Interviewing young, successful chefs in the high-end culinary field, has significant perks.
We have interviewed many executive chefs, both youthful and more mature, but young chefs usually display a lively, experimental side of executive chefdom. They have a discipline tempered with creative flexibility, and are often balanced by unique personal stories. But it is a distinct experience to communicate with one who works on a $50M USD Megayacht.
Philip Browning is one of those rare chefs. His job is the Executive Chef of the M/Y Loon, a $50M USD Mega yacht charter owned by IYC Yachts. Should anyone care to charter this vessel, the cost is $300,000 a week. Chef Philip is part of this package. He makes breakfast, lunch, dinner, amuses bouche, and (almost) anything else those on the yacht would like to eat and drink.
We met Philip Browning, age 28, on this exceptional IYC vessel, as we sailed through Eleuthera, Exuma, and Nassau and other smaller islands, in the Bahamas. In our conversation, he asked us what our favorite vegetable was, and we immediately replied, white asparagus. He looked at us and said, “On this yacht, and off season, it is hard to acquire.”
We said we understood, and then went on to another subject. But then, that evening, along with fresh snapper, calamari and fruit salad, was our white asparagus served with a perfect Hollandaise. Surprising, unforgettable.
As with many of the chefs we have talked with, they started washing dishes, and Chef Philip was no exception.
He began his career in Shropshire, England. At the age of 12, he worked as a part-time dishwasher after school. By the time he was 15, he was hired as a Sous Chef of a two Rosette restaurant in England, and after this training, he traveled to explore different cultures and broaden his culinary knowledge and skills.
Chef Philip finally settled in Copenhagen Denmark, where he worked at the famous Café Victor. This is a well-known restaurant, and opened as a French/Italian-inspired brasserie in 1981. It is famous now for its inventive cuisine. It is said that at this Café, there is usually a good chance of seeing actors, authors, and international business moguls.
He worked there for two years, creating such dishes, with interesting flovor combinations, as baked celeriac with roasted hazelnuts and fresh truffle, stirred tartare of beef,with capers, cornichons, tomato, mustard, cognac and herbs, and blueberry/lavender tart with marzipan crumble and buttermilk ice cream.
But the call of travel became important to him again, and while working as Executive Chef, he went to Malta on a yacht. He soon discovered the world of yachting was as interesting as the word of high-end cuisine, and eventually landed a best-of-both-worlds job at IYC Yachts, and on the Loon.
The Loon, Chef Philip and those of us who have been on this Mega yacht know, features a inspiring panoramic sky lounge with a 10-foot high vaulted ceiling, two master staterooms, a spa and oversized infinity edge swimming pool/Jacuzzi for leisure and fitness whatever the weather. It accommodates 12 guests, and the crew won Acrew’s Best Crew from 2019 award and were the 2020 winner of Acrew’s Humanitarian award for their Hurricane Dorian relief efforts. It is an exceptional IYC yacht, and Chef Philip is aware of this.
“ I have traveled a lot, and am always happy when I can create new tastes in traditional recipes. I have a good taste memory, so I can taste what I want before I actually create it. I am very grateful, as in the culinary work, many chefs have not had the chance to working in great restaurants and on great yachts.
As we come to know the yacht guests and, if they ask for a certain vegetable or meat or seasoning, we do our best to, and usually can, accommodate. I especially love it when those who have chartered this yacht have caught fish themselves in the morning, give the fish to me, and by evening, I have created a unique meal from the fish they have caught. It is a win-win for everyone.”
M/Y Loon VIDEO