Chef Ser­gio Marichales

Yachts International - - On Charter - M/Y Lost Boys

Ask Ser­gio Marichales how he got to the Sun­seeker 116 Lost Boys, and he’ll mod­estly credit his ca­reer as pro­fes­sional chef to “be­ing at the right place at the right time.” I’m not buy­ing it. Spend­ing a few days with the man, as I did on a re­cent char­ter in the Ex­u­mas aboard Lost Boys, is like tak­ing a course in self-aware­ness. Marichales is one of those rare personalities who not only in­spires those around him, but also seems des­tined to bloom at vir­tu­ally any­thing he de­cides to do, in­clud­ing cook­ing aboard lux­ury yachts.

Born in Venezuela to a fam­ily in which cook­ing was a bond­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Marichales is a stu­dent of the world. He re­al­ized that cook­ing was his call­ing one hot sum­mer day in a restau­rant kitchen. Rather than wait for the world to come to him, he set out for Le Cor­don Bleu, then be­gan an epi­curean jour­ney that led him through­out Europe, Thai­land and Hong Kong, adding to his culi­nary reper­toire as he went.

“Hong Kong, it doesn’t mat­ter if you’re at a restau­rant or wan­der­ing the street mar­kets: The food and fla­vors are amaz­ing,” Marichales says. “Ev­ery­thing’s tasty in Italy. They put the love into ev­ery­thing. It’s not about the show—it’s the sim­ple in­gre­di­ents. Be­cause of the soil, ev­ery­thing is quite or­ganic nat­u­rally there. You can be in any trat­to­ria in Italy and those to­ma­toes are al­ways the best to­ma­toes you’ve ever had.” To­day, Latin fu­sion is Marichales’ call­ing card. “It’s a fu­sion of the fla­vors I grew up with, the places I’ve been, and the teach­ers and men­tors I’ve had along the way,” he says. “I’ll make any­thing the guests ask for, but when I’m free to do what I want, it’s Latin fused. That fla­vor pro­file, it’s go­ing to start in your mouth and then it’s go­ing to blow your mind.”

The way a dish looks plays into that din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, too, he says.

“A lot of color—I paint with a broad pal­ette, and when I have the op­por­tu­nity to ex­press my­self, it’s all about what I can give you in three or four bites that taste good and look good,” he says. “Ev­ery­thing in­spires me, es­pe­cially art. I’ll see some­thing at a mu­seum and I try to recre­ate it on a white plate can­vas.”

Marichales also says he plays off the in­spi­ra­tions of char­ter guests, adapt­ing his own style to match their tastes.

“It’s about be­ing real, know­ing your­self and be­ing true to that, but al­ways will­ing to adapt,” he says. “Life is al­ways evolv­ing. Peo­ple change, our tastes change, char­ter guests change.”

Marichales’ pas­sion for adap­ta­tion tran­scends the gal­ley, as he

sees an op­por­tu­nity for con­tin­ued im­prove­ment aboard char­ter yachts in gen­eral.

“We need to up the game,” Marichales says. “Take your typ­i­cal char­ter yacht that char­ters for, say, $125,000 a week. That’s like $17,000 a night, plus food, drinks, fuel. That dwarfs any five-star ho­tel in the world. So, for me, it’s about how can we de­liver bet­ter on that?”

I can’t wait to see what he comes up with as the an­swer.

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