Gustavia Port, St Barth's March 2011

It is hard to believe we were all gallivanting around St Barth’s partaking in the Bucket Regatta last week and now we are all back to our normal lives whether it is onboard yachts, in offices, waiting for the next regatta to start, or just chilling out before the next job starts. Our departure is always quite odd for the regular crew an experience I go through every regatta having been on such an energetic high during the regatta I then have to keep on top of it all as we generally have guests arriving and go cruising but for me flying back to Italy is to rejoin Saudade and get ready for our season in the Mediterranean where we shall race in 3 regattas and cruise the rest of the time, having a break mid summer to recuperate for a couple of weeks.

I have come back to amazing Spring weather where the trees, and flowers are coming out into their element. The markets are full of delicious fruits and vegetables that are just right. A time for me to find new recipes to try, or to at least experiment with…. I cannot wait to get back to the market in La Spezia. One day this coming week I will go in there and stock up for a few meals for the crew who are now complete with my Stewardess arriving back this weekend to start onboard again… Little does she realise what is ahead of her ! Oh well she will find out tomorrow when she gets onboard for the first time in 4 mths!

Walking this morning I noticed several trees just coming into leaf making me excited for the elderflower /sambucca tree to come into flower so I can make up my elderflower syrup, which was devoured last year by the crew and then more once we had discovered that it worked well with a dash of vodka in it as a refreshing drink with soda water, ice and mint.

The Bucket was an interesting experience for me as a chef as the owners of the yacht were not only Kosher but also on the raw food diet, one which I would like to apply to myself as I eat so much raw food, but in no real form or diet. I just love fresh crispy vegetables, fruits straight from the plants. At the markets now there are fava beans, or fresh peas both of which I munch on immediately I have bought them not giving them a chance to get to a pot of water !

I learnt quite a lot from the chef onboard the yacht about the raw food diet and am going to start sprouting again, which I am sure the engineer will have fits about as I place several bags of sprouting beans, peas, seeds in his area ! As for now the dried beans, peas, fenugreek and more are soaking in water softening before their new leave of life into sprouting. It is a diet I am very interested in as I eat so much raw food to start with but I have not attempted to go with. The health benefits are enormous and have many people realising and learning that all the prepared foods that they eat are really not helping them out except feeding them and giving them the energy to go through the next few hours. With the raw foods you are not cooking anything at a higher temperature than 40 degrees, so you learn to enjoy the tastes of fruits, and vegetables in their raw state whether they are just cut up or blended, dehydrated you are enjoying them at their best nutritional state.

But as for now I will experiment with what I can in the space of the apartments we have that we are living in whilst the boat is on the hard, but within 3 weeks my fingers are crossed we shall be back in the water, and hopefully the mast and boom on, sails in place and we can start our summer season