Where yachting & food collide…from The Captain's Concierge
Last Thursday I made it up to the big city of Providence to see Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert speak during their Good vs Evil tour. I have seen Anthony repeatedly over the years. Anthony Bourdain Review Part I, Anthony Bourdain Review Part II, Anthony Bourdain Needs a Vacation.
I was less than enthused about going having read some reviews of previous shows and the disappointment from the last time I saw Anthony Bourdain speak. The show at PPAC was far from sold-out (in fact I purchased a half price ticket 10 minutes before show time). The audience was a mix of lubricated college kids including culinary students from Johnson & Wales and 40 somethings on date night. This was not surprising as Thursday night is a busy one for restaurants so I’m sure few professionals could get off.
The evening starts with Anthony grilling Eric as he sits under a bare bulb on an uncomfortable chair ala 1950′s cop drama. After about 30 minutes they switched to Eric roasting Anthony. Clearly they are long-time good friends. They know each other quite well - Eric introduced Anthony to his wife. They have also worked together in television and events but have not cooked together professionally.
Parts seemed staged and rehearsed while others were filled with off the cuff comments and rambles. The rehearsed were a bit stale and the rambling by the seat of the pants way better. Some bits set-up for laughs playing off Eric’s command (or lack of) of English language. Anthony laces his part with profanity and opinated statements. He dominates the conversation. I would have liked to hear more from Eric.
Most of the material covered was rehashing of stories familial to anyone who keeps up with their books, shows, and social media. The well-worn stories that let you in the audience feel like you’ve been let into a private hang out session. They stayed clear on purpose about discussing personal and family life. Also avoided most talk about their shows on TV. Exceptions were Eric busting on Anthonny about “The Taste” and Anthony endlessly plugging his new show on CNN.
Funny part was the drunk heckler in the audience who would not settle down so Anthonny challenged her to get out. This was the big “evil” moment of the show. At first I thought she was a plant but seeing how shaken up he was leads me to believe she was just a drunk asshole.
The fourth act was Questions from the audience which were a bit flat. Both Eric and Anthony freely admit that they have spent no time in Providence and know nothing about the local scene. Anthony is clearly done with fine dining ( though it’s debatable if he had that much experience to begin witth and this was backed-up by Eric’s stories).
I left really wanting to hear more from Eric. It’s debatable who is the good and who is the eveil. Eric seems to have a bit of a devil behind his sexy French accent while Anthony freely admits that he is mellowing – no earring, no leather jacket ( yes he was wearing a lovely blazer) no smoking, no rock & roll t-shirts, no drugs, less drinking. The cynical part of me is sad that he is selling out to chase the bigger more established gigs like his show on CNN. He almost admits to it and says yeah he is moving his career along & has a family to support. That’s great for him but I miss his old persona.
Their tour continues this spring and will surely pick up again as their schedule permits. They’ve been touring together for over two years. Go for the friendly banter just don’t expect tons on insider information or cooking talk.
video amuse bouche: Cooking techniques of super chefs
Quite a bit of mail from the foodie world comes across the counters in The Galley. Most of it we toss in the bin but occasionally something catches our eye. This morning it was an invite to the Lobster Roll Rumble. Wow – what fun – we love a good lobster roll – this must be a local New England event in the heart of lobster country.
Well No. It is in New York City. Being held at an event space. Tickets are $170.00 to $280.00 per person. (Yes that is not a typo) Ok it’s New York pricing and they are supporting Save Our Strength. So giving them a second chance, I read on to check out the competitors because surely there would be local favorites.
Nope – yes they have a couple from Maine, 1 from Boston but that’s it. No representation from the Cape, Vineyard, Nantucket, Rhode Island or Connecticut. None of those lovely little shacks directly along the coast where the lobstermen unload and the bugs go directly into the steamer. You know the places I’m talking about. Instead the lobster rumble is between a bunch of city slicker, hipster joints. They probably buy their lobster meat from Nova Scotia.
