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Dining on Deck

A Cookbook for Daydreamers

Many of us aspire to be chefs, hence the popularity of cooking shows and celebrity cooks. Yet, I don't believe the idea of working in Gordon Ramsay's abusive kitchen appeals to most. Instead, some of us dream of running a gastro pub or a B&B or, in my case, a soup and salad counter. The pleasure of cooking is making food that pleases others–hearing guests unable to suppress an "mmmmmm" sound as they savour the flavours so lovingly prepared for them.

Before moving to the BVI, my imagination was limited to reveries of prepping my creations in stationary kitchens in not-so-exotic locales. Never in my food-chopping fantasies did I envision serving canapÈs on the top deck of a luxury yacht tucked into a hidden bay encircling the pristine Caribbean Sea. This dream job, held by the participating chefs of the Dining on Deck cookbook, trumps all my visions of rustic pubs in chilly London or trendy lunch counters in New York. Chef on a private yacht? Yes, please. I think that would work for me.

Alas, unlike the chefs who have revealed their galley secrets in Dining on Deck, I lack the training and experience to cook for the most elite clientele in the world. Rather, I'm destined to a life (mostly) on land, cooking for friends and family whenever I can.

Now, by consulting Dining on Deck, I can at least pretend to be serving high-end hcarter guests. The enviable chefs of the crewed yachts, all members of the Charter Yacht Society of the British Virgin Islands, have divulged recipes that shall be a delight and a challenge to recreate. No course is overlooked–from appetizers to desserts to cocktails and main courses that I look forward to serving while I imagine being anchored near a secluded beach. Though I must admit, I probably wouldn't spoil my guests with the same level of service a chartered yacht crew provides.

Recipes featured in Dining on Deck include such treats as coconut tuna ceviche, pistachio-crusted pork tenderloin, ginger poached pears, and a mysterious beverage called "Ti'Punch." Some dishes seem light and playful while others are refined and decadent. In fact, the recipes could act as an accurate representation of the many types of charter yacht crew personalities, and after reading the cookbook and the many recipes, I definitely have a feel for the participating yachts.

The boat-friendly, spiral-bound cookbook also serves as a fundraiser for the Charter Yacht Society, and the launch party for the publication will take place on Tuesday, November 8, during the Charter Yacht Show welcome party at Village Cay Marina. All are welcome. Copies of the book will be available for $15, and some chefs will be on hand to sign their recipes. 



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