Whilst the main salons and sundecks were no doubt the standout features for many visitors at the Mediterranean Yacht Show 2016, behind every galley door was a chef hard at work on a dish which could well become the future of Greek cuisine.
Asked to perform a twist, rather than an outright invention, the challenge this year was to produce something modern whilst remaining faithful to the Hellenic tradition- an appropriate task which saw the artful use of organic ingredients native to the Greek isles.
Scoring points for taste, presentation, and a mindfulness of the healthy dietary habits in Greece, the chefs were separated into two categories determined by their charter rates.
Handing out the points this year was a selection of experienced brokers and the acclaimed Greek chef, Michael Nourloglou.
As well as awarding chefs for their original creations, these judges also handed out prizes for the best tablescaping across the two categories.
Category A: The Winners
Fending off stiff competition from a number of entrants, Chef Sotiris Louis from the 46m/150ft motor yacht ANCALLIA picked up the gold in Category A this year.
Photographed above, his colourful dish nicely captured the theme of this year’s challenge, and was highly regarded by the judges following their lunch onboard.
Receiving a certificate and bouquet of flowers at the closing ceremony held at the waterfront Lighthouse Pier on the 10th May, Sotiris has no doubt gone some way towards shaping the future of Hellenic cooking.
A testament to the incredible standard of dishes on offer this year, there was a total of three runners-up in Category A.
Setting an original and tastefully inspired challenge this year, the organisers of the Mediterranean Yacht Show no doubt brought out the very best of the competing chefs
When it came to tablescaping in Category A, it was the crew onboard 36m/116ft motor yacht HELIOS who received first place for their arrangement skills.
Opting for a nicely minimal tablescaping, the crew made sure to complement the dish being served, with a few floral decorations setting the perfect ambience for a refreshing Greek dish.
Another tasteful touch was the presentation of the sides in a mock wooden crate - a fine way of mixing the traditional with the innovative.
Category A Platinum Winners:
As hotly contested as the former category, the platinum division of this year’s competition ended with a joint first place.
From the 31m/100ft motor yacht AURORA chef George Georgief, a dish which combined traditional breads and fresh vegetables evidently won over the discerning judges, whilst chef Antonis Zafiriou from the 30m/100ft charter yacht ‘Project Steel’ impressed with a minimal and strikingly colourful plate.
Both chefs were handed bouquets and certificates at the farewell ceremony to rapturous applause.
Whilst accepting their awards, the large crowd gathered at the picturesque waterfront Lighthouse Pier were all speaking enthusiastically about the many dishes presented, and predicted an exciting future for the competing chefs.
Indeed, the importance of food on offer during a luxury charter vacation is something which cannot be stressed enough.
Rising to the challenge, each of the participants showcased the versatility and rich history of Greek cuisine
Bringing proceedings to a close, the tablescaping award for the platinum category was clearly as impressive, with the judges conceding that it was a tough task to name a single winner this year.
However, after much deliberation, it was the crew onboard the 24m/79ft motor yacht VALCO which walked away with the top prize for their presentation skills.
Keeping things immaculate, the team fused a light floral arrangement with some nautical objects such as shells. The crowning touch, however, was assuredly the lettering put together from strands of pale beach wood.
46m Feadship, 1984 / 2014
42m Intermarine, 1997 / 2010
37m Couach, 2010
36m Falcon, 2010
33m Cantieri di Pisa, 2005 / 2016
31m Tecnomar, 2011
31m Azimut, 2010
30m Bugari, 1993 / 2013
24m Ferretti, 2000
24m Posillipo, 2001