Posted: 11th March 2018 | Written by: OnboardOnline
The 50m motor yacht ODESSA is available to charter in the Mediterranean this summer, with an amazing crew ready to lavish 7-Star service upon discerning charter guests. One of ODESSA's key attractions is Chef Sean Ballington who gives a flavour of life onboard, his favourite cuisine and a glimpse of his menus.
Q: Why did you decide to become a chef and how did you train?
Sean Ballington: At the age of 14 I discovered I had a flair for cooking during domestic science / cookery classes so this pointed me in the direction of catering college. At the age of 16 I enrolled in a two year professional catering course in what, at the time, was considered to be one of the best catering colleges in the UK, “High Peak Catering College". I enjoyed this time and was lucky to have the benefit of working with great tutors who taught me the basics and I've progressed on the back of that great start.
Q: Tell us about a sticky situation onboard on how you dealt with it.
SB: Difficult situations are part and parcel of being a chef. I like to think I’m very level headed and have a rational approach; staying calm is key. In 35 years as a chef I cannot recall a situation that I couldn’t deal with!
Q: Is there a chef you admire above all others and why?
SB: I think I can relate most to Marco Pierre White. He was my inspiration as I developed as a chef during the late 80s and 90s but I can take inspiration from anyone and I love to see how other chefs work.
Q: What is your favourite cuisine and can you accomodate different styles of cooking?
SB: My background is in fine dining country house hotels across the UK which I guess is classed as modern British, but I love trying all types of world cuisine. I feel lucky that during my time working on yachts I have travelled around the world and I love nothing better than discovering new restaurants and taking ideas from different countries.
Q: Do you have a favourite wine?
SB: Hard to pick a favourite wine for me, I love all wines and it very much depends on the situation and whether it is with food or just a social occasion, but a good champagne is hard to beat.
Q: What trends are you noticing in wine and food pairings?
SB: I think the fundamental idea in pairing food and wine is that one element doesn’t overpower the other. The food enhances the wine and the wine enhances the food to provide a more memorable dining experience. The traditional thinking of red wine with darker, more robust meats and white wine with fish and white meat has been challenged by modern dining trends especially when sauces come into play and depending on which spices are involved.
MY Odessa, available for charter with Edmiston
Q: Can you share with us a sample springtime menu you would prepare for a charter client?
SB: Spring is one of my favourite seasons, I love the light feel to the produce at this time of year. For example:
New season Asparagus
Poached duck egg and a tarragon hollandaise sauce
Pesto crusted Rack of spring Lamb
with crushed jersey royal potato and a minted pea puree
Almond craquelin and ginger sorbet
Q: If you were asked to reduce fat and salt in a menu, what would you do to maintain the flavour and quality of the dishes?
SB: I think generally avoiding processed foods is a great start to reducing fat and sodium! Of course I make everything from scratch but salt can easily be replaced with herbs or garlic and the dish will still be super tasty and fresh. I can also substitute butter in baking with alternative oils like coconut.
Q: How are trends driving guest expectations and how do you stay up to date?
SB: I think food trends in general are now driven by the fact that the world is more connected and consumers are more knowledgeable about the different cuisines available. Increasingly people are also personalising their own nutrition and making food choices around what will make them feel better.
Q: When are you happiest at work?
SB: I am generally always happy! I love my job and feel lucky to provide and make others happy with what I do.
Q: Tell us about an accomplishment that you are proud of as a chef.
SB: Lookin back I am proud at having taken my first head chef job in a hotel at the age of 23 and in just three months I attained two AA rosettes for the hotel’s restaurant. I have never had less since. Retaining a star and being awarded three rosettes is also a highlight, and I still have the same passion for the job as when I started.
Q: What are the strengths that make you a great superyacht chef?
SB: I'm a calm, friendly, approachable chef with a can-do attitude, always happy to adapt and change at a moment’s notice. I always want to go the extra mile to please the people I cook for!
Sample Lunch Menu:
Carpaccio of Scallops with Cherry Tomato, Chili, Beet Sprouts and
Watercress, Coriander & Lemon Oil Emulsion
Kale Salad with Strawberries, Apple, Candied Pecans,
Crumbled Blue Cheese & Grilled Skirt Steak
with Honey & Lemon Dressing
Fresh Mango & Passion Fruit Tartelette
with White Chocolate Mascarpone
Sample Dinner Menu:
Roast Squab Pigeon,
Apple and Black Pudding Tarte Tatin, Scrumpy Apple Jus
Roasted wild Halibut
Jerusalem Artichoke Purée and Morel auce
Kobe Beef Fillet with Roasted Shallots
Langoustines and Smoked Bacon Sauce
Banana Tarte Tatin
Rum and Raisin Ice Cream & Butterscotch Sauce
Odessa combines excellent ocean-going performance with elegant exterior and interior spaces. She sleeps up to 10 guests in five staterooms and can accommodate two additional guests in the master office which converts into a double cabin including an ensuite shower and dressing room.
Thanks to her extensive refresh in 2017 there are now four independent lower guest cabins, two of which can convert from doubles to twins. She also boasts an update to AV systems and new soft furnishings throughout.
Exceptional captain and crew
Extensive refresh including new soft furnishings (2017)
Versatile cabin configuration
Master office convertible into a double cabin
Large deck spaces with a deck Jacuzzi
Wide range of watersports, gym equipment
Click to view the yacht's e-brochure.
Central Agent: Edmiston, 27 Boulevard Albert 1er, Monaco, MC 98000
Odessa is available for charter in the Mediterranean at €200,000 - €225,000 per week.