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Charter Yacht SEA LADY II: Chef’s Chat with Massimiliano Paschina

Sarah Nadler | December 12, 2023



SEA LADY II is a 135-foot motor yacht available for charter in the West Mediterranean. This luxury charter offers an exceptional experience for guests while visiting destinations like France, Spain, or Italy.

This article was featured in The Islander Magazine. Interview by Barry D’Arcy of Ocean Earth Chefs.


Born in Italy, Massimiliano Paschina worked 26 years in several restaurants in the UK and Spain before stepping aboard yachts. Starting his chef life in hotels and restaurants, Massimiliano has a soft spot for Mediterranean cuisine. His first job on the water was with a sailing yacht in 2021, and he’s never looked back. He’s an ambitious and passionate chef with a lifelong interest in learning and developing his skills. Over the last three years, he has been a chef in private homes and on board some famous and prestigious yachts, serving private owners and charter guests.

Charter Yacht SEA LADY II Chef Massimiliano Paschina

Why did you become a chef?

I became a chef when I moved to London from my homeland, Sardinia.

While I was attending university, I was working part-time in a well-established Italian restaurant in the West End of London as a commis pizza chef. Within months, I found myself working full-time and decided that was what I wanted to do.

I trained with some great chefs under the supervision of the executive chef, Martin Wilson. He became my mentor, teacher, and inspiration for many more years – and still is. Later in my career, I put all my practice into dishes from classical to modern cuisine.

What chefs do you admire?

Martin Wilson. The reason being is that things he taught me 30 years ago I still do today. Also, Massimo Bottura – he cooks from his heart just like a grandmother or a mother would. I like how he looks at the old classic dishes of regional cuisine with a modern twist, using new techniques and ingredients while valuing the local products and keeping a close relationship with producers and farmers.

What are your favourite cuisines to cook?

My favourite cuisine is, without a doubt, Italian. Every region has its own identity in terms of cuisine and it’s diverse from north to south. Endless pasta choices that recite a story of the local area.

I’ve been an admirer of Asian cuisines since I moved to London, Japanese being my favourite, followed by Indian and Chinese. When I started working privately in London, I had to perfect my cooking styles since the client requests were of various cuisines.

Did I forget to mention Spanish cuisine? It’s not all about tapas and paella! Spain offers diverse cuisine from north to south.

When are you happiest at work?

Firstly, when I’m using fresh quality products to create the best possible dishes and, secondly, when the guests are happy. But also, working on a yacht, I’m happy if the crew is happy. Happy crew, happy guests.

Cuisine aboard Charter Yacht SEA LADY II by Chef Massimiliano Paschina

What are the strengths that make a good superyacht chef?

Always have a plan B and C. More often than not, plans aboard a superyacht can change in a moment. And always be prepared for extra dining guests. Accommodate guests according to their tastes in food, their allergies and intolerances.

Favourite places you have visited?

The Cyclades Islands of Greece are some of the most beautiful places I’ve visited. During my first superyacht position, I was lucky enough to visit many of these islands. I also have a place in my heart for the Scottish Highlands. Even though I prefer a warm climate, it’s just a stunning place to visit.

How did you end up working as a chef on yachts?

A good old friend of mine has been telling me to try working on yachts for over ten years. After COVID happened, I had the chance to think about it and went for it, and I have never looked back.

What are your best and worst moments as a chef?

The best moments as a chef are when customers and guests are happy with my cooking, and they appreciate the effort I have put in. The worst moments come when a dinner is cancelled, and you are ready to serve. It’s like taking the toys out of a kid’s hand.

Cuisine aboard Charter Yacht SEA LADY II by Chef Massimiliano Paschina

Do you have a philosophy about cooking?

My cooking philosophy is fresh is best. Not only the ingredients but almost everything has to be done in the kitchen, from bread making, grissini, pasta, pastry, ice creams and so on. When serving food, homemade is the key for me.

What is life like as a yacht chef?

Life as a yacht chef is great. You can purchase some of the finest ingredients to create exceptionally good dishes. It’s also difficult as you live and share life onboard with colleagues that you, as a chef, have to please daily. Cooking is a very intimate thing, and I take that seriously whether they are clients, guests, or crew members.

What are your favourite food places?

First would be markets, farmers’ markets being the best. Farmers’ markets allow you to buy fresh ingredients while helping the local producers. A lot of the time, you find products you wouldn’t find in a supermarket. Another inspiring place for food is the old-style grocery shops in Italy, where you can find everything with great quality.

I also like to go out to restaurants where you can try new dishes.

What do you do in your free time?

I like to play football and read.


Charter Yacht SEA LADY II

Interested in booking SEA LADY II for your next vacation? Contact a Denison charter broker for more information.


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