- 43.63m | ISA | 2014 (2018)
With over a decade’s experience in some of the world’s most revered kitchens, the Cordon Bleu-trained South African chef Bronwen Jones has something unique to offer clients and she’s excited about doing it. That passion has led Jones to travel the world learning new skills and honing in on a wide variety of different cooking styles.
From Japanese-inspired cheesecake to the finest Italian pasta, Chef Bronwen Jones delivers, and then some. So whether you fancy a gourmet pizza, sushi or a full-blown five-course luxury dinner, you can consider it done.
Passion is what drives the chef on board the 43.6 metre superyacht Silver Wind. With over a decade’s experience in some of the world’s most revered kitchens, the Cordon Bleu-trained South African chef Bronwen Jones has something unique to offer clients, and she’s excited about doing it. That passion has led Jones to travel the world learning new skills and honing in on a wide variety of different cooking styles. From Japanese-inspired cheesecake to the finest Italian pasta, Chef Bronwen delivers, and then some. We talk to her about her journey to becoming a superyacht chef, and what kind of culinary experience guests can expect from a charter experience on board the motor yacht.
You’ve worked as a chef on board luxury charter yachts for over seven years. What led you to the world of superyachts?
I am passionate; plain and simple! I love food, and working as a chef on board a yacht is an incredible way to explore the very best cuisine. After training for three years at Silwood Kitchen Cordon Bleu Chef school in my home country of South Africa, I began my career in some of the country’s most highly-acclaimed restaurants as well as working as a private chef. In the summer of 2012, I wanted to challenge myself and my cooking, so I dove into yachting. My second superyacht experience was working alongside Captain Tora on board M/Y Mao. I loved every second of it and was hungry to learn more. I spent that first summer saving enough money to spend a year as a stagier in Michelin-star restaurants throughout Europe so that I could grow as a chef. In 2014, I came back to superyachting and joined the 50 metre M/Y Force India where I spent the next three years, again working alongside Captain Tora. I joined Silver Wind in 2017 and it’s been a fantastic experience so far!
What does a culinary experience on Silver Wind look like?
Like any luxury charter yacht, we cater to all clients’ needs and dietary requirements when it comes to the menu. We provision around the preference list. I enjoy interacting with the clients, talking to them each morning about the day’s meal plans or exciting fresh food I purchased at the market. I am completely flexible-the most important thing is that guests enjoy every bite on board. We tend to find that buffet lunches work best as the guests get to pick and choose a bit of each platter they desire. For lunch or dinners, should they prefer a plated, multi-course meal, I will create a unique menu for each charter to suit personal requirements. Evening canapes and afternoon tea are also an excellent addition should the clients wish!
What are your specialities in the kitchen?
I’ve been working only on charter yachts for years now, so I’m pretty confident that I cover all bases when it comes to charterers’ requests. I’ve spent five weeks in Japan training at Tokyo Sushi Academy and Tsukiji Soba Academy under specialist Akila Inouye, as well spent almost a month in Thailand gaining knowledge and understanding of authentic Thai cuisine. I’m always striving to learn more and challenge myself. Earlier this year I also spent time at the 3-Michelin star Italian restaurant Da Vittorio in Lombardy, which has definitely helped me refine my Italian food. My passion leads me to always try improve all different styles.
What’s the best thing about working as a chef on board Silver Wind?
The crew! Everyone here is like family, and it’s always a pleasure to cook for them. It would be hard to pick one fantastic moment on board as my most memorable experience. Working as a sole chef on yachts has been a great learning curve for me. I’ve learned to think on my feet and be very flexible. I genuinely enjoy the challenge of exceeding guest expectations on every charter
What ingredients inspire your menus?
We cater each charter menu to the requirements of the guest, so I let their preferences inspire me. The captain or I tend to do most of the provisioning ourselves at the local markets every day. I am a health-conscious eater myself, so I understand the needs of guests who want to focus on clean eating, but also enjoy some good ‘holiday food’ should you prefer.
What are your favourite foodie spots in the Med?
It’s hard to say just one, to be honest! I have so many wonderful memories of eating with friends and crew. For me, food is very much also about the people you share it with. A simple Italian pizza, pasta dinner at Portego De ma in Oneglia Imperia or Le Nave de Sake in Barcelona, I love a dinner out! I also have a sweet tooth, so when it comes to desserts it has to be Tickets or Bodega 1900 in Barcelona which has the best cheesecake
What’s the secret to cooking high-quality food in small spaces?
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to face as a superyacht chef?
As a superyacht chef, the standards are incredibly high and you need to deliver. I think most of the challenges come from constant change. Numerous times it will be decided by clients and owners to have meals ashore only for last minutes plans to change and they want the meal on board, with something like 45 minutes notice for 20 people.
A Sample Tasting Menu
A hot green herb soup finished with candied walnuts, celery, green apple and a gruyere custard.
Crisp salt and pepper squid with black garlic aioli, sesame and lime.
Pork and shitake wontons in yuzu broth and crisp leek.
Herb crusted wild seabass, summer greens with sides of olive oil pomme puree and snow crab filled crisp courgette flowers.
48 hour slow-cooked pork belly with a smoky butternut puree, crispy greens, date and vanilla.
Beef fillet with a seasonal mushroom fricassee, chargrilled asparagus spears and a side of thyme roasted tomato tart tartin.
A light rolled pavlova with cherries, peach and almond, served with a peach and honey ice cream.
Chocolate soufflé with roasted apple ice cream.
Lemon Brûlée tart with a yoghurt ice cream, lemon curd.