Crew in the spotlight: Chef Tonya Bohn
This April Camper & Nicholsons interviewed Tonya Bohn, chef on board the popular 39.62m (130') Camper & Nicholsons charter yacht Amitie.
Could you tell us a little about your background: what were you doing prior to yachting and how did you end up working in the yachting industry?
Let's see... I was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale Florida so the yachting industry has always been present in my life. I started off in the restaurant industry at 16 and worked my way through many positions and during that time I found a passion in cooking, therefore I decided to purse a culinary degree. Two weeks after graduating from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale I was hired on my first yacht.
When did you first become a Chef and onboard which yacht?
My first chef/cook position was at an aviation catering company in 2002. I was hired two weeks after I graduated college aboard 80ft Montifino Motor Yacht Lady Jan in 2005.
What do you like most about working in yachting/being a chef?
My favourite part of yachting is travelling to new places and being close to the ocean. I have always been fascinated with the ocean, food and travelling so this has always been the perfect job for me. I love being a chef on a yacht because it allows me to try new things, be creative and spontaneous which is so much more enlightening and allows growth in my field opposed to cooking the same thing day after day, as it was in the restaurant industry.
What do you think is the secret to a successful charter?
To have as much information about your guests as possible, pay attention to all the details no matter how big or small, organization, time management and never say ‘No’ to the charter client. Make them feel at home and bring a personal touch to everything you do. When the crew is happy and work well together, it’s easy to create a great environment for charter clients to sit back, relax and feel comfortable.
What do you like about being in the Camper & Nicholsons fleet?
Camper and Nicholsons has been around for a very long time and is one of the best companies around. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with them.
What is the best thing you ever learnt from another crew member?
Well, it’s hard to narrow it down to one but I think it would be to let the little things go, keep your thoughts to yourself and to stay focused on your job.
It can be very hard living together, working together and creating good relationships with other crew members. It’s so important to have personalities that fit well or else it can ruin a boat.
What is your favourite tool/piece of equipment or resource on board?
Just to not state the obvious like my knives, ovens or standmixer, I would have to say the internet. It makes all things possible when chartering from communication with clients, looking up information about new islands we are visiting, recipes if needed and of course keeping up with the latest trends in the food industry!
What advice would you give a new crew member joining the industry?
If you are serious about creating a profession in the yachting industry you must be willing to drop all plans at any given time, and be willing to put the yacht before personal holidays, birthdays and relationships. If you can do this then you will have the time of your life! There is so much beauty and discovery in this field. It's a huge sacrifice giving up a normal way of life but the experience you gain from doing so is one you will remember for the rest of your life!