Cara Lees Yacht Crew


Commander of the Galley

The chef is responsible for preparing and serving meals for the guests and crew.

How to Become a Yacht Chef

To work as a chef on a superyacht, you will typically need the following qualifications and skills:

  • A professional culinary education or a relevant professional cooking experience.
  • Professional culinary qualifications, such as a City and Guilds Diploma or a culinary degree.
  • Experience working in a busy kitchen and knowledge of different cooking techniques and styles.
  • Knowledge of food safety regulations, including HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and the ability to maintain a clean and hygienic kitchen environment.
  • Experience working with high-end ingredients and equipment.
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills.
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to work well in a team.
  • Flexibility and adaptability, as superyacht chefs are often required to prepare meals for guests with a wide range of dietary restrictions and preferences.
  • Good English language skills, as it is the most common language used on board the yacht.
  • A valid ENG1 medical certificate, which is required for all professional mariners in the UK, is issued by a doctor who is approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
  • STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) certificate, which is required for all professional mariners in the UK, and is issued by the MCA.
  • An approved food safety certificate, such as a Food Hygiene Certificate level II or III is required for all professional chefs.
  • Ships cook certificate is required for all yachts that are commercially registered (chartering) private yachts, depending on their flag, may also require it.
  • A valid seaman’s book or a discharge book, which is issued by the flag state, to prove your sea-going experience.


It is worth noting that requirements for yacht chefs can vary depending on the yacht flag and the area in which you plan to operate, so it is essential to check the specific regulations and requirements.

Yacht Chef FAQs

What are the qualifications and experience required to be a chef on a superyacht?

A culinary degree or professional culinary training is typically required. Experience working in a professional kitchen, preferably in a fine dining or luxury setting, is also preferred.

STCW certification and food hygiene certification are also required.

What are the main responsibilities of a chef on a superyacht?

Planning, preparing and serving meals for guests and crew Managing the kitchen and food budget Maintaining the cleanliness and sanitation of the kitchen and equipment Purchasing and maintaining inventory of food and supplies

How does the chef interact with the rest of the crew and guests?

The chef works closely with the rest of the crew, particularly the stewardess, to ensure the smooth running of the dining service and to meet the needs and requests of guests. The chef also interacts with guests to take meal orders, discuss dietary needs and preferences, and receive feedback on meals.

How does the chef plan and prepare meals for guests and crew?

The chef plans menus based on guest preferences and dietary needs, as well as considering factors such as the yacht’s location and seasonal ingredients. Meals are prepared using the yacht’s kitchen equipment and facilities and may include both formal, plated meals and more casual, buffet-style options.

What is the typical schedule of a chef on a superyacht?

The schedule of a chef on a superyacht can be demanding and may include long hours, particularly when the yacht is hosting guests. The chef may be required to work early mornings, late evenings, and weekends.

How does the chef handle special dietary requirements and requests from guests?

The chef works closely with the guests to understand their dietary needs and preferences and to accommodate them in meal planning and preparation. The chef must be able to adapt to different dietary restrictions and allergies and prepare meals that are safe and appealing for guests.

How does the chef manage the kitchen and food budget?

The chef is responsible for managing the budget for food and supplies and for ensuring that the kitchen operates within that budget. The chef must be able to plan and purchase ingredients and supplies effectively and efficiently.

What are the everyday challenges of being a chef on a superyacht?

Limited kitchen space and equipment can be a challenge for chefs on superyachts. The chef must be able to adapt to the needs of guests, including dietary restrictions and allergies, which can be a challenge. Working in a confined space for extended periods of time can be a challenge for some.

How does the chef handle emergencies or equipment failures in the kitchen?

The chef must be able to handle emergencies or equipment failures effectively and efficiently, such as having backup plans in case of equipment breakdown or food spoilage. The chef is also responsible for ensuring that all kitchen equipment is in good working condition and properly maintained.

What is the typical salary range for a chef on a superyacht?

The most experienced yacht chefs working on 100-metre-plus (328-foot) yachts earnt a monthly average salary of around €8,000-plus (c. $8,715) per month in 2021, while a sous chef on the same sized vessel earnt on average €4,000 (c. $4,357) to €7,000 (c. $7,626) per month. Third chefs typically earnt around €3,500 (c. $3,813) per month.

At the other end of the spectrum, on vessels below 30 metres (98 feet), a head chef earnt between €4,000 (c. $4,357) to €4,500 (c. $4,902). This typically represents a starting salary for chefs without yachting experience, and they would usually run the entire kitchen without any additional support from qualified chefs.

Yacht Chef Jobs Available

Sous Chef

**Please note-position now closed**

Sous Chef required for 70 & 75m private use yachts.
This is a 4:2 rotational position

Start date 6th March

This role is for a sous chef on a 4:2 rotation that will split their time between the owners 2 yachts. The plan is for 2 months on one and 2 months on the other, then 2 months on leave but the timings on each vessel will be flexible depending on travel itineraries, guest trips etc. Interviews will commence end of January / early February

The sous chef applying is a culinary trained professional that must be able to assist the head chef in all aspects of galley duties. They must take direction well, in addition to possessing the ability to plan well balanced, thoughtful menus and thoroughly understand and implement galley safety and hygiene. The sous chef will be able to independently provide crew meals and assist with preparation of guest meals at the direction of the head chef. The successful candidate for this position should have at least two years of similar experience in a super yacht galley or ashore in reputable hospitality environments.

Apply Now »