November 29, 2011


Hello dear readers!
It is true I have been off gallivanting across the states of Australia instead of cooking for my family but with very good reason.
Last month a got an S.O.S email from a reader who is lucky enough to be a chef on a fantastic boat called Dr.No which is travelling all over the Pacific in search of amazing dive locations and destinations where they can launch the fabulous little mini-submarine they just so happen to have on board. Now, while docking in Cairns for some air conditioning attention and a bit of 'land' time I was asked if I'd come up and join Lisa (chef) in the galley for a bit of one-on-one cooking time.

Like some of you, Lisa has been powering through Family of Foodies looking for food ideas and inspiration for the endless meals she has to cook on board the boat. At the best of times cooking for a group of people can be a bit tricky but when you throw in challengers like; one person is gluten intolerant, another dairy free/no fish and last but not least a vegetarian, well this just makes meal time a tad tricky and we haven't even begun to talk about what happens when the guests rock up, this is only the crew!

How could I resist the challenge and the fact that it was in sunny Cairns, thus making my decision that much easier (how quickly I forgot the galley was a hot box due to no air conditioning!).

Lisa and I had a massive amount of cooking to do and not nearly enough time to do it in, but we covered a LOT. Our first day kicked off with a quick shopping trip to the markets and then it was back to the galley to whip up lunch for the crew which consisted of two soups. A spiced carrot and orange soup and a potato and leek soup with a side of garlic and rocket sauce. The soups were teamed with tomato, basil and bocconcini quesadillas which were a big hit with everyone except Lisa who is the gluten free person, however, she loved the carrot soup.

With lunch out of the way we swiftly moved on to one of the breads I wanted to show Lisa. Bread is a great way to feed a large number of people, especially when you can play with the flavours and toppings once the kneading is done. I took this little video of Lisa doing all the work......after all she needs to know just how much work that dough kneads! :)

While we were waiting for the bread to prove we  moved on to a vegetarian dish consisting of broad (fava) beans, fennel, tomato and lemon. It was more the process of cooking the vegetables that I was showing her, so she could adapt the method to other vegetarian recipes.

So much to do in so little time! By this stage we were both sweating up a storm and looking at getting this day in the kitchen over and done with so we could relax in the pool before we started all over again tomorrow morning.
 One of the items high on Lisa's list was sushi so in between making a galette pastry for the next days morning tea and the beef and red cabbage stir fry for all the meat eaters for dinner that night, we quickly had a lesson on sushi rolling and making, while also slipping in a lesson on making a delicious coral trout ceviche that was awesome (if I do say so myself). We flavoured it with lime juice, jalapenos, tomato, red onion and extra virgin olive oil and it was soooo delicious.
I am sorry I don't have a photo of the ceviche.....we were in the weeds at this stage: trying to put all the dinner items up on deck and taking photos just didn't mix.
However, the next morning was a little more relaxed and I did manage to take a photo of the  mango and strawberry galette and the apple and raspberry galette we made and served with some home made custard (gluten free of course so Lisa could eat it). Lunch on the following day was all about butchering, pizzas, cry-vac machines, salads and spinach gnocchi. It was busy, fun and a wonderful experience for me and I hope Lisa! When we were all done with the cooking and cleaning side of the day we managed to relax in the comfort of some air conditioning at the house the crew were staying in (you just couldn't possibly stay on a boat without AC, trust me!) where we flicked through cookbooks, sipped a glass of vino and talked a little more about food.
There is always more to talk about and of course plenty more to cook, however, I think I filled Lisa with oodles of information and ideas so now she'll have fun putting it all together while she is sailing on the Pacific with her crew and the lucky guests that get to eat her wonderful food.

Good Luck! And for those of you who would like to see a few photos of their adventures click here


mal streeter said...

Well done Milly the food looks fantastic lisa must be very happy. One would think she should have a lesson every few weeks!!

Camilla Baker said...

She would love that but I'm not so good on MOVING boats! :)

Anonymous said...

I wish!! I really did learn a bucket full!! Shall we begin to plan our next adventure?!?!

Susie said...

What fun! I can only imagine how hard it must be in a small space on a moving vessel, but I am already in the mood for warm weather! It only took one night of snow flurries and cold for me to be over winter! What a great the photos!