Working as a chef in the superyacht industry is already time consuming. Not only do we have hungry guests to feed while on boss trips or charter, we also have plenty of starving deckhands to keep going. Lord knows, those kids like to eat.
So it’s drop off day. You have the galley to clean down, restock and turn around. But the captain calls you all into the crew mess to give you some good news “All crew- we have this weekend off!” of course everyone cheers, everyone except the chef that is.
A weekend off means pumping out a tonne of weekend food. Your brain is already fried from a busy season. You feel like you are all out of ideas, and on top of that, come Friday, you still have to put out crew meals and tidy the place up a bit. It can be exhausting.
Bookmark this page in your browser and return to it anytime your feeling like you are running out of crew food ideas for weekend food. Hopefully, it jogs your memory for a recipe you already have, or it gives you a totally fresh idea of what to cook for the crew.
Weekend food Contents
Table of Contents
Crew meal ideas for weekend food
Think Thai or Indian. Or go left field and throw in an Ethiopian or South African version. Either way, its a simple dish to throw together and prep ahead.
Hot tip : For tougher cuts of meat, add your spice paste in the morning to flavour nicely, and cover with foil and stock/canned tomatoes etc, after work. Oven bake it at 80 degrees over night, and the next morning your lamb curry will be tender and ready for crew lunch.
Options are endless. And pastas are also a great way to use up bits of things. Left over roast chicken? Shred it through a pasta. Half a jar of olives? Puttanesca eat your heart out. Other quick and easy options include: chicken Alfredo, sun dried tomato fettuccine, Beef lasagna or a simple mac and cheese.
Baked pasta are great to prep before crossings or for weekend food too for crew. You can make it in advance and just whack it in the oven for 20minutes to cook it through. Easy peasy!
Another great idea to help get rid of random veg in the fridge and half used jars of anything vaguely “Asian”. Chop all of the bits of whatever you have laying around. Saute it off in advance. Create a sauce by mixing a whole bunch of different sauces together and mix with the veg. A quick blast in the microwave and the crew should be good to go! Add protein options to the side if you want to keep everyone happy. Sprinkle with roasted cashews and some fresh herbs.
Fried rice is also great to use up leftover bits for weekend food. Dice those chicken breasts and cook off the rice with plenty of garlic and oil. Add beaten egg and spring onions and you have a quick and easy chicken fried rice option for crew weekend food. It reheats well in the microwave. Change it up and turn it into a Nasi Gorang or keep it vegan and let the crew choose their own proteins to add.
Related: Download our free crew menu PDF with over 300 recipes for busy yacht chefs
Sheet pan Dinners
Surprisingly easy, but these sorts of dishes go down well for crossings and weekend food for crew. Place chopped root vegetable on the bottom of the tray and your marinated protein on top and roast until cooked. Depending on the dish, it can be a good idea to also add chopped herbs, roasted pine nuts, or sliced marinated vegetables at the end.
You can get really creative here for yacht crew. Think : African stews, Brazilian Stews, Moroccan stews and even Europes dishes such as Beef ragu and bourguignon. It is super easy to marinate your meats, or vegetables in advance and simmer it while you prepare other things. Chill it down and let crew reheat their portions as they want it. The beauty of this, is anything leftover on Monday morning can be vac packed down and frozen. You can reuse these smaller bits as meat pies or filling to bulk out other stews later.
Work Smarter, not harder!!
Oven Baked Dishes
Create enchiladas, baked potatoes or quiches for weekend food. Super easy and quick, with minimal fuss. Be mindful that a hungover crew member will be begging for more cheese on these dishes, so go crazy! Other oven baked ideas include frittatas, pies and empanadas, pork ribs and shepherds pie.
Don’t forget the vegans!
Create quick coconut turmeric lentils, white bean stew or a soupy Indian dhal for the vegan crew. Reasonably quick, and easy to reheat, while being packed with protein and nutrients for those fit and active crew members. Use canned beans for a quicker alternative, or bust out a pressure cooker and cook off whole bags of beans to use later.
Tips and tricks for weekend food
- Freeze protein, so on the day you only have to cook carbs and salads. Vac down and sous vide to heat.
- Make double the carbs to use across the next day’s meals. Rice, pasta, quinoa, use for burritos, tacos, salads, pasta bakes, soups etc.
- Thermomix for cheese sauces, soups, pasta sauces etc while you prep other things. Vac seal excess. Freeze.
- Marinade meats and vac to sous vide and sear at the last minute.
- The overnight 80degree oven does wonders. Brisket, pork shoulder, lamb legs, you name, low and slow for an almost ready made dish the next morning.
- Make use of the random vac pac bags you already have in the freezer. Did you keep 10 cooked chicken breasts from crew lunch last month? Pull it out, chop it ip and you have another simple protein for crew to use as a salad topping, or sliced for sandwiches. Again, it’s all about working smarter, not harder here.
You probably already implement all of these tips without even thinking about it… but we’d love to hear what other tips you have to share with other yacht chefs.