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Thread: Oohhhh Cheffie

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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Talking Oohhhh Cheffie

    Recipes for the high seas
    Keep the mutineers at bay with uncomplicated dishes for your boating vacation

    Eric Akis Times Colonist June 22, 2005

    Here's a tale of a woman who set sail and found a new career, although the rudder did not initially point that way. Her name is Jan Robinson, a New Zealander who has travelled the world, living in places such as Greece and South America, where she met her husband, Waverly.

    They settled in Charlotte, N.C., where she worked as a real estate broker. At age 45, her hard-working and highly-educated spouse, with a doctor at law and civil engineering degrees, decided it was time to take an extended leave and cruise the Caribbean.

    The couple packed up their impressive boat, Vanity, a beautiful 18-metre motorsailer with two 20-metre hollow spruce varnished masts and 600 square metres of sails.

    Hard to believe, with such an incredible boat, there was a problem. Waverly liked being at sea and working on the boat. Jan liked hanging out in Caribbean marinas, putting up the cocktail flag and having fellow boaters over for drinks and hors d'oeurve.

    To please both parties, in 1979 the couple decided to charter their boat; Waverly could putter around and keep things operational, Jan could entertain guests and prepare meals. She quickly learned that cooking for four people, four times a day, seven days a week was much different then preparing appys for the folks in the next slip.

    "If you don't feed your guests something by 4 p.m., they start nibbling on the mast," says Jan, of the before-dinner snack.

    In the beginning, Jan, who was a good cook but not a professional chef, would spend the whole day in the galley. But eventually she developed an approach she says others can follow, whether cooking for a day or a week, on a small or big boat.

    "You have to follow the three "P's -- plan, prepare and provision," she says.

    While becoming highly organized in her galley, she also decided it was time to put another title beside yacht chef: Captain Jan.

    She got her skipper's licence in 1981 and added a master's 500 tonne licence in 1986.

    "I was the chef when my husband was on board and captain when he wasn't. I was behind the wheel and the stove, but not at the same time!"

    To bolster her cooking skills, she trained at the Culinary Institute of America and other fine cooking schools. Her meals at sea became legendary.

    "My charter guests were always amazed that I could cook a gourmet meal out of a closet," says Robinson. "They always wanted to know my galley secrets."

    Other yacht chefs she knew received similar cooking queries and, as it turns out, she came up with a brilliant idea: To self-publish a book packed with yacht-tested recipes called Ship to Shore. It was published in 1983 and contained 680 treasured recipes from 65 chefs. It's now in its 15th printing.

    The book's success spawned a whole series of cookbooks, and to date she has collected more than 2,500 recipes from 300 international yacht chefs. Her other titles include Sip to Shore, a collection of cocktails and hors d'oeuvre; Sea to Shore, a treasury of scrumptious fish and shellfish recipes; and her latest release, Famous Virgin Islands Recipes. All can be purchased at her web site, shiptoshoreinc.com.

    Like any cook, though, there were times when things did not go exactly as planned.

    "We had a film crew on board and I decided to prepare coconut bread. I put it in the oven and completely forgot about it until lunch," says Robinson. "I took it out of the oven and it was like concrete. So I went down to the tool room, cleaned up a hack saw and sawed off the outer edges and it was moist and delicious in the middle. No one knew there was anything wrong."

    These days, Robinson splits her time between homes in Charlotte and the Virgin Island Islands and now, instead of cooking at sea, focuses on her books and booking boat charters. She has had quite the life, one she feels very blessed to have sailed into.

    Recipes page D4

    © Times Colonist (Victoria) 2005
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.


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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Seasoned sailors offer galley tips

    Times Colonist June 22, 2005

    CREDIT: Ray Smith, Times Colonist

    Readers Alex Creighton and Mark Dodd sample ginger tuna (see recipe Page D4) on their sailboat Mystic. The couple will circumnavigate Vancouver Island this summer, eating many fine meals along the way.

    When I asked TC readers for tips on preparing meals on a boat, I knew I would get great response -- Vancouver Island is a boater's paradise. Here's a sampling of the advice I received. All have been condensed to fit in as many tips as possible. Fran Nadeau won the random draw for a copy of my new book Everyone Can Cook Seafood (Whitecap Books). Thanks to all for helping me out!

    My husband and I have sailed our 31-foot sailboat Mystic to Glacier Bay and this summer we'll circumnavigate Vancouver Island. Even if it's just for a weekend, I "think" through each meal and ensure that I have all ingredients aboard.

    I store the basics all through the cruising season and have a list where I tick off items we use up during our weekends so that I can replenish them during the week.

    I also make sure to have easy snack foods available (jars of pesto, sundried tomatoes, dip mix, olives, etc.) that make it easy to throw together a quick happy hour.

    I enjoy cooking, so we eat very well (way too well!). We have Cuisinart pots and pans, good knives, cutlery and cloth napkins. We always have candles on the dinner table. Boating is an opportunity to spend time with those you care about most -- make the whole experience comfortable and special!

    Alex Creighton

    The best advice I can offer is to get a copy of David Hoar and Noreen Rudd's book, Cooks Afloat (Harbour Publishing). These two intellectuals have spent many months cruising our waters. The book includes ecological discussions as well as good recipes.

    Michael Harvey

    My partner Les MacNeill and I sailed for six years to Mexico, the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia and New Guinea. Keep small amounts of regularly used staples like flour and sugar in small canisters. Refill on calm days in calm waters. Use deep dishes that will hold food without spilling when seas are rough. Always lock into the galley safety system, no matter how uncomfortable. I still have a dent in my right cheek five years after flying across the galley when the boat lurched and luckily landing on my butt.

