Hang out in the galley with Chef Henry Dowling
Ocean Independence speak with the new chef on MANA I, Henry Dowling, about his career highlights, his favourite ingredients and why guests should pay him a visit.
Dowling’s new work environment is the 36m MANA I, a charter yacht in the Ocean Independence fleet. The yacht provides outstanding seakeeping capacities with her slender design.
Charter guests can expect generously designed deck spaces featuring an al fresco bar and two sunshaded dining areas, a Jacuzzi for seven, and two large sunpads. Stepping inside, they are welcomed by a sophisticated walnut interior, which is flooded by lots of natural light. Her innovative fast displacement hull ensures economic and comfortable cruising at all speeds.
Thanks to her flexible stateroom arrangement, MANA I can accommodate any group arrangement, be it a family charter or four couples, and has – as one of her highlights – Henry Dowling now on board.
Come and hang out in the galley, I have treats!
OI: What made you want to become a chef?
HD: I have always enjoyed making people happy and for the majority of people, food does just that so it was a good combination.
OI: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COOKING PROFESSIONALLY?
HD: I have been in the hospitality industry for 12 years and have been professionally cooking for the last five years.
OI: DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE INGREDIENT?
HD: One of my favourite ingredients to work with is pomegranate as I feel it can make a lot of dishes more appealing.
OI: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WINE OR COCKTAIL?
HD: My favourite cocktail is Mojito.
OI: Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?
HD: Chef Jan Hendrick - He was the first South African chef to get a Michelin star by capturing the imagination of foodies around the world with his own spin on traditional South African cuisine.
OI: WHAT IS THE MOST STRESSFUL PART OF YOUR JOB?
HD: For me it is after the food has left the galley and I am waiting for feedback from the table.
OI: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE CAREER HIGHLIGHTS?
HD: (1) When I landed my first job on a yacht - this was a huge achievement for me; (2) When I worked as a chef on top of a mountain in Aspen, Colorado for one of the top five restaurants in America; and (3) When I successfully baked my first loaf of sourdough bread.
OI: HOW DID YOU GET INTO YACHTING?
HD: A friend advised me it was one of the best ways to obtain a job I was passionate about and that enabled me to travel and see the world at the same time. I took their advice, completed the relevant courses, and flew to Malta where I joined my first vessel.
OI: WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THE YACHTING INDUSTRY?
HD: I think it is a fantastic industry to be a part of as it offers plenty of opportunity to network and connect with different chefs, clients, and cuisines from around the world.
OI: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE YACHTING DESTINATION?
HD: Personally, my favourite place is Palma as it is a great place to catch up with friends in the industry.
OI: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COOKING IN A RESTAURANT AND COOKING ON A YACHT?
HD: No two days are ever the same when cooking on a yacht. You have the ability and the freedom to get creative and offer new dishes each day instead of sticking to a menu. You always have to be on your A game - running out of ingredients is never an option as you aren’t able to just quickly pop to the store and pick stuff up. Oh, and the biggest difference of course is that it moves!
OI: WHILST ON A YACHT, WHAT IS THE MOST UNUSUAL REQUEST YOU HAVE HAD FROM A GUEST?
HD: That they would like fish for dinner, however they do not want it to taste or smell like fish!
OI: WHAT IS YOUR MOST INTERESTING OR FUN EXPERIENCE FROM YOUR TIME ONBOARD THE YACHT?
HD: Completing an Atlantic crossing. This was always something on my bucket list, so I was happy to tick it off.
OI: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FIRST-TIME CHARTER GUESTS?
HD: To come and hang out in the galley, I have treats!
Click here to view a large selection of yachts available for charter with Ocean Independence.