People who meet Ed once, will never forget him. Back in the days of cramped crew house living and desperate job searching, I remember lending him a mattress for a night. He came back the next day with a plate of freshly sliced melon and parma ham just to ‘say thanks’.
Ed grew up in Cork, South Ireland. He worked as a plumber and studied graphic design before applying for an intensive year-long chef course. “I ended up working in a wonderful place in Baltimore with an amazing young chef who taught me about simplicity and great produce,” says the 32-year-old yacht chef.
From there, he studied and worked in Galway, West Ireland. “They call it the ‘black hole of ambition’ because it is so difficult to leave.” But being the ever-restless soul, he set his sights on London, where he worked for a year, before getting itchy feet again and making the plunge to try out yachting.
1) Tell us three things about you that make you interesting.
People may find my enthusiasm interesting: I speak at about a million miles a minute and burn through a fair number of topics, which can be delightful to random and odd! I have a positive outlook and tend towards seeing the good in people and situations.
2) What do you love about being a yachtie?
I love the potential for freedom that comes with being a yachtie. Yes, we work extremely hard to make the boat, service and food pristine but while doing that we end up in some amazing places. It’s pretty fantastic to know the best smoothie place in Bonifacio!
3) How has yachting changed you as a person?
I have definitely become more tolerant while working on yachts. It’s essential when you live and work with the same people that you learn to accept their bad days and trials with your own and do your best to get each other through. Something you can’t really get away with in land-based work.
4) Tell us about the worst job you’ve had to do on a boat?
I was on charter on a 24m motor yacht. There were three crew and a guest had blocked the day head [a toilet]. The blockage was in-turn blocking the aft guest heads. After a busy day with nine guests and a twelve guest dinner party, the captain and I had the pleasure of — as quietly as possible — removing the toilet and pushing a hose down the waste pipe in an attempt to free up the blockage. That was grim.
It’s essential when you live and work with the same people that you learn to accept their bad days and trials with your own.
5) What’s the best thing you’ve learned from someone you’ve worked with?
I learned that the yacht is our home and that the guests we have are coming to our home. It is with that sense of hospitality that we should approach service, attitude and care towards our guests.
6) Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met on your journey and why?
One of the most interesting people I have met is my great friend Dan Burgess. We shared a cabin on the first boat I worked on. I find people with a positive outlook interesting and important. I have found that people like this gravitate towards working in the industry. Positivity and an adventurous nature are perfect attributes to working on board.
I find people with a positive outlook interesting and important.
7) What’s on your bucket list of things you still want to do?
Get lost in India.
8) What do you get up to when you’re not yachting?
I travel and eat lovely food, read and enjoy meeting people along the way.
9) What would you be doing if you left the yachting industry?
As yet I am still happy doing what I’m doing. I will change when something else inspires me.
10) And your most embarrassing galley moment?
I had a meltdown over an omelette once! 27 days into a charter and I just couldn’t make this omelette! Luckily, the stew knew that the captain was an expert at omelettes. He calmly stepped in and gave a hand. After that, I was all good. That’s what [yachting’s] all about.