Chef Josh King has a different style to most yacht chefs. Doing a regimented interview was clearly not going to work with his vibe, so instead, we bring you a fun bio written by Josh King himself.
Make sure you follow him on social media if you aren’t already- Skoolyardprojex and check out the links throughout this post to find out more about Josh’s side projects and businesses.
Chef Josh King
Basically, I’m not going to bore you with the usual “I worked in Michelin star places, London blah blah”. Because that is standard across the industry- you should hope.
let’s just jump straight to 3-4 years ago.
I was working on 100m+ in the Med as a head chef. When I received a phone call from a Captain about a position on a new build 75M. It was about to embark on a 2-year world tour.
This I would say is where I found my self, I found my style, I found how to enjoy cooking and how to really enjoy the true potential yachting has to offer.
So back to the phone call. General questions where asked and a couple of hours later I got offered the job.
I resigned from this theoretically great rotational position and packed my bags. I flew to the UK then off to join this amazing 75m in the Panama canal. This is where I feel, anything before did not make sense for me within the yachting industry. I could never quite put my finger on why I wasn’t being satisfied by the industry.
Joining the yacht that pivoted Josh’s yachting career
We began heading through the canal. Then on to picking up the guests to travel around Central America for 2-3 weeks. The clients for me, were incredible!. They allowed me to venture into Panama and Costa Rica and integrate within the cultures that they had.
I instantly began to respect and understand the most amazing countries. And for a chef, the beautiful ingredients that they had on their doorstep.
This for me, the is the story on how I became the cook I am today. I created a story , going out and sourcing and trading with locals in the most remote places. This gave me the ability to be creative and truthful to my guests. I learned traditional cooking methods. And I found small local growers and small-time fisherman. At one point, I even sourced a local plate maker to produce some amazing hand made plates for our yacht.
Travelling to over 20 countries on board that yacht truly gave me the ability to put something real onto a plate and this is where and how I honestly cook today.
Antigua Charter Show 2019
The message I wanted to show, was, if you came onto Aquijo for charter this is what you will get. For me, dining should be an experience and this comes from a whole package. Sometimes this doesn’t end up in my favour and sometimes it does. But I know that every time I do something special such as a ” tasting menu ” of the country we are in, we have a story to tell.
The theme for the boat show was Mexican. I have just spent some time with my wife travelling and exploring the food and culture. My wife is Colombian/Mexican, therefore, It’s a big passion for me to understand this culture.
A little breakdown of the menu itself: The dishes have a traditional meaning. It is everything I have experienced but with my quirky entertaining style.
I like to keep the cooking methods and flavour as traditional as possible but refine these ideas for yacht clients. I also add a few quirky elements for entertainment value and BANG.
For me, as much respect as I have for the amazing chefs at the white table cloth kind of establishments, I just can’t sit down in a traditional setting. I need to be visually and mentally stimulated throughout my experience. Especially if I’m paying a large amount.
The Tasty Brothel
This exactly where my wife and I began Skoolyardprojex and ” The Tasty Brothel”.
We set up a fine dining experience in a brothel with 15 courses. On offer were an exciting beverage and non-beverage pairing option, with a provocative brothel theme.
There were working call girls, all sorts of toys and sleeeezy setup for the interior. San Diego thrived on this and it went down well. We had all sorts of walks of life there which was fantastic and looking for our next country or venue !!.
Take a look at our promo video .
Super Food and Company
Last year I actually left the industry for a year to join this amazing start-up called superfoodandcompany as the R&D chef .
This honestly changed my perspective on the ingredients in the world and what they do for your body. This company is very ahead of its time and work alongside some of the biggest bioscience and tech companies in southern California. I joined and we only had about 7 employees all doing every little bit of that was needed to do to grow the company and now they just growing and growing.
Unfortunately, due to green card issues, I had to leave, but I go back regularly and jump straight back into it. The company is about to launch something spectacular which is very exciting to be part of. I hope that one day I’ll be back there full-time when my time is right.
I don’t really have much advice for chefs because I think finding your own feet is the real winner. But just enjoy what the industry has to offer, absorb the culture and be apperceive if you are travelling to remote places. Be open to learning from them it’s so valuable and for me, it beats any fine dining experience other than PUJOL !! lol
My last meal would be my wife. We would eat lentils and rice ( from a family recipe) with a plate full of Arepas and a Michelada. We must not forget the side of fresh chile.
I have only just joined Aquijo an amazing sailboat so we will see how this adventure goes and where it takes us. But in terms of my next holiday, I expect next year we will be heading back to Mexico and venture more in the wilderness.