Velimir is a hardworking, enthusiastic, and creative Chef with 13 years of restaurant experience prior to working in the yacht industry. Velimir is used to working in high-pressure environments, both onboard and during land-based employments. He has efficiently managed a team of chefs, conducting their training to handle tasks proficiently, but worked as a Sole Chef as well, catering to 20+ people on a daily basis. In the off-season, Velimir works in Michelin Star restaurants to gain more valuable experience and improve his skills.
1. How did you find yourself in this industry, have you always wanted to become a chef?
Ever since I was in elementary school I was interested in this profession. My path was logical, after high school education I continued my education to become a professional chef. I never stopped learning and continued to develop my skills in different high-profile restaurants.
2. What did you do before your first yacht experience?
I have always worked as a chef. I’ve worked in numerous 2* and 3* Michelin restaurants across Europe (Ritz Carlton Aqua ***, Restaurant Maaemo ***, Restaurant Ron Blaauw **, Restaurant Rutz **) and some of the best restaurants in Zagreb (Dubravkin Put - Executive Sous Chef).
3. What are the differences between working on a yacht and in a restaurant? Which do you prefer?
The differences are huge, mostly when it comes to the level of organization and the amount of work. I like to balance the two by working in restaurants during the winter and in yacht charter during the summer.
4. Where do you get your inspiration, do you have a specific cooking style?
My daily inspiration comes mostly during my visits to the market. First I look for the best produce depending on the season and then I build the daily menu from there. I always do my best to source locally, with the exception of specific produce like king crab or foie gras which can’t be found just anywhere.
5. How do you deal with cooking for a bigger crew and making sure everyone is happy?
Being mindful of everyone’s tastes and wishes when cooking for a bigger crew usually means I have to prepare a few different lunch and dinner options. I always try to make sure everyone is pleased, open communication with the crew is helpful as I am always willing to listen to their suggestions.
6. What is your favorite cuisine?
It is hard to pick a specific cuisine. I love so many different dishes, from ceviche or sushi to simple homemade dishes my grandmother used to make. The quality of the dish is crucial for me. Although I could say that French cuisine had the biggest influence on my development as a chef.
7. Favourite destination you have visited?
Definitely Thailand and Japan.
8. What can be found on ALALYA’s menu?
The list is long and there are plenty of options to choose from. The menu is versatile, Kobe beef carpaccio, black tiger prawn carpaccio, lobster bisque, steamed clams, black Angus ribeye, to name a few.
Velimir has found his place on ALALYA, a 47m Italian-built tri-deck superyacht. She has superb features for charter and a Michelin-trained chef certainly adds value. Summer of 2021 will be her maiden charter season and she is ready to take bookings.
Take advantage of her inaugural charter year with a special 10% discount on all June charters.
She will be cruising in Croatia, Montenegro, and the South of Italy.