It’s Chef Andreas Orzechowski’s world, and I’m just trying to keep up.
Struggling, in fact.
As the chef aboard the 142-foot (43.3-meter) Richmond Far From It adds finishing touches to a dessert course for 10 guests, I’m crouched on the galley sole snapping photos, trying to capture “the one.” Orzechowski floats around almost rhythmically, as if dancing to a waltz, in total control. I find myself waltzing around the galley as well, following him with all the grace of a drunken albatross.
“Actually, I started out as a trained mechanic,” Orzechowski says, hinting at his natural-born talent for technique. “In Germany, I spent several years as a professional mechanic, but I always felt it wasn’t for me. One day, a good friend of mine who was the executive chef at a restaurant in Berlin asked me to come be a chef with him. I figured, ‘Hey, I’ve got nothing to lose.’”
Six months into his apprenticeship in Berlin, Orzechowski knew he’d found his path. He then traveled around the world, exploring culinary techniques and ingredients across cultures before landing his first yacht gig in 2006.
“It was total luck,” Orzechowski says. “A captain posted an ad on a German chef website for a job on a yacht in Malaysia. It sounded like fun, so I applied. I got the job right then and there. Off to Singapore we go.”
The ability to travel has had a profound influence on Orzechowski’s cooking direction. Taking courses nearly every place he visits has allowed him to mold his style, fusing Eastern and Western dishes with French techniques and modern European and Asian flair.
“I love the Asian influence,” he says. “But at the end of the day, charter guests are here to have whatever they want, not whatever I want. So, I’ll always do what the guests want.”
Orzechowski may be the newest crewmember aboard Far From It, but the team’s rapport makes it seem like they’ve completed a circumnavigation together. He is happy to be part of the crew, but almost always is focused on food.
“I read all the menus two or three days before,” he says. “Sometimes, I’ll work all night to prepare for the next day’s menu. I’m always evolving my dishes. If I don’t like something in a recipe or during the preparation, I might change it. If something feels wrong to me, I make it right. My greatest reward is when a guest says, ‘That dish was amazing.’ I love hearing that.”
Menu | Have a look at Chef Orzechowski's sample menu, with wine pairings by YI's staff Master Sommelier Virginia Philip:
For charter information: churchillyachts.com or any charter broker
Virginia Philip is one of only just over 200 professionals worldwide to hold the title of Master Sommelier. Her discerning palate and encyclopedic knowledge also earned her the American Sommelier Association’s title of ‘Best Sommelier of the United States.’ She owns Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy in West Palm Beach. virginiaphilipwineshopacademy.com