IES Foz in my homeland of Spain, I have a haute cuisine degree from EHIB Mallorca, I studied gastronomic innovation and design at Camilo José Cela University, and also took several courses al Basque Culinary Centre.
Who are your chef heroes and who has influenced your style of cooking?
There are several chefs who I admire: Joel Robuchon as representative of perfection in the French cuisine, Albert Adriá for the ability to synthesise avantgarde cuisine, Yotam Ottolenghi for his masterful use of vegetables, and definitely Joan Roca whose restaurant has been recognised as best in the world for several years. His books are very didactic and his cuisine is innovative and always based on the tradition.
How did you come to work as a superyacht chef?
I felt attracted to the idea of working independently, cooking different meals every day, going to the market to get the best products, travelling and most of all, making people happy with what I create.
What is your favourite type of cuisine and what are your specialties?
My favourite is healthy Mediterranean cuisine, and as a Spanish chef, I am good at making tapas. I also enjoy cooking rice dishes such as a good local paella and risottos, as well as any kind of seafood. It’s difficult to pinpoint a specific signature dish, but there is one type of fish I like to cook for its peculiarity: cured cod slow cooked. This is an ancient method of preserving the fish – it is cured in salt, and later the fish is rehydrated and finally slowly cooked until it reaches 50ºC in the centre. The flavour and texture is very unique.
How would you describe your culinary style?
Simple and honest! I like simplicity, paying attention to the exact cooking point, clear flavours, local fresh ingredients, and most importantly, avoiding anything artificial.
Where do you get your inspiration and ideas for menus?
Mainly in the books of my favourite chefs, on culinary blogs and also on Instagram.
What’s the secret to cooking high-quality food on board compared to ashore?
Good improvisation and the ability to adapt the menu to optimise the use of local seasonal produce.
Do you prefer to use local ingredients when on charter?
Always! The best products are always locally grown, and are so fresh and filled with flavour. A very simple dish I enjoy making is gazpacho, and it’s incredible to see the changes both in colour, texture and, of course, taste when using good local tomatoes.
What are some of your favourite destinations in terms of local produce?
It depends very much on the cooking style, but for a Mediterranean cuisine, I’d have to say anywhere in Italy.
What’s the most unusual ingredient you’ve come across on your travels?
Once in Croatia, I got a strange kind of lobster from a local fisherman. This was a slipper lobster (scyllarides latus), and was absolutely delicious.
How do you manage special dietary requirements - are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free now standard requests?
I adapt the menus as required, paying special attention to allergies and intolerances. But I also very much enjoy catering for dietary needs such as vegans or protein-based diets. I make everything from scratch, including bread, yoghurts and ice creams, and this makes it very easy for me to adapt to any specific needs.
How do you cater for young children?
I follow instructions from both parents and kids. I have an open galley approach, so guests of all ages enjoy coming and discussing the menu directly with me. I try to offer all the types of food that kids love. However everything is homemade and a little healthier without the kids noticing.
What would be a typical spread for a family party?
Guests enjoy my tapas and finger food, which includes a variety of everything from traditional Spanish bacon wrapped dates, croquettes, marinated king prawns and 14 hour slow cooked lamb served on individual spoons to more simple dishes such as mini hamburgers and pizzas, which are great for both kids and adults. For birthdays I love preparing everyone’s favorite meals plus birthday cake.
What’s your dream menu and your personal favourite dish?
I like tapas: a good sourdough bread, jamón ibérico, Spanish omelette, croquetas, grilled prawns, and a fresh tomato and spring onion salad. As for haute cuisine, my favourite dishes are a lentil soup with mussels found at Santi Taura in Mallorca, beetroot tartar made by Eneko Atxa, a monkfish served with leek ash I tried at Pepe Vieria in Galicia, quail and mashed potato at Robuchon in Monaco, and when it comes to sweets, I’ll never forget the rogaliki made in the Cukierna Pawlowicz, located in the heart of Warsaw.
As well as creating beautiful dishes, do you have any influence with table decoration?
I always discuss the menu and plating with the interior crew before service so they can adapt the table to fit the menu. The chief stewardess chooses which wines to serve alongside my meals.
What do you most enjoy about working as a superyacht chef?
Each day is different, every day is a new challenge, and every day I have a new view from the galley window. Plus, I get to travel to some amazing destinations.
What have been some of the highlights and best moments while working on board?
Sometimes you think you did a fantastic job but get no feedback, and then other times you get great feedback for nothing special. However when you get awesome feedback and you know that you deserve it, that really is one of the best feelings there is.
Jamon iberico croquetas, black olive and thyme
Gazpacho soup, olive oil pearls, spelt, croutons
Cod fish confit, cauliflower pickle, Romesco sauce
Slow cooked lamb loin in sage, roasted pumpkin, sauteed mushrooms
Apple crumble, homemade vanilla ice-cream