I’ve always loved food and remember cooking from a young age. I would cook for my parents and have fond memories of making meals such as grilled bacon, broccoli and new potatoes when I was about nine years old. I remember not wanting to touch the slimy bacon rashers and picking them up with the tips of my fingers and thumb, scrunching my nose up thinking how disgusting it felt but knowing that in just minutes it would become tasty, salty goodness and would be worth it. I felt so proud after mum and dad had finished their meals, having eaten every last bit on the plate declaring my offerings “delicious”. I felt so happy and I just loved doing it.
I didn’t set out to be a chef, at school business studies was my favourite subject and I dreamt of working in a big city somewhere, commuting to work in a suit and carrying a briefcase. I imagined looking very sharp and feeling important but when I left college after completing my Business GNVQ there weren’t many job opportunities for me in Anglesey. I found a job working as an office assistant with a small media company in Bangor but because it was a small, young company there weren’t opportunities for promotion and after a year or so I left and decided to move abroad “somewhere, maybe France”. I didn’t really have a plan I just felt that I needed to go and see the world. I had itchy feet.
My flat mate, Josie told me about her brother working in America somewhere on a private yacht and that her sister worked in yacht recruitment in a town called Antibes in southern France. Josie suggested maybe we could use these contacts and move out there and find work, so off we went.
I spent a year working as a waitress, serving drinks in a French bar in Antibes called The Colonial and this is where I met Noria and Séverine who taught me my pigeon French (all the rude words first of course). My next job was working in an English bar, La Gaffe where I transitioned from barmaid to cook, serving up burgers, omelettes and the plat du jour. Because I had no experience or training, Rich my boss was a bit sceptical at first but I promised him that I wouldn’t let him down and he eventually agreed.
We did fish and chips on a Friday, Full Monty breakfasts on a Saturday and a Roast Dinner on a Sunday. The creativity came in Monday to Thursday where I would have to decide on the plat du jour. I poured through cookbooks, looking for simple yet tasty dishes that would entice my diners and in time I grew confident and really fell in love with managing my own little kitchen.
It was around about this time I met Nic, now my fiancé and after a two year long-distance relationship and many discussions about who should move where we threw caution to the wind and moved to Australia. I worked at The Bligh Hotel in the CBD in Sydney, this was the first proper kitchen I had worked in and the pressure was on. We served exceptional fresh pasta and risotto dishes, beautiful salads, pizzas, schnitzel’s and gourmet burgers. It was the kind of place city office workers would dine and hold meetings. It had an open kitchen which was so exciting because the energy of the lunch time buzz in the restaurant flowed through to us chefs and drove the lunch service. It was such an incredible experience for me and I learned so much thanks to the patience and the help of my colleagues and head chefs (Jo and Charles).
A year later, Nic and I decided to move back to Europe. Nic was going to take over his father’s business and I wanted to work on super yachts. I was very fortunate because I found a job quickly and although I lacked confidence at first my passion for cooking and my desire to succeed drove me on to my new career path as a yacht chef.
I love working on yachts, I have come a long way since bacon, broccoli and new potatoes and the job has taken me to some amazing places. To beautiful sandy beaches on islands with the clearest blue water, to the most exclusive destinations in the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal as far as Egypt and across the Atlantic to New York City. They have been some of the most incredible years of my life, I have learned so much and continue to do so. I’m going to use this website to share my culinary experiences with you and post recipes and pictures as I go along, hoping to maybe inspire you to try something new. I’m an amateur photographer, learning as I go. All the photos are taken by myself, most on my on my Cannon 700D and some on my iPhone. I hope you like them and enjoy reading my work and following my webpage.