Josh King meets Frances and Michael Howorth at the Antigua Charter Yacht Show and talks about his job as Chef

Our interview with Josh King took place on board the 86 metre sailing ketch Aquijo at the Antigua Charter Yacht show in December 2019 where he was awarded the Best On Board Experience prize in the Chefs Competition.

What made you want to join the superyacht industry and what yachts have you worked on since you joined?

I joined because I enjoy travelling and I have not been disappointed! My first yacht was the 85 metre Oceanco; St Princess Olga now (Amore Vero) and that was six years ago. Since then I have worked on the 73 metre Plvs Vltra before coming to this 86 metre beauty just over a month ago. So, you can see I like them big!

What do you most like doing when you are not on board a yacht?

The travel bug is just as strong as it ever was so I travel as much as I can. Truth is though I keep getting drawn back to Mexico. I love the beaches, the cities and the historical culture. When you want a change of pace the towns and villages are such fun and the people are so friendly but most of all I love the food. I am a chef after all!

What do you most like about your current galley and the equipment you have got in it? Because she is a sail boat the galley on board Aquijo is long and rather narrow, but is very well equipped with plenty of fridges and dry store spaces. You would think at first glance it is rather small but Toby my 2nd chef and I never seem to get in each other’s way. When it comes to expensive kit Aquijo has all the super expensive toys. Her centrifuge allows me to make clear consommés with less effort and has allowed me to experiment with constructed creams and butters from legumes and vegetables the likes of peas, broad beans and carrots for example. I use it to centrifuge fruit and vegetable purees for clean separations without heat and to clarify juices with greater yield and clarity. It can’t be beaten when you need to make smoother milks from almond, pistachio, macadamia and nut oils. Don’t tell Toby but I think of my Thermomix as another assistant chef. It’s got me out of bother a fair few times. I can put all the ingredients


needed for a béchamel sauce into it, switch it on and walk away and the end result is sauce cooked to perfection.

What is your favourite restaurant or bar in the Mediterranean and why is it special? The 3 Tapas is a little tapas restaurant in Monaco I found on Rue Princesse Florestine, when I lived there and for great Mexican Tacos there is always Sexy Tacos on Boulevard du Tenao. Tacos are my all time favourite comfort food.

Where is your favourite food? Not a shop as such but I would say; the Ventimiglia Indoor Market on Via della Repubblica tops the bill. It is a key feature in the town. Indeed, for many folk, it is the town and an essential part of their weekly shop. From Monday to Saturday the stalls that sit within this indoor food haven groan with fresh and tasty seasonal fruits and vegetables. There is a whole section of produce that is either home grown or prepared, such as bottled and pickled foods and artisan speciality cheeses. There are fresh pasta stalls and patisserie counters, delicatessens selling black and white truffles and truffle oils and tapenades, and other authentic Italian food products.

What are your three most favourite ingredients for cooking with?

Salt, spice and citrus and the one ingredient I think every chef needs in their galley fridge is Tajin, a Mexican condiment created in 1985 by Horacio Fernandez consisting predominantly of chili peppers, lime and salt.

What makes you stand out as a chef? Defying the rules of being a traditional yacht chef and pushing the boundaries encouraging owners to try new foods and flavours. When eventually I stop being a yacht chef, I will probably practise this same mantra while running my own ‘Chefs Table Only’ restaurant in Mexico

If you were not a superyacht chef what you be doing to earn a living?

When I was younger, I needed a lot of structure in my routine and I often thought that life in the military forces would suit me well. I love staying fit and doing cross

training so maybe I could be in the Royal Marines. If not as part of the fighting crew then perhaps in the kitchens! They say armies fight better on full stomachs!

What was the last meal you cooked for yourself because you really wanted to? Ceviche. I really enjoy getting fresh fish and making ceviche serving it with guacamole and chips. I just did that with a tuna I bought from Ari’s fish shop here in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua.


Morning or night-time person? Morning person

How do you like your steak? Medium rare rib eye

What was the last film you saw in a cinema? Bad Boys 3 and I fell asleep

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Mexico

What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Nothing just coffee

What is your favourite style of cuisine? Ingredient led Mexican

What food do you dislike most? Cinnamon

What would your last supper be? My wife’s lentils and rice

Your 3 dream dinner party guests? My daughter and my wife and Cardi B

Where would you want to retire? A beach in Mexico

What sport do you most like to watch? NFL and Crossfit

Do you have any pet peeves? Being late

What’s your most treasured possession? My wife

What have you done spontaneously lately? Lived my whole life

What is the closest you have ever come to death?

Holding my breath under water in the bath

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