    Marcia Stromsmoe

    I used to fish commercially on a gill net boat for 12 years and keeping the pots and pans on the stove was quite a juggling act. I always made sure I had baking pans big enough for a meal for three. In these I could throw in my meats and then later the veggies; they not only looked good but smelled good throughout the boat. Cakes were a dilemma though -- never could have a cake come out level!

    Mona Madill

    Wash and trim all veggies and herbs so they are ready for use. Pack herbs in damp paper towel and store in a zip-lock bag. Pre-measure portions of food, such as cereal. Purchase boneless meat (less waste to deal with) in required serving sizes. Write a meal plan and stick with it, purchasing the necessary ingredients in quantities needed. Don't pack 10 kilograms of flour -- small packages of pre-mixed product (muffin mix, biscuit mix, bread mix, pancake mix, etc.) will do. Bring a plentiful supply and nice variety of red and white wine.

    Gloria Maclucas

    Kitchen fires and mishaps are quite common in people's homes and can be dealt with very easily in most cases, but can be fatal when at sea. New boaters must remember that they are alone once they let go of their lines and help may not arrive until it's too late.

    There are several types of cooking equipment available to the boater and each has its own inherent dangers. Contact the manufacturer for safety information and talk to other boaters who have the same style of equipment to find out the proper and safest way to use it.

    Before proceeding on a voyage, where you would need to prepare daily meals, go on several small day voyages to get familiar with your vessel and the way it moves in the water. During these trips pretend that you are trying to prepare a meal. This will give you an understanding of the difficulties that you may encounter when you do it for real.

    Randy Lyons (a cook for 25 years, 15 years of them at sea)

    10 TIPS FOR GREAT MEALS ON YOUR BOATING VACATION

    Captain Jan Robinson's 10 Tips for Cooking at Sea

    With countless hours logged in the galley and multiple books on the subject, its not surprising Jan Robinson has a boatful of advice on cooking at a sea. Here are some tips.

    1. Check the fridge before you head out and chill it down before placing in the food. Place the things you'll use first on top and those you'll use last in the cooler, bottom portion of the fridge. Store drinks separately, otherwise you're in the fridge all the time.

    2. People eat a lot when they are on a boat, so plan for that.

    3. Store light things such as crackers in upper storage areas, and heavy things such as cans low down.

    4. Use square or oblong dishes -- they take up less room.

    5. Keep foods in tight-sealing containers; it's a damp environment

    6. Don't pack potatoes and onions together; chemicals in the potatoes will make the onions sprout.

    7. Always use good pots and pans. It's hard to enough to cook at sea and even harder when trying to do it in crummy cookware.

    8. Bring good knives and a sharpener to hold their edge.

    9. Keep good cleaning supplies and kitchen towels on board.

    10. Make mealtime on board a special occasion by having good plates, candles, tablecloths and any other trimmings you feel will accent a meal in the picturesque cove you're anchored in.

    Ran with fact box "10 tips for great meals on your boating vacation" which has been appended to the story.

    © Times Colonist (Victoria) 2005
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    (Last one)

    Chef, farmer unite to share agri-culinary experience

    Joseph Blake Times Colonist Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    Famous Vancouver chef, author, and restaurateur John Bishop and his favourite farmer Gary King are visiting the region for three important culinary events.

    Bishop and King's Agri-Culinary Experience is the title of a day-long cooking demonstration, dinner, and overnight stay at Fairburn Farm, 3310 Jackson Rd. in Duncan on Wednesday, June 29. The fabled duo will lead an afternoon tour of Cowichan Valley farms to buy ingredients for a cooking demonstration and dinner that promises "preparation of dinner, sharing great food and tall tales of farming and cooking experiences."

    Cost for the workshop, dinner, overnight accommodation at Fairburn Farm and breakfast Thursday morning is $300, $500 for a couple. Call 250-746-4637 for more information and to reserve.

    "We're really happy to be able to help John and Gary visit the islands with their message of organic growing methods and the enjoyment of good food," explained Mara Jernigan from Fairburn Farm. "John and Gary are travelling over by sailboat to celebrate their new book and a film project that they're working on.

    "Gary is a great organic farmer, and he has joined John to teach classes and plan gardens to produce award-winning food for Bishop's Restaurant in Vancouver.

    "They're great speaking together and have some amazing recipes that have grown out of produce Gary has planted at his farm."

    Tuesday, June 28 at 7 p.m. at Fairburn Farm the local Slow Food group is hosting another evening with Bishop and King. Cost is $45 for a more casual buffet dinner featuring the duo's stellar food and conversation.

    Bishop and King kick-off their island culinary tour on Monday, June 27 with a visit to Stowell Lake Farm, 190 Reynolds Road on Saltspring Island. Call 250-653-9466 for more information.

    © Times Colonist (Victoria) 2005
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Just ask Cheffie about them Kiwi cooks.

    She will never look at fish the same way again.

    FRESH, thats older than 2 hours.

    ROTF.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by FlyingKiwi
    Just ask Cheffie about them Kiwi cooks.

    She will never look at fish the same way again.

    FRESH, thats older than 2 hours.

    ROTF.

    That is so true. I made swordfish the other night too. Just not the same anymore. I guess I'll just have to go back to NZ to get fresh fish for dinner again.


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