cel­lar & gal­ley

a char­ter chef and a master som­me­lier serve up the per­fect pairings

Yachts International - - Contents - By Jill Bo­brow yachtsin­ter­na­tional.com

From journalism and ge­ol­ogy to chem­istry and cook­ing, Jemma Har­ri­son is con­stantly rein­vent­ing her­self. The 35-year-old chef from Lin­colnshire, Eng­land, laughs a lot while she is pre­par­ing meals in the gal­ley aboard 180-foot (54.6me­ter) Vit­ters Marie.

“I have al­ways been ob­sessed with food,” she says. “My mom was hope­less in the kitchen; maybe my love of food was passed on from my grand­fa­ther, who was a cook in the army.”

Har­ri­son’s molec­u­lar gas­tron­omy skills are a world apart from her grand­fa­ther’s bangers and mash in the mess hall. She has been aboard Marie for nearly two years and thrives on pre­sent­ing char­ter guests with a va­ri­ety of dishes, some of which she learned in In­dia, Ja­pan, Spain and France. In the molec­u­lar gas­tron­omy arena, just two of her mem­o­rable of­fer­ings are king prawn carpac­cio and shal­lot pearls.

Her route to be­com­ing a pro­fes­sional chef was cir­cuitous. After univer­sity, she spent four years as a ra­dio jour­nal­ist for the BBC, do­ing in­ves­tiga­tive re­ports in the York­shire coun­try­side. Cook­ing was al­ways a per­sonal pas­sion, but she never con­sid­ered it a se­ri­ous pro­fes­sion. When her other pas­sion— snow­board­ing—took her to the French Alps, she sup­ported her lift tick­ets with chef stints at chalets. She bal­anced her win­ter play with a sum­mer­time love of the sea, which led her to chef po­si­tions aboard yachts in the Mediter­ranean.

An­other of her tal­ents is the sous vide method, which in­volves cook­ing food slowly in a vac­u­um­sealed pouch at low tem­per­a­ture. “It is a great way to go aboard a yacht, be­cause if your guests are late, the meat will keep its tex­ture and fla­vor per­fectly,” she says.

In ad­di­tion to cook­ing aboard Marie, Har­ri­son owns and runs Funi Wear in the U.K., pro­duc­ing bean­ies and win­ter gar­ments.

“I have a bunch of grannies knit­ting for me, and we even make gear for the of­fi­cial Bri­tish snow­board team,” Har­ri­son says.

She also started “The Gal­ley Gang,” a group of 100 chefs in An­tigua that rents a villa for cook-offs. Har­ri­son hopes to ex­pand the group beyond the Caribbean is­land.

Chef Jemma Har­ri­son S/Y Marie

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