Case Study 10: Zena N
What attracted you to working on yachts?
The lifestyle and the fact i could work and travel with my partner
What led you to do a cookery course at the Gables?
I had already been lucky to work on a yacht chartering for a couple of years but for me to get any further in my career on yachts it was suggested I do some kind of culinary training and the Gables was recommended to me
In what ways did the Gables course help you achieve your yacht cookery ambitions?
I was looked at more by the crew agencies and they were able to put me forward for jobs I would never of had a chance with before doing the course, also it gave me a confidence that I didn't have before coming to the Gables, I always followed a recipe exactly before and the personal advise and help I had while there really helped me to move forward and try different things.
What did you do after leaving the Gables? Further training/experience, where did you go, what boats did you work on etc.
After leaving the Gables I went back to my job in the Caribbean on a 56ft catamaran, I stayed there for a few months then moved on to a 76ft sail yacht for private owners working in the Mediterranean then crossing the Atlantic which was an amazing experience (especially learning to cook while at a 15-45 degree angle!) then spending a winter travelling all around the Caribbean from The British Virgin Islands down to The Grenadines. Now I am on an 80ft Motor Yacht in Turkey that charters to guests from all over the world. Along the way I have met other crew and local people from the places I have visited that have given me tips and shown me there diff rent culinary delights to add to my experiences.
What was the work like, the good bits and the bad bits
The work is mostly good, the best points are getting to try food from all over the world and meeting people who love food as much as me, My last job the owners really liked Thai food so although I didn't really know much about Thai food when I arrived I soon learnt and I love it. The bad points are cooking if its a bit rough and rolly below deck but you soon get used to it, also some of the galley's can be quite small so catering for 11 guests is interesting, organisation is a must!
What have been the real highlights of your yacht cookery career?
The highlights for me would have to be the amazing experiences I get to be a part of everyday, the places I get to travel to, the food I get to cook with from all over the world, The people that share there love for cooking with me. I feel really lucky to have such an amazing job where I get to visit some of the most exotic places on earth all while getting paid.. Sometimes you have to work long hours but if your in a job you love as much as I love mine you never really work a day in your life.
Zena N. 16 Jul 2007 4 week course