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AUTUMN 2011I sea&iI23[on boardTop TimesThe captain of the 34.47m (113') Top Times recalls fond memories of life at sea and offers cruising tips for Caribbean charters]FOSTER ON... HIS BACKGROUNDI began my career at sea running dive charters around the Caribbean's GrandCayman and Turks and Caicos islands in the late 1990s. But I soon neededmore of a challenge, so I hung up my wetsuit, upgraded my licence and landedmy first job on the 45m (148') Feadship Lady Sheridan. During fourincredibleyears we travelled from Maine to Tobago, and crossed theAtlantic six times from Costa Rica to Croatia. This first experience of life atsea had me hooked and I went on to work on the 43m (142') Positive Carry, the56m (184') Allegro and the 47.5m (156') Sea Racer, before joining Top Times.FOSTER ON...TRAVELAmong my favourite cruising grounds are the Amalfi Coast, Croatia, theChesapeake Bay area, St Vincent and the Grenadines and New England. TheBahamas always captivates me because it presents something new,undiscovered and enchanting with each trip. My favourite charter expeditionsthere include a slow tender ride through the mangroves of Shroud Cay,snorkelling in the Sea Aquarium off O'Brien's Cay, and watching the falling tiderecede on the flats at Sampson Cay. On the rare occasions I get to relax ashorewith my wife and children, my favourite hangouts are my back garden andthe beach.ÊThe one region I would most like to cruise around is the SouthPacific, particularly New Zealand and Australia.FOSTER ON... BEING A CAPTAINI have had a few challenging charters over the course of my career, both as ayounger crew member and as a captain. Some charters were definitely morememorable than others, but I cannot recall any clients walking off the boatunhappy or reporting that they had less than an amazing time. It's all abouthaving fun and relaxing with a little spontaneity and adventure thrown in tomake sure everyone is on their toes. The most challenging part of my job is also what keeps me interestedin it -and fit. When we're not chartering we run the boat with just threecrew, so the mate and I divide our time between engineering tasks, being ondeck and managing the bridge. It amazes me how all the work gets done. FOSTER ON... TOP TIMESTop Times is a pleasure to work aboard. She is a classic, American-built yachtthat impresses guests the moment they set foot inside her warm,inviting interior. We run an exciting programme that keeps things fun andinteresting for the guests and crew. Our coolest toy at the moment is the 4m(14') Com-Pac picnic sailboat. It is always popular and is a great waytogenuinely escape the whole world and relax. nSPECIFICATIONSLENGTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34.47m (113')BEAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7.93m (26'2)DRAFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.02m (6'7)BUILDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .BurgerYEAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2003GUESTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10CREW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5CRUISING AREA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bahamas (winter)PRICES FROM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .US$70,000 per weekMichael Foster captainÕsview

MARYLAND CRAB CAKES WITH BASIL AIOLI"Having always been passionate about food and determined topursue a career in the industry, I trained at The CulinaryInstitute of America in Hyde Park, New York, back in 1997. Sincethen I've had an incredible journey - quite literally since 2002when I first started working on yachts as I've had the opportunity to explorethe world while I work.ÒFood and travel are great companions. They're both a wonderful way tobroaden your horizons and meet people, and cooking for new friends and guestsis one of the highlights of my job. Of course, being a chef on a yacht requiresa certainmindset. You can't go home after a hard day -you live where you workand your colleagues are also your room mates. This doesn't suit everyone,particularly as some crew are fussy eaters, and of course you have to cater forthem as well as the guests. Missing family and friends from home is also aconsideration. I'm fortunate because my wife works on board Monte Carlo,so my family travels with me. As an added bonus, you really can't beatthe novelty of having a great new view through your 'office' window every day.ÒBefore I took my career to sea I worked in restaurants in the US. I spent myformative years at One Market Restaurant and the Campton Place Restaurant,both in San Francisco, and following that I was executive chef at an organicfine-dining restaurant called the Flea Street CafŽ in Palo Alto, California. ÒOver the years I've evolved my style; I would say my speciality is NewAmerican with global influences. I grew up in Maryland, US, so I'd probablyvote crab cakes as my ultimate signature dish, but I try to add my own uniquetwist to everything I cook. ÒPeople always ask what inspires me after years in the industry and the answeris really simple: exceptional ingredients, from freshly caught fish to somethingas simple as a perfectly ripe tomato. I'm also inspired by adventurous diners whochallenge my skills, and I regularly look to the great names in the industry for inno-vation: Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin in New York, David Kinch and George Morroneall come to mind. As far as restaurants are concerned, in the US my favouritesinclude Manresa (Los Gatos, California), The Restaurant at Meadowood (NapaValley, California), Sidecar (Brooklyn, New York) and Eleven Madison Park(Manhattan). In Europe, you can't top L'Atelier de Jo‘l Robuchon (Paris, France).ÒI also enjoy participating in cooking competitions. One I recall withparticularly fond memories is The Pebble Beach Food & Wine Show in 2009. It'sthe West Coast of America's premier epicurean luxury lifestyle eventfeaturing 100 world-class chefs and attracting around 7,000 visitors. The yearI participated, I got to work alongside culinary rock stars, the likes of Eric Ripertand David Kinch, while assisting in cooking and plating for several events,including a Cristal Champagne dinner. There were 120 magnums of vintageCristal and each of the seven courses of food were paired with seven vintagesof Cristal. ÒI love being at sea, but ultimately my plan is to return ashore, open my ownrestaurant and earn a Michelin starÉ or two.Ón24Isea&iIAUTUMN 2011Taste notes with.Patrick RoneyPatrick Roney, chef on board the 40.23m (131'9) Monte Carlo,talks crab cakes, culinary shows and Michelin stars[][Serves 4] Crab cakes3 egg yolks3oz mayonnaise2tbsp Dijon mustard 2tbsp Old Bay seasoningJuice of 1 lemonSalt and pepperChopped chives1 lb jumbo lump crab1Ú2cup Panko bread crumbs 1. Mix all the ingredients except thecrab and panko crumbs. Then lightlyfold these in too.2. Press 4oz portions of the mix intoring moulds and dust the top andbottom with bread crumbs. 3. Saute in butter on a medium heatuntil golden brown on both sides. 4. Finish in a 350¡F/180¡C/Gas 4oven for 10 mins.Aioli2 egg yolks 1tbsp Dijon mustard2 cloves garlicJuice of 1 lemonSalt and pepper 2 small ice cubes6oz olive oil6oz canola oil2 cup basil leaves2oz olive oil1. Blend egg yolks, Dijon, garlic,lemon juice, salt and pepper andice cubes in a food processor for30 seconds. With the processor stillon, drizzle both oils into the yolk mixtureuntil it becomes thick and fluffy.2