Explore Monaco on board RoMEA
Troy Harrison, Head Chef of M/Y RoMEA, talked to Imperial about his experience in Japan at the Tokyo Sushi Academy.
Troy is an exceptional, highly trained, Chef. He is constantly learning and honing his skills to provide guests on M/Y RoMEA with the finest cuisine whilst on board, and his obsession with experiencing modern and different food movements has led him to travel the globe in search of new techniques and ideas. His passion has led him to master Nordic, Baltic, and Scandinavian cuisine in a Michelin Starred restaurant in Copenhagen alongside Rasmus Koefoed – receiver of the Best Chef in the World award – at Geranium, while also ‘staging’ in NOMA, Denmark (3 time n°1 restaurant in the world), to learning Taquerias in San Francisco, refining his Asian dishes in China Town in NYC, and spending time in a Japanese/Peruvian restaurant in Barcelona.
Mostly recently, Troy studied at the Tokyo Sushi Academy in Japan on an intensive internship, condensed from one year to two months. He was fully immersed in Japanese culture and cuisine, and now returns to M/Y RoMEA with an enhanced arsenal of exquisite dishes to delight guests on board.
Imperial: Troy, what drove you to attend the Tokyo Sushi Academy?
Troy Harrison: I have a constant desire to push myself as a Chef. I enjoy stepping outside of my comfort zone and learning what the world has to offer in terms of different cuisines and techniques. I have attended various internships around the world, but it was while ‘staging’ at a famed Japanese/Peruvian Restaurant in Barcelona that I was really exposed to the intricacies of Japanese cooking, and wanted to take this further. Seafood is a major part of cooking on board super yachts, due to the constant availability of the freshest fish, and I wanted to be able to offer guests something different, more inspired, and very special.
IY: What was it like studying in situ?
TH: Not only was I taught by exceptional Chefs who have grown up surrounded by the constant evolution of Japanese cuisine, but the access to the local markets was invaluable. One of my main hobbies during time away from RoMEA is to forage local and international markets to discover new and exciting ingredients, and I was spoilt by what I found in Tokyo. Everything imaginable was available, and led to some very interesting flavour combinations. Some I will recreate on board, others, like cod fish sperm sacks, will stay firmly in Japan! I immersed myself for 2 months, living and eating amongst the locals in Tokyo. There is no better way of understanding the culture of local cuisine than to live it.
IY: What were some of the things you were taught at the Academy?
TH: Patience was the main lesson. Out of every intricate technique, the Japanese virtue of patience was one of the most important; even the simplest looking of dishes will have undergone processes that are immense in the detail of cleaning and prepping the shellfish and fish. This is what makes Japanese cuisine so impressive, however, as you can’t achieve the complexity of flavours any other way.
I was taught many things in my time there, beginning with the history of Japanese cuisine and culture, the history of sushi, rice, Japanese knives, and preservation of fish. This theory has proved invaluable to my approach in preparing Japanese dishes now, as it feels much more authentic, and as a result, I can create beautifully intricate food that not only harks back to traditional cuisine, but that I can put a contemporary twist on.
I was, of course, taught the highly detailed art of slicing sushi (much harder than it looks), and making nigiri. We were taught also Hosomaki (small thin rolls), Katsura Muki (extremely thin slices), Temaki (hand rolls), Yakitori, and Tempura, among many other things.
IY: How will the time spent in Tokyo now affect the work you do in the galley on RoMEA?
TH: I am lucky to work in such a state-of-the-art galley as it makes a lot of things possible. I am also lucky to work alongside my Sous Chef, the hugely talented Peter Christensen who, prior to joining RoMEA, ran an award-winning restaurant in Australia, and who is also a keen spear-fisherman. I will most certainly be teaching him the skills that I learnt at the Academy, and together we will be able to explore what special and intricate dishes we can produce for our guests. I will continue to practice Japanese patience while in the galley, and of course will view seafood in a whole new light.
IY: What do you think your next culinary challenge will be?
TH: I am already planning on travelling to Lima in Peru to gain a greater understanding of ‘Nikkei’ cuisine, as well as staging at Central Restaurant, which is voted as the #1 South American restaurant, and #4 best restaurant, in the world. Alongside this, I will also be taking some short and intense professional courses in at the French Pastry School in Chicago. I am forever challenging myself with this unquenchable thirst for discovering and mastering new cuisines, and hopefully I am able to present guests on board M/Y RoMEA with memorable dishes that encompass my global experiences, as well as introducing them to flavours and dishes they may not necessarily have experienced before.
RoMEA is available for luxury family charters in Mediterranean this summer 2016. Contact now our Imperial Charter Department to create your next charter journey on board:
Imperial Charter Department
T +377 97 98 38 80