Cooking at Sea? Which cook book should I buy? 'Bad cooking is responsible for more trouble at sea than all other things put together.' - Thomas Fleming Day
There are plenty of cook books out there, but only a few are really written with the sailor and crew in mind. Given that cooking on a boat involves whole different dynamics, such as a moving platform, restricted access to ingredients, limited budget and a very hungry crew; it is great that there are chefs out there thinking about yachties’ stomachs.
To help you get a better idea on what book to buy for your galley, Ivan Signorelli reviews two of the best recent cookbooks.
The Boat Cookbook– Fiona Sims
The Boat Cookbook - .. .
This book is the newest addition to the shelves of boat cook books. Written by Fiona Sims, it contains recipes from top chefs such as Chris Galving and sailing legend Sir Robert Knox-Johnston. Firstly, what sets this book apart from the other best-seller, later mentioned, is the wonderful photography and beautiful hand-drawn illustrations. You can see and savour the recipes as you scroll through the book.
As a proper boat book should, there are tips on kitting out the galley and the recipes are organised by boating context such as, being in the harbour, at sea, at home or entertaining fellow cruisers. There is even a chapter dedicated to 'Booze'. Highlight to an illustrated section on how to properly fillet a mackerel.
Fiona’s whole idea is to keep things simple but not miss out on good food and yummy flavours.
The Boat Cookbook has 160 pages. If you don't find it in your local marine book store, you can purchase it online from any one of a dozen sites. It costs around $30.
The Boat Galley Cookbook – Carolyn Shearlock & Jan Irons
The Boat Galley Cookbook - .. .
This is title has been on Boatbooks’ shelves for longer and it is a constant bestseller. Written by Shearlock and Irons, both seasoned cruisers and Cruising World writers, they have put together a cooking afloat bible. In the words of cruising legend,
Lin Pardey says of this book, 'The Boat Galley Cookbook answers almost every question I have ever been asked about cooking afloat.'
As mentioned, this is a very thorough book that includes tips on provisioning, storage, cooking techniques as well as 800 recipes.
This, however, is a very pragmatic book without fancy photography and illustrations.
It is mostly black and white and the recipes are written in a very simple to follow format.
The Boat Galley Cookbook has 451 pages. Again, if you don't find it in your local marine book store, you can purchase it online from any one of a dozen sites. It costs around $53, being a much larger volume.