Name: Graziano Ballerano
Age: 49 years old
Head Chef at MY OUT
After working in various hotels and starred restaurants in Italy (he even contributed to the achievement of a Michelin Star while working at the Roman Restaurant Vesta in Tivoli) Head Chef Graziano Ballerano got into the yachting industry seven years ago when he began to work as Head Chef in passenger ships.
His passion for the sea and the desire for new challenges led him to embark as a Head Chef on M/Y OUT in 2014 where he has received accolades from customers.
How did you realise you wanted to become a Chef?
As a child I helped my grandmother and my mother to cook at home. It was then when I discovered my passion. After a stint working in restaurants I realized that to excel and grow professionally in the industry I had to take courses and internships in major starred restaurants.
How different is cooking in a Yacht from cooking in a stable kitchen ashore?
Being a chef aboard a superyacht is more challenging than being a chef in land-based kitchens. I think working on charters is an important commitment that can give you satisfaction, but it can also be challenging. One of the many challenges of working on a Yacht is to be available 24/7. Planning is also essencial since we may be moored out at sea and without access to supermarkets for days at a time.
What would you recommend to new chefs trying to enter into yachting?
I’d recommend to the young chefs to get experience in restaurants and hotels before in order to enable them a smooth transition to the Yacht industry.
In which port do you enjoy buying groceries the most?
During the long summer season we sail in the Mediterranean, the French Riviera or the Emerald Coast. The food markets in Nice are one of my favourites for the variety of products. I also love the freshness of the fish in Porto Rotondo.
What would be your perfect 3 course menu?
My perfect three course meal includes seafood combined with fruit or aromatic herbs, a good grilled fish and a delicious home-made dessert.
What’s the one piece of kitchen equipment you couldn’t live without?
I am very fond of my “Global” knives, the multi awarded Japanese company. These knives bring me back to the time I spent in the restaurant “Vesta” Tivoli Rome, a period professionally important to me.
Who is your chef inspiration?
I am grateful to my good friend Angel who introduced me to the world of cooking. He taught me to cook with passion. I learnt to cook for food critics and starred chefs with pride.