Anyone who knows me know how much I love my food. I love eating food, I love discovering new foods, I love creating food, and I love cooking food for others.
However If someone had asked me in high school whether I saw myself cooking on boats all around the world for hundreds of people each year, I would have laughed in their faces. Not because I didn’t think it was an amazing career, but because I didn’t think I was capable of such a job. Turns out I was wrong.
It all begun when I returned home from my travels after modelling contract in Thailand, and realised that although I loved modelling, I wasn’t interested in spending another 6 months in taxis and going to castings every day, which meant I needed to find a new job to chase the sun around the world.
I had looked into a few things (working in Disney land and dancing on a cruise ship being two options that crossed my mind) when an amazing company was brought to my attention that I knew I needed to be apart of.
Welcome, The Yacht Week.
I had seen pictures on my newsfeed from friends who had done the yacht week, but never really knew what it was or what job I could possibly land. However after investigating their site, and growing more in love by the minute, I saw the two main options. Skipper or Hostess.
Since, at that point in time, I had never even been on a sail boat, let alone drive one, I thought I would look into applying for the latter option, hostessing right? How hard could it ?
So I filled out all the forms, went through a few stages of interviews including online and via Skype, until I finally got the email confirming me to participate in Skipper academy and potentially land one of the best jobs in the world.
What’s involved in this job you ask? Well at this point I still wasn’t entirely sure, the hostess role on Yacht Week was only beginning to become a big thing, as hostesses hadn’t been too common in the previous years. From the year I begun there was around 15 hostesses a week, maximum. The next year there was up to 50 a week, and that was only a year apart. So you get the idea.
SO. I landed in Croatia with the thinking that I would be sitting in a class room for a week, and learning about sailing and about the kitchens, about how to cook for a large group of people and safety on the boats. Boy was I in for a shock. I turned up to the marina to find out that we were in fact getting on the boats that same day, for an entire week. I would be cooking breakfast lunch and dinner for 8 hungry boys each day, and would begin that afternoon, as we started sailing on the Adriatic Sea. In a kitchen that was about as large as the counter top of my cutlery draw. To say I was scared shitless would be putting it lightly.
First, we hostesses went shopping for our boats, and my god the amount of food that is required for 10 people on a boat for a week is outrageous. Not until I had 5 gigantic trolleys of food in front of me, going through checkout purchasing each individual plastic bag and bagging all the items myself, whilst labelling each bag with my initial to know what was mine, what was cold, and what needed freezing, did I really appreciate the lovely cashier and bagging ladies in my own country.
After the shopping was completed, we carted the food in big taxis to the boats, loaded the boats, unpacked the shopping in every single book and cranny that could possibly be found, and started with preparing some snacks and prepping for dinner.
I think I went partially grey that night. Not only was I trying to process all the information that was told to me that day, but I was cooking spaghetti bolognaise for 8 hungry boys, and a instructed whose nickname (or call sign as they call it) was I kid you not, The Assasin.
He definitely didn’t make my first night the easiest, but he prepared me well for what was in store and how hard the job actually was. Throughout the week we were watched and tested by our instructers, to make sure meals were on time, kitchens were clean, and the food was up to standard. We even had a cooking exam, for a panel of Yacht a Week management, where we had to prepare and cook a 3 course meal, and have it served exactly at our allotted time. If I remember correctly, I cooked a traditional Italian bruschetta for enter, Camembert and garlic stuffed chicken breast with perfectly potatoes and a garlic butter sauce, and a chocolate lava cake with a strawberries for dessert. And let me tell you doing that without an electronic mixer is no easy task.
The week was exhausting, but I made amazing friendships in that week alone so I knew this was something I wanted, no needed, to be apart of.
Judgement day came, and as I walked onto the catamaran where management waited to deliver all of us the news, I saw a faint smile on a few of the faces and knew I’d done it. Welcome to yacht week kaitlin!
So what EXACTLY is my job? A hostess’ responsibilities include but are not limited too;
- Meal planning
- Provisioning for the week
- Cooking a hot breakfast daily,
Cooking lunch daily
- Occasional dinners
Table bookings at parties and restaurants
- Provide Information
- Have an AMAZING time with our guests, making sure they are stoked at life and enjoying yacht week to its full potential.