Yacht Chef Career Course

Course Overview

The Superyacht Chef Career Course commences with a 10-day culinary course to kick off your career in one of the best positions onboard a superyacht. The course focuses on preparing students to increase their culinary repertoire in the galley and trains them to look at food and food preparation from a completely different perspective.   This intense course covers everything you need to know about yachting, operating in the galley, food management and culinary skills and covers virtually all the practical applications for cooking in a galley, with emphasis on the modern Superyacht Industry and its typical demands in the varying roles. The course includes menu planning, budgeting, provisioning, charter planning, stock taking, recipe costing and recipe planning.

85% of the course is practical and prepares students for a career at sea, including CV and culinary portfolio planning, interview processes and general preparation for a yachting lifestyle. Students are encouraged to challenge themselves to meet the standards of trained chefs in preparing and planning food for guests. The course is a highly practical course and students are required to have a reasonable level of culinary experience, although need not be formally trained.

The course is structured into specific modules to provide yacht chefs with practical knowledge and experience, ranging from basic preparation skills to how to prepare and present a 3-course meal for guests on sailing vessels. The course includes the following

  • Provisioning, passage and port stop planning
  • Foreign ingredients
  • Menu and recipe planning
  • Budgeting
  • CV and portfolio planning
  • Interview practical
  • Dietary requirements, cultural and allergies
  • 5 days of practical training in a professional kitchen
  • 1 day of theory and practical evaluation
  • 1 day of practical guest service
  • 1 day service stress test – operating in high-pressure environments

V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Experience Requirement:
A reasonable level of kitchen proficiency

34 days


Superyacht Culinary Course – 10 days

Powerboat Level 2 (or equivalent) – 2 days *

SAMSA SRC/VHF Radio – 1 day

STCW 10 (Mandatory) – 11 days

Food Safety and Catering Level 2 – 1 day

Boat orientation – 1 day

Lunches and aprons

All course training materials

Crew Accommodation on request.

SYCA Yacht Chef Certification

superyacht chef course


Week 1

The first three days focus on practical training and demonstrations by a professional lecturer, as well as the practical application of recipes and menus to prepare you for working on superyachts.  Our industry-experienced chef instructor works with students at their skill level, ensuring that they are fully prepared to embark upon a career onboard as a chef, crew cook or small yacht cook.

Week 2

The second week focuses on advancing you to a level where you plan and develop your own fine dining recipes and menus that you can apply to a real galley environment.  Our process allows you to build complete confidence in yourself so that you can master the management of any galley. The course also covers the requirements for land-based chefs transitioning to yacht chefs.

superyacht chefs course
superyacht chef career

Weeks 3 and 4

This course is followed by the STCW course (Standards of Training for Crew and Watch), where students learn basic first aid, fire fighting and life-raft training and safety awareness. In the final week, students participate in an exciting 2-day Power Boat course Level 1 & 2 on Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs). This Power Boat course is now a prerequisite for crew if they want to handle the yacht tender. Thereafter, students spend a day in the classroom earning their VHF radio license.

The competent crew course is your introduction to sailing and the ideal introduction to the workings of a sailing vessel. This course enables you to work on all sailing vessels. You will learn the nautical terminology necessary to work on the yachts and get insights into the teamwork and co-ordination required aboard yachts.

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