Kdn Lyne—no, his first name is not a nickname, and yes, that is how you spell it—has been cooking professionally for 20 years, 10 of them on yachts. He began on his career path when he was just 14 years old, and like so many at the top, he started at the bottom.
As a boy in the town of Maleny, Australia, overlooking the Sunshine Coast just north of Brisbane, he washed dishes in restaurants at night and on weekends. He realized early on that food would become his path in life, but his yachting career happened by chance. About a decade ago, when he was 24, working as sous chef at a restaurant in the resort town of Byron Bay, a call came in to the head chef for a position aboard 154-foot (46.9-meter) Hitachi Zosen Mikado. Lyne’s boss passed the job opportunity on to him, and he has been working on yachts ever since.
The yachting life suits Lyne’s zest for travel. Married with two daughters, ages 5 and 3, Lyne and his wife reside in Bali, Indonesia. A keen surfer, he has followed the waves. Before Bali, it was Costa Rica, and come next summer, the family is considering Mexico. While their girls are young, the couple want to explore new cultures.
Lyne’s international wanderlust informs the dishes he prepares for charter guests on 213-foot (65.2-meter) Feadship Callisto. During my lunch aboard in Antigua, I was entranced by the complexity of flavors he extracted from indigenous products. The defining difference was the way Lyne sourced local items to create Asian-inspired mahi-mahi cooked in banana leaves, accompanied by a spicy, raw, green papaya salad and mango salsa, and followed by a sublimely creamy panna cotta and sorbet made with local coconuts.
Lyne knew what to source because when he arrived at Antigua last fall, the first thing he did was explore the island. He found an organic ranch proffering beef, poultry and pork. He also sought out local fishermen and sourced coconut products and Antiguan black pineapple.
For a superyacht such as Callisto, Lyne could have had provisions shipped in from anywhere in the world, but he grew up with a family organic garden that he and his five brothers helped to cultivate, so he knew the value in fresh ingredients.
“My parents were hippies,” he says. “We had no electricity and no TV, and lived largely off the land.”
That upbringing also explains his unusual first name, Kdn, as well as the names of his daughters. “Jali is the older one, and Tula is the younger one,” he says with a smile. “I couldn’t just give the run-of-the-mill names, could I?”
Nothing about Lyne’s cuisine is run-of-the-mill either. Each mouthful pops with individual essence and originality.
For charter information: camperandnicholsons.com, or any charter broker