INTERVIEW WITH A CHEF - ‘HERE COMES THE SUN’
As we come to the end of January 2019 and those who are not a fan of the cold weather (like myself) may want to spend some time in warmer climates. Looking for a place in the sun? How about Cabo San Lucas and the Sea of Cortez or the Caribbean on board one the most outstanding superyachts by Amels?
HERE COMES THE SUN is an 83 metre superyacht that has over 15,000 sq ft of interior space and over 10,000 sq ft of exterior space! There is just so much space, everywhere. For the first time, I genuinely don’t know where to start...
Without a doubt in my mind when you approach HERE COMES THE SUN you will get butterflies. Let us begin with the exterior: The large deck spaces speak for themselves and each deck has chrome/silver railings and plenty of windows. From the beach club to the sun deck, there is so much exterior space that when your charter comes to an end, you may be surprised at how dark you tan is... To help you go between the five decks, yes FIVE decks, there is a glass elevator or a spiral staircase which wraps around the elevator. Starting on the sun deck, this is where you will want to spend the evening sitting in the jacuzzi watching the sun go down whilst drinking a Pornstar Martini prepared in the cocktail bar.
Moving down to the Owner’s deck you will find the stylish main salon. One detail that I like is that all the colours that are used around the interior are warm, earthy colours, and natural tones. Intricately carved wood and stone, leather and bronze features highlight the connection to the great outdoors. The effect is a modern, relaxed beach villa aesthetic with a top-quality finish. The furniture is also minimal, which is always a winner. Every room is inviting, encouraging you to put your feet up, whereas on some yachts it can feel like you are in a showroom where if you sit down it might spoil to the look of the room, so you sit on the edge of the sofa. Not here. It is not just the main salon that feels like this but everywhere from the sundeck to the beach club.
The Owner’s suite has one of the best locations that I have seen, forward-facing on the private Owner’s deck with a full 180-degree view. It is breathtaking and offers one of those views that will make you never want to get out of bed! The walk around deck spaces and the high windows bring the outside in and the layout of the room creates a haven for a welcome escape after a busy day spent with with family and friends. The Owner’s suite also has a walk-in wardrobe and a stunning bathroom, definitely one of the best Owner’s suites I have seen on any yacht.
Taking the elevator down to the main deck you will find an infinity pool and the main salon with its dining area for up to 14 guests. This is the perfect place to hold formal evenings where guests can have space to relax and enjoy a few drinks. There is also a grand piano and a large cocktail bar. My favourite detail about this room is the ceiling and its small ‘shell’ like tiles which just give the room that bit more character. Here you will also find the seven luxurious guest staterooms and the 10-seater cinema.
Finally, you come to the lower deck and its dedicated wellness area situated on the spectacular beach club complete with fold down terraces. It features a sauna, hammam, gym and a relaxation lounge and the beach club can also be set up to become a massage room. Naturally, there are plenty of toys on board HERE COMES THE SUN for you to enjoy in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez or the Caribbean this winter.
HERE COMES THE SUN can host 12 guests in 10 staterooms. There are also 25 talented and highly skilled crew members available 24/7 who will ensure your time on board is memorable and stress-free. The crew know the yacht and the destinations like no other, and with an onboard water toys instructor, Dive Master, Thai oil masseuse, Head of Service and qualified Sommelier Gabor, who used to manage the Michelin starred Launceston Place in London, you are in good hands.
When Fraser mentioned HERE COMES THE SUN to me, I was immediately excited. This is one of those yachts that if I was to build one for myself, I would use it as an inspiration, a base to start from.
HERE COMES THE SUN also has one other hidden gem and that is Chef Tiziano Nastri who took the time to tell us a little bit more about himself .
What made you want to become a chef?
My maternal grandparents had a small bakery and bistro in Naples, south of Italy. I spent my childhood summers observing my grandmother cook traditional dishes. Recreating those colours, flavours and textures became my passion.
How long have you been cooking professionally?
