How to become a yacht chef

How to become a yacht chef

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p>Michelle Bush says that being a chef on a yacht isn’t all job perks and hanging out with Dolph Lundgren. The good news is that some of it is. Find out if you’d like her job.

Name: Michelle Bush

Career title: Yacht chef

Full-time/part time: Either

How long have you been doing this: 17 years

Qualifications and/or training duration:

Not essential but regular Chef’s training is a great advantage


Apart from being a good chef, you need to have good sea legs and not suffer from seasickness. Also you need to be able to cope with preparing ancd cooking food in a small space with things moving around


Up to 200 euros a day (Michelle is based in the South of France). Full-time 60,000 euros with tips on top of that. Can be a couple of thousand euros for a two week charter.

Job perks:

I travel a lot and get to stop off at exotic locations, eg last week I had a bellini in Porto Fino and now I’m on the way to Venice for a gondola ride and a drink at Harry’s bar

What made you want to go into this profession:

Didn’t want to work 9-5!

How physically or mentally demanding is the job:

Depends on the job. Every boat is completely different. Right now it’s quite physical as I’m cooking for a large crew

Long hours?

I can often do a 14 hour day with free weekends a thing of the past. In fact I can work months without a day off!

Downside of the job:

You cannot plan your life or time off as it happens at the last minute

Most hideous career moment to date:

Plenty! Having to clean up after seasick guests, having to serve guests who want to spend their time aboard ‘au naturel’

Do you meet interesting people and if so, who was the most interesting?

All the big Hollywood stars charter boats but the nicest guy I’ve had onboard was Dolph Lundgren, and not bad to look at either! Steven Spielberg popped on the boat for a visit last week and seemed very down to earth

Danger factor:

It’s pretty scary on a small boat in rough sea

Sexy uniform?

Not at all! Usually beige shorts and white t-shirt

Opportunities for travel/work abroad with your career?

All over the world except back home

Do you meet fit, clever, solvent blokes in your line of work?


Can you still see yourself doing this in 20 years time?

Definitely not

What advice would you give young women who are interested in this career path?

Go for it! And don’t spend all your money on champagne and designer clothes…