“Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.”
- Anthony Bourdain
Dear sailors and sailing lovers,
If you volunteered to be the cook for the week, there are a few things to remember about food when going to sea. If you haven't been sailing before, you'll be surprised at how hungry you can get - whether it is the fresh air or handling the ropes - people tend to be hungrier at sea.
- Plan all meals (including breakfasts and all snacks)
The provisioning for a sailing trip – no matter if it is for a day or a week – is fundamental. You could prepare a spreadsheet to share with all members of the crew so everybody could share their preferences and thoughts about the menu - based on your absolute favorite dishes you can create a list of ingredients that make up your shopping list.
First thing first. Water is essential and even if you have a water maker, you shouldn’t always rely on it. A variety of long-lasting vegetables is also a must. Furthermore, items that are regularly on the “canned” shopping list are tomato paste, corn, a variety of beans and lentils, tuna, salmon, anchovies, and various canned fruits for emergencies. Pasta, of course, is one of the best long-life products to bring with you, it is full of carbohydrates to give you energy and is truly quite compact.
- Don’t forget that storage space is very limited.
Due to the very limited space on the boat, you will have to get used to very little storage, very little refrigerated storage, minimal prep room.
Regardless of how much space you have onboard, it is not just about buying the food, it is about making sure that you stock enough supplies to sustain you even in the worst possible scenario - no matter where the journey takes you.
- Make sure you know what meals you can and can’t cook before you start to plan your meals.
You still must consider how you are going to turn the food you buy into an edible product. If you have a grill or small oven, and last but not least - some basic fishing equipment - then catching fish while sailing and cooking it is an awesome way to feed your crew. Make sure to prepare something ready to eat if you’re heading off on a long passage or the weather is rough - even if it’s just pre-sliced vegetables, cheese, and crackers – you will be fine in case it’s too rough to spend a lot of time below.
Bon Appétit & Bon voyage!