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What’s For Dinner from a Hired Chef?

daviscouple Whats For Dinner from a Hired Chef?

By Betha Merit 

Jonathon and Kim Davis spent five years crewing for private yacht owners and charters who enjoyed the experience of a weeklong trip with a captain to navigate the seas, and a chef who stocked the galley to make the evening meal a fine dining experience.

Previously, Jonathon had experience in delivering boats for private owners that wanted their vessels moved from places like Newport, RI to the Caribbean or from Galveston to Florida.  After a particularly rough sea delivery Jonathon was sitting in Tortola watching the sunset.  He looked out over the harbor and saw a beautiful boat with a crew ready to embark on a halcyon Caribbean cruise and thought, “I want to do that.”Jonathon returned to Bay Area Houston, enlisted the help of Kim who was working in retail, and thus began their career as captain and chef.  They crewed on 70-foot or larger sailing yachts with most of their time spent on a particular 72-foot John Alden designed ship built by Eric Goetz. Kim says with charters, the emphasis is on people having a great time, with available food for breakfast and lunch, and then a great prepared dinner.  In advance, Kim sent a menu to private owners or charter companies, and then tailored the food to their requests and seasonal availability.  Most food was bought in advance as things like ground beef is not easily found in Island grocery stores.  “But you can always find rack of lamb,” says Kim.  She paired this surprising meal with a garlic mash, and glazed fingerling potatoes and baby vegetables.

In present day, the Davis family includes their 15-month old son, Cole, and a new yachting venture based in the League City, South Shore Harbour area.  They have launched The Yacht Service Company, Inc., specializing in everything from wash-down to safety maintenance, electronics, varnishing, and provisioning.  “We saw a higher level of service while in marinas in St. Barths, St. Maartens, and Newport,” says Jonathon, “and we have brought that level of service here to Bay Area Houston.” Find out more at www.theyachtservicecompany.com.Kim shared several recipes (shown to right).  “The Shrimp Puttanesca is a special favorite to serve as a late afternoon meal when everyone returns from a long day of swimming, snorkeling, or scuba,” says Kim.  Another crowd pleaser is Portabella and Brie Cups, served as an appetizer or anytime.

shrimpandgarlilc 300x153 Whats For Dinner from a Hired Chef?Shrimp Puttanesca

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest (from half a medium orange)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • One 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juice reserved
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, rinsed and quartered
  • 2 Tbs. capers, rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. whole-grain penne pasta
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp (51 to 60 per lb.), shelled and deveined
  • 4  anchovies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion, orange zest, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, olives, and capers. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until al dente. Drain well.

Add the shrimp and anchovies (if using) to the sauce in the skillet. Raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour the pasta into the skillet and toss with the shrimp sauce. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

 briecupsPortabella and Brie Cups

  • 6 oz. fresh Portabella mushrooms
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 24 mini puff pastry shells
  • 3 oz. brie

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray 24 miniature muffin cups with non-stick spray.  Brush mushrooms or wipe clean with damp cloth.  Finely chop.

In a small skillet, combine mushrooms, butter and garlic; cook over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until butter is absorbed and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in green onions and mustard.

Place mini puff pastry shells in muffin cups.  Spoon about one tablespoon mushroom mixture into each cup.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown.  Meanwhile cut cheese into 24 pieces.

Remove cups from oven.  Place a piece of cheese in each cup.  Return to oven and bake an additional 2 to 4 minutes, or until cups are golden grown and cheese is softened.  Cool 5 minutes; remove from muffin cups.  Cool slightly before serving.

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