Charter RoMEA is not only indulging your senses and exploring a new horizon of superyacht charter: joining a 82-metre-long vessel like her is entering a whole new world and opening your horizons to new sensations. To exalt your on-board experience, and make happy memories of your time with RoMEA, a superyacht charter trip could not be a 5-star one without her culinary moments. We met Alexander Frey, Head Chef on-board RoMEA, to talk about his background, his experiences with high-end clientele and his feeling of being on-board one of the most sought-after charter motor yacht in the current market. A conversation we are pleased to share with you, before you make your own mind up during your next charter trip aboard...
Imperial: How did you become the Chef of a yacht like RoMEA?
It all started with a three-year apprenticeship in Switzerland. I worked at a famous five-star hotel called the Victoria Jungfrau, one of the finest in Switzerland, and that’s what made me really want to give it a go in high-end dining. From there I went to Paris and the three Michelin star Ducasse; and then on to Edinburgh to work with Tom Kitchen. It was only at that point that I started to explore a different direction…
I worked a season in the Alps as a private chef and three seasons later, I got my first job on a yacht, a 33-metre Sunseeker. Now, seven years down the line, having worked on several charter vessels, including a 75-metre sail yacht, a 90-metre motoryacht and Imperial’s M/Y ARKLEY, I am proud to have secured a position as Head Chef on RoMEA.
IY: What do you enjoy about working as a chef on a charter yacht?
When you work for a private client, you obviously do what he likes. When you work in a restaurant, you put out your best menu and if the customer doesn’t enjoy it, he goes elsewhere. But on a charter yacht, the whole world’s upside down. You have to tailor the cuisine to each person on-board, and there’s a real kick in getting that right.
Charter guests are usually quite adventurous and that also suits me because I’m very passionate about what I do. They want to see something new, something they couldn’t have at home, but still something with their own twist. If they don’t like game, they don’t like game, so it’s not like cooking for a professional food critic who has to respect every ingredient in its own right. It’s far more personal than that.
IY: So where do you find inspiration for your cuisines?
I take my inspiration from my travels. When I go ashore, I want to try that new restaurant; experience that new ingredient – and I want to include the best of those local influences in the cuisine. I’ve done lots of cooking courses too, particularly since working with Imperial. This summer, for instance, I’ve done two weeks in China; I’ve done a pastry course in Switzerland; I’ve done another in Thailand; in Indonesia; in Sri Lanka. And when travelling, I also take private lessons if I think there is more to be learned. It’s just so useful to broaden your repertoire, because the clients can be very ambitious. They have been to so many places and they’ve tried so many things most people have never experienced. Some of their requests can be a challenge, but by continuing to build and learn, I can propose a much broader and more exciting range of cuisines.
IY: What kind of food do you particularly enjoy serving?
I’ve done a lot of Asian food over the last few years, so I like to take the guests on that same journey, jumping from country to country, cooking the best of the things I’ve learned in each place. Starting off in China, moving to Sri Lanka and Indonesia and then perhaps returning to my home country of Switzerland for dessert. My homemade truffles are based on those I grew up with, and I think they are the very best, so they really appreciate that personal touch. Aside from that, there are plenty of other cuisines that I personally favour, but the most important thing is to understand the individual tastes of the guests. I go out and meet them after their first meal on-board to find out what they think. It gets the ball rolling and in the end, we are usually able to provide all the dishes they have requested.
IY: What do you like to do when you’re not on duty?
I love to go to Italy, to go ashore and to be cooked for. I enjoy that more and more. Sometimes we get into conversations with the staff about food and that’s always a pleasure. I also enjoy going for walks and breathing in the fresh air. But even on-board, it’s sometimes nice just to pop out and watch a dolphin for a few minutes before returning to the galley.
IY: What is your most memorable charter destination?
Corsica and Sardinia are amazing. The landscapes are a mixture of white Caribbean-style beaches and rocky cliff faces. It’s just wonderful. I’ve always said that one day I want to take a sailing yacht with a couple of friends and sail around those islands. But in the future, both as a chef and as a traveller, I would also love to spend some time in Japan. I’ve done a Japanese course at the Tokyo Sushi Academy in Singapore and I felt I was in Japan the moment I walked through the door. I would really love to spend a few of weeks discovering the place for real.
RoMEA is available for charter during summer and winter seasons. For further charter information and bookings regarding RoMEA and to explore all the delights proposed by her talented Chef, please contact our Charter department:
Imperial Charter Department
T +377 97 98 38 80