Cooking has been my profession and favourite hobby for over thirty years.
Do you have a favourite ingredient?
Growing up by the coast meant that I always had a special appreciation for seafood.
What is your favourite wine?
My favourite red wine is a Mastroberardino Taurasi, produced in Campania, a region in the south of Italy. For white wine, I’d have to go with Gavi di Gavi la Scolca produced in Piedmont, Italy.
What do you like to cook when you are home alone?
I will never get tired of a simple plate of spaghetti with clams, especially when sharing it with my wife, who is a huge fan of the dish.
Is there a chef you admire the most who and why?
One of the chefs that I regard most highly is Antonio Cannavaccuolo. As a fellow Neapolitan, he has made a name for himself transforming traditional and simple flavours into modern culinary experiences, rightfully earning him a Michelin star.
What is the most stressful part of your job?
As part of the luxury yacht experience, we are wholeheartedly committed to providing the highest standards to please our guests. This becomes challenging when travelling to remote destinations where we might have difficulty finding certain ingredients. It all involves a lot of planning, organisation and excellent teamwork.
What are your top 3 career highlights?
The first was when I got the opportunity to work on a yacht, which allowed me to take my craft to a whole new level. The second was my first Cannes Film Festival charter. I was cooking for movie stars every night and it was a mix of excitement and fear. I’ll never forget it. The third, and perhaps most important, was when I started working for the yacht’s owner on his first 37-metre yacht 14 years ago. We have been through so much together and I’m proud to be his executive chef to this day.
What is your view on the yacht industry?
It goes without saying that working in this industry has many perks. We travel the world, it’s an adventure. I’ve explored markets in Mexico, prepared a full course meal on a glacier in Alaska and have seen everything in between; Taking a little piece from everywhere I go and learning so much from people of different cultures and backgrounds. It can also be very tough, delivering the best is a lot of pressure, but it also adds an element of surprise.
How did you get into being a chef on a yacht?
For me it was completely by chance. When I lived in the United States one of my neighbours had a brother who worked as a yacht captain. He introduced us and five months later I was offered a job, as a chef, on his yacht in Sanremo Italy.
What is your favourite yachting destination?
My heart belongs to the Mediterranean. I can always find the best ingredients, even in the smallest village market, the quality in exceptional. On the other hand, Alaska was sensational, the untouched natural beauty is breathtaking.
What is the difference between cooking in a restaurant to a yacht?
I think the main difference is the relationship with the client, on a yacht, it’s much more intimate and personal, the food is essentially tailored to their taste.
The level of organisation required is also significantly higher, if something is missing in a restaurant, you can always go and get it. On a yacht we have to be prepared weeks in advance, to ensure we have everything to exceed the expectations of our guests.
Whilst on a yacht what is the most unusual request you have had from a guest?
Perhaps not unusual but definitely the most challenging was when one of the guests invited some friends on board. We served the final dishes and the kitchen was being cleaned when at that moment the head stewardess came in and informed us that the guest has requested a birthday cake to be served immediately. I’m a pretty good baker, but I had no idea what I could deliver in less than five minutes. We somehow managed, but we always encourage guests with special requests to tell us some time in advance, so we can ensure we deliver the absolute best.
What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time on board the yacht?
One of the craziest and most emotional experiences happened when I was working on board on my 50th birthday. The Owner called me to the deck and knowing my lifelong passion for motorcycles, he gifted me a Harley Davidson Electraglide motorcycle. I didn’t believe it until I took my first ride. To be honest I still can’t believe it.
What advice would you give to first time charter guests?
I would advise guests to take short trips, this ensures the possibility to explore a few different locations. The yacht experience is unique, it allows guests to experience luxury at its finest, and for this reason, I highly encourage guests to fill in a preference sheet with regards to their dietary requirements and allergies. This allows the kitchen to fully cater to each guest’s personal preferences. And of course, to enjoy every single commodity Here Comes The Sun has to offer.