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Superyacht Chef Competition: nine contestants, only one winner

All the candidates and the jury after the awards ceremony. © Yacht Club de Monaco

Held at the prestigious Monaco Yacht Club, the fifth edition of the Superyacht Chef Competition brought together some of the world’s top chefs, both in the kitchen and on the judging panel, to shine the spotlight on this often little-known profession in the yachting world.

Creativity, originality, adaptability, efficiency, composure… were the key words on competition day. Nine superyacht chefs took up the challenge of creating dishes using surprise ingredients, in record time and in a limited space. The conditions were almost identical to those on a boat, apart from the added bonus of all the spectators who came out in force to cheer them on. On the jury, the three-starred Chef and jury member from the French TV show Top Chef  Glenn Viel was accompanied by five other fine dining experts.

© Yacht Club de Monaco

Every gesture counts 

Each candidate had only five minutes to find out what was in their mystery basket. Forty minutes to concoct and cook four identical servings that would then be carefully tasted by the experts. “A Chef is someone who cooks with their emotions and feelings on the day. When you create a dish, the inspiration comes from the product you have in front of you, a smell, an image, colours… which give us the idea for a unique dish. On the jury, we will be interested in the originality and quality of the recipe. As would the owner of a yacht in fact,” explains Chef Julien Roucheteau, double Michelin star holder and competition jury member.

As well as being creative, the candidates needed to cook with an environmentally responsible and low-waste approach. All the ingredients in the basket had to be used, or the chef would be penalised by the jury. The event is part of the Monaco Yacht Club’s Social and Environmental Responsibility (CSR) policy.

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And the winner is…

With a recipe involving candied lobster with hazelnut butter and bisque, accompanied by a tartare of caviar with lemon, then a dessert composed of a mascarpone cream with cocoa and a strawberry tartare with basil and lemon cream… Paulo Ucha Longhin (M/Y Hercules – 50m) titillated the jury’s taste buds and won the competition!

It was a big challenge for me, but I wanted to show the audience that anything is possible. Just believe in it, work hard, but above all, do what you love. If you don’t love what you do, it won’t work out. That’s the key. During the competition I was really intimidated by all the cameras and the clock. I’m not used to it, this was a first for me. At the start of the competition it was difficult, but in the final I managed to be more focused, better organised and to do what I’m capable of. I’m super happy,” Paulo said, all smiles.

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The contestants:

  • Paulo Ucha Longhin (M/Y Hercules – 50 m)
  • Joelyanne Lefaucheur (M/Y Artemis – 33 m)
  • Mateusz Mitka (M/Y Lady Britt – 63 m)
  • Margot Laurent (M/Y Leonardo III – 43 m)
  • Enzo Di Gabro (M/Y L.A.U.L. – 39 m)
  • Giacomo Seregni (M/Y Severin’s – 55 m)
  • Jérémie Gruson (M/Y Victoria del mar – 50 m)
  • Ava Faulkner (M/Y Light Holic – 60 m)
  • Melvin Costaglioli (M/Y Black Legend 50 m)

The jury members:

  • Chef Glenn Viel, three Michelin stars and jury member on the Top Chef  TV show.
  • Chef Marco Tognon (M/Y Planet – 72 m), winner of the 2023 edition.
  • Chef Danny Davies, host of “Behind the Line with Chef Danny Davies” and experienced vegan culinary author.
  • Chef Julien Roucheteau, trained at the Ferrandi School in Paris and holder of two Michelin stars.
  • Chef Fred Ramos, disciple of the renowned Jacques Maximin.
  • Chef Victoria Vallenilla, finalist on the “Objectif Top Chef” TV show.