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Cooking On The High Seas

Barbara Reid recalls her first voyage as a yacht chef.

Arriving in Bermuda with Ruth, the delivery stewardess.

Arriving in Bermuda with Ruth, the delivery stewardess.

The year is 1984. I am standing on the aft deck of a gleaming 100-foot motor yacht in the south of France, and I’m acutely aware that this is a “pinch me” moment. This is not my boat or even a friend of a friend’s boat – far from it. I have just been hired as head chef aboard my first luxury vessel and have no idea what to expect. My knowledge of boating is limited to a time when I was 8 years old, and my mother, sister and I boarded a ship from England to Sweden for a summer vacation. I spent the whole trip battling seasickness while the boat crashed through 20-foot waves in the North Sea.

My life has taken many twists and turns since then without a single boat in sight. I graduated college and, feeling rudderless, spent a year volunteering in Iran before taking a high-stress job from which I’d recently resigned – hence the sojourn with a girlfriend for a two-week vacation in Antibes, France.

Read the entire article in the September/October 2013 issue