Arriba! Arriba! BBQ! BBQ!

So I gather I left some of you on the edge of your seats waiting for a conclusion to the BBQ/chef-off saga. Well I have to say that the suckling pig was a great success and the porky gauntlet has indeed been thrown down.

It was really great to meet some more crew as on previous BBQs there had only been a couple of yachts in the marina. So this time we had maybe 5 or 6 yachts turning up for the party. It was themed as well which is always fun. Everyone was required to wear a hat of some description. After starting off the evening having been given an Amadeusesque sort of affair which I protested was actually a mask and would be a crime to make me wear and hide my magnificent visage, I managed to steal an enormous Mexican sombrero. This was a fine hat indeed and I wore it with great gusto and aplomb. Occasional shrieks of “Arriba! Arriba!” and “More tequila please over here!” could be heard across the marina. My captain was most impressed with me as he is Mexican himself and said that I had represented his countrymen excellently as this was how they all dressed at home and that their were in actual fact only five words in the Mexican dialect and one was Arriba and another was tequila. I think he was being very sarcastic and was maybe taking the piss out of me a little but I took it as a compliment. I actually wish I still had that hat as I could see how it is very practical in hot climates. With its meter wide rim it would be great for shading myself and my herd of goats from the scorching Mexican sun or in my current location shading myself and my  swarm of pesky mosquitoes from the scorching Pacific sun. Also I have recently read an article about a practice called “Peacocking” which is a way of attracting the opposite sex. Simply put, it involves wearing one item of clothing that instantly stands you out in a room from all the other guys and therefore you have the advantage as all the girls have already noticed you. Examples would be wearing a large belt buckle or a loud shirt or a white fedora hat. My gigantic sombrero would be perfect for this. I could not possibly fail to woo the ladies. Watch this space.

Anyway, I fear I may have meandered off the point a little. Where was I? Ah yes, the BBQ. I had previously in the day popped next door to ask the chef on the other yacht if I could offer some help with the food. I had a few steaks and some salads to offer. He gratefully accepted and it was agreed that things would kick off around 7ish. It turned out that he had more than enough food and so I left my offerings back on my boat not wanting to interfere with another mans sausages. As I said, the food was great, whole suckling pig was brought out along with some steaks and fantastic salads. But for me, the food played second fiddle to the hospitality we all received. All the Stewardesses from the yacht were on hand throughout the evening with trays of (disgusting) shooters and vodka jelly. There were large tables covered in booze. Bottles of Pimms, vodka, gin, whiskey, rum and whatever else one wanted to drink. And always someone on hand to pour your favorite drink for you. The music was great also. The yacht in question has an enormous sound system built in the aft deck which can be turned and pointed at the dock. Lots and lots of fun was had.

The best thing about the evening for me was meeting the chefs from the yachts either side of me and also getting a little tour of their galleys. It was great to chat about food with them and all the different aspects of our jobs. The chef on the larger yacht has a sous chef which made me and the other chef extremely envious until he explained that in order to justify the expense of an extra chef onboard, they are put under a huge amount of pressure to produce the absolute best. They must make absolutely everything from scratch. Croissants and pastries from scratch. I don’t mean from bought in pastry but actually making the puff pastry themselves. All breads, pasta, stocks, sauces, yogurts, icecreams, sorbets all made fresh on the yacht. Even biltong for the South African crew is made onboard. I make a lot of stuff myself but in a small galley when catering for 10 crew and another 10 guests, some short cuts have to be made. That will change hopefully as I progress to bigger yachts during my career and maybe get a sous chef myself some day.

To sum up, the last three BBQs have all been great and each for different reasons. It’s not really a competition.

But if it had been…I would have won.

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