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A yacht designed for fine dining It takes experience to create consistent haute cuisine on the move. McKeown is currently on his second circumnavigation - the first on board the owners’ previous motor yacht, this time aboard the fabulous sailing yacht they built with far away places in mind. Twizzle’s owners have very high standards when it comes to cuisine, and this means the yacht is perfectly set up for the chef and crew. From the spacious indoor and outdoor dining areas, to the choice of china, flatware, crystal and table linens, everything is designed to create a fabulous food experience. The chef was closely involved in the design of his galley. “If you’re going to cater for every kind of cuisine, you need every kind of equipment,” he says. “I’m lucky that the owners are so food-oriented and understand what it takes behind the scenes. We have the pasta machine, a commercial steam oven and a vacuum packer that keeps the fridge and freezer tidy and hygienic. My favourite gadget is the Thermomix, it is like having another chef in the kitchen, who doesn’t answer back!” Organisation is critical. “Twizzle carries everything I need, including the best flours, sugars, oils...” It is a matter of principle that the chef bakes all Twizzle’s bread himself: “I’ll never let things like that slip. No bought bread!” This perfectionism explains why McKeown is such a good chef for Twizzle, whose owners are similarly concerned with quality. “It is great to cook for such knowledgeable people who can offer constructive criticism,” he says. Did the coconut millefeuille work with the passion fruit sorbet? Did the honey roast figs with reduced balsamic vinegar complement the panna cotta? “The owners are often in the galley, to let me know what worked and what didn’t. It really keeps me on my toes!” This chef loves local markets. “You never know what you’ll find. If there is an abundance of red snapper, you’d better get it, because it might not be there tomorrow.” And he loves experimenting. “I have never really mastered the yam,” he confesses. “In Papua New Guinea they had this strange, carrot-like vegetable... it was like eating bark. In Fiji I was surprised to find the best Indian food I’ve ever had - their daal is amazing – and in Tonga, they cook fish buried in the ground, wrapped in a banana leaf. Not possible on a yacht!” Perhaps it is this sense of adventure, so much a part of the superyacht experience that makes Twizzle’s chef outstanding in his field. “13 years ago I had to decide between staying in London, going for Michelin stars, making yet another lobster sauce,” he says. “Or I could do something different and see the world.” For those who have the privilege to dine aboard Twizzle, it is clear he made the right choice. lifestyle { 58 }


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