This got me thinking. This really is an event made for a showdown among chefs in Newport. What better venue – with our own lobster pound right next to the Newport Shipyard. What did you think? Would you join in the fun? Please let me know because if there is enough interest The Captain’s Concierge could get behind organizing an event.
We have much experience in culinary competitions as we have sponsored and coordinated the chef’s competitions at the Newport Charter Show since 2008. Ideas are already swimming around in my head. Would love to see who the winner would be. Start planning your winning recipe.
video amuse-bouche: Loggerhead vs Lobster Showdown
When I first heard this, I was puzzled. While Newport has always been a great summer destination,what makes this summer different? There are no major events on the calendar.
The major event happened back in October – Hurricane Sandy. While it spared Newport, it destroyed waterfront communities in New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut. Those areas have yet to be rebuilt and their visitors need a new place to play in the sun. Newport is that place.
If you need housing this summer whether it’s for race crew or refit or for guests, now is the time to make arrangements. Traditionally real estate brokers have handled arrangements for those making arrangements remotely. Today many owners are handling the process themselves. Check out the listings on For Rent by Owner, Vacation Rental by Owner, and Craigslist.
Many of these will list properties for weekly rental in Newport. Weekly rentals in Newport are illegal. Right now there is a local debate about changing the law. In the past this has not been strictly enforced. There is talk about increasing enforcement especially those with noise and occupancy violations.
You can broaden your search area for more choices. Look in Jamestown, Middletown and Portsmouth. These towns allow short term rentals.
video amuse-bouche: This Could be Your Summer Home
One of the best times in Newport is upon us – Newport Spring Restaurant Week! I am always bummed that these explorations of Newport and Bristol’s culinary gems happen during the shoulder seasons and our yacht chefs don’t get a chance to try them.
This year it is from Friday, April 5th to Sunday April 14th. This 10 day event offers locals plenty of opportunity to get out try our awesome restaurants. Restaurants offer a three course prixe fixe lunch and dinner. Both are very reasonably priced at $16 and $30 respectively. restaurants often other some choice and highlight signature dishes.
With 43 different establishments participating, everyone can find a place to try. A few new places that are participating for the first time include Windward Coastal Grill, Jamestown Fish and Malt. Many places are old favorites reopening for the season.
You can check out the restaurants and their special menus. Looking forward to hearing everyone reviews.
video amuse bouche: Hi Neighbor! The Story of Narragansett Beer
Summer in Newport is filled with sailing regattas. We have compiled a calendar of events to assist in your summer planning.
There are weeknight racing series through out the summer. There are often opportunities for walk-on crew. Ask around the marinas and show up before racing to get onboard.
Additionally there are numerous youth events and fun regattas all over the Bay. Please keep your eye out as you are cruising the region. These events need volunteers to help with race management and race committee. It is a great way to give back to out sport. You get the fun without getting wet and bruised.
video amuse-bouche: J Class Yacht porn
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruadin/1171098755/”>cruadinx</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
Perfect is the enemy of good is a popular saying in the jargon of self and business improvement. And it’s really getting under my skin as it has no place in yachting yet can be heard as a cop out by crew.
The phrase is attributed to Voltaire, an 18th century writer and philosopher. It is from his poem La Bégueule and the translation is the best is the enemy of good. It is tough to sort out the literal meaning out of context but pop culture has taken over the phrase.
Numerous efficiency and happiness gurus spout off the quote as to way to make your work better. How might you ask? By saying a project is done when it is at 80%. That the remaining 20% is not worth the time spent for return. It is referred in the software business as the Principle of good enough and in sales as the 80/20 rule. Financial writers also recommend it’s use.
Really how well is that working? Yes I’m looking at you Microsoft and Windows! Yes I’m looking at the financial mess of international markets! Yes I’m looking at the housing and mortgage crisis!
Imagine if this was applied to yachting: Captain docks a 100ft yacht and only scrapes 20ft against the piling – well 80% was good. Stewardess make up 4 out of the 5 guests cabins – well 80% is good. Chef makes starter, salad, sides and dessert – well 80% is good and really nobody is going to miss their main.
Now we can all agree that this advice has no place in yachting. If you want to succeed. Yachting is land of super perfection. Where every need is met before it is even spoken. Where fingerprints are removed moments after touching. Where floors are so clean your grandmother could eat off of them. Where unseen wrinkles are ironed out daily.
Yes we are hired to create a floating land of perfection that seems effortless. Yes you are Mr. or Ms. Perfect.
Yes this is our group of tireless workers. Those of us bordering on OCD. Yes those who have been called anal on more than one occasion. Be proud of finding your tribe. And push others to meet the high standards of yachting. Don’t settle for good enough. You will be rewarded for pushing for perfect.
video amuse-bouche: What is this is Perfection
Right here in The Galley. There are so many, almost too many, choices of beef for feeding both guests and crew. The video amuse-bouche from Wolfgang Puck is filled with guidelines and tips.
The taste profile is the most important criteria for presenting guests with a steak that they will love. Depending on an eater’s palate, the same steak can be an absolute joy or taste like shoe leather. To help you as a chef find the perfect piece of meat to dazzle their taste buds, you need to play a bit detective.
Preference sheets aren’t going to tell you that your guests from Texas are going to enjoy a grain finished, 21 day wet-aged, 100% black angus rib-eye or that the couple from London would prefer grass-fed, pastured, Belted Galloway chateaubriand. You have to be a culinary Quincy and read between the lines. Try to find out as much background on your guests as possible.
The Captain’s Concierge provides a wide range of beef. Choices go far beyond grading, cut and size to include country of origin, breed including cross-breeds, aging method, raising and harvesting methods. Please check out our catalog for more details. We can help you choose the perfect center of the plate to please your guests. If you want to know more about all the different choices, please let us know in The Galley and we’ll write about them in future posts.
video amuse-bouche: How to order a steak by Wolfgang Puck
Commercial fisherman firing up the engines – One of three working boats in the harbor.
Newport Shipyard employee slapping on a fresh coat of paint. Getting the docks cleaned up. Hard to believe that in less than 8 weeks these docks will be jammed packed with boats and busy crew.
Hibernating Travellift at Newport Shipyard
Where’s the tent? Looking across the event space at Newport Yachting Center toward Bannisters Wharf.
No place to tie up at the Newport Yachting Center
Boat parking at Casey’s Marina.
video amuse-bouche: One Particular (warmer) Harbor
Easter has the best holiday candy in my opinion. All those bright yummy treats signal the beginning of spring. Now you could run out and stock up with commercial varieties or even go to the chocolate shop to stock up for crew and guests. Or you can get creative and make your own way tastier treats.
Top choice for both easy and dazzle factor would be the cream egg. This popular candy is made by Cadbury in both Europe and America. Give them a try yourself with this easy but a bit time consuming recipe.
Another fun favorite are marshmallow Peeps or chicks. Best part is that you can make them any color you want. Follow along with this easy video tutorial. Follow the link below the video for the marshmallow recipe.
For a classic Easter treat, make your own chocolate eggs with different fillings. This recipe includes both chocolate and caramel fillings. This recipe is a fun take using actual egg shells with chocolate filling.
It wouldn’t be Easter without jelly beans – the holiday’s signature candy. This fun recipe allows for your creativity. Love the idea of adult flavor ideas especially cocktail inspiration – mojito, rum punch, pina colada – yum!
There are many resources to help with equipment such as candy molds both new and vintage. For the best candy start with the best chocolate. While you can pick up some good brands at the grocery, with The Captain’s Concierge you have access to the best. We carry Valrhona, Callebaut, and Cacao Barry. Give us a call if we can help you kick the Easter Bunny’s *ss.
video amuse-bouche: Easter Bunny Hates You
Thanks for stopping by The Galley. Here you’ll find a clearinghouse for yachties to get useful information about food, cooking, yachting and crew. The Galley reports on trends, news, ideas, books and anything else I find interesting.
As with all the services provided by The Captain's Concierge , The Galley makes your life on board easier. Please join the conversation happening in The Galley with your ideas and comments.