After graduating from university in 2015 and working 3 seasons as a deckhand on sailboats in Maine and Florida, I entered the yachting industry by accepting the position of Chef on a sailing yacht. I won the Signature Cocktail Contest at the 2017 Newport Charter Yacht Show during my first week on the job!
Since my first yachting season, I have freelanced as sole chef on both motor and sailing yachts, ranging from 64-130ft. I have catered to an array of high profile clientele on private and charter yachts, as well as several private estates, along the East Coast USA and throughout the Caribbean.
I have culinary training and professional certifications from the Ashburton Chefs Academy (Devon, UK) and George Brown Chef School (Toronto, ON). My yachting certifications were obtained from Bluewater Crew Training (Ft. Lauderdale, FL). Additionally, I am both SCUBA and free dive certified and in pursuit of my 100 ton captain’s license.
As a freelance chef, I must be able to improvise, adapt, and overcome challenges at all times. Every boat I work on is different and presents a new challenge that I am able to learn from and carry with me into other experiences. Because I am constantly changing work environments by working freelance, I think it has made me a highly adaptable and creative chef. I can walk in to any job with confidence that I have the skills to succeed and knowing I will likely gain a few new skills from whatever challenges may present themselves.
In between freelance positions, I am based in Tampa, FL, where I am a volunteer scuba diver at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and frequently assist the pastry chef and owner of Wandering Whisk Bakeshop with special events. I learned to cook from my grandparents and a lot of what I make has been influenced by our family. I describe my culinary style as “upscale, down-home cooking.” I strive to cater specifically to my client’s favorite meals and dietary requests, recreating them with a personal flare in order to serve food that has meaning or tells a story. I gain inspiration from other yacht chefs and strive to be an active part of the online yachting community by sharing stories, recipes, and encouragement to other chefs and yacht crew.
I have been honored to be featured in several publications including interviews with The Superyacht Chef, ISWAN, and Oceanscape Yachts with a feature in Dockwalk magazine coming out in June 2020. I am thrilled to be nominated for this award alongside who I am certain are extraordinary candidates.
Additional information can be found on my website www.gracedvornik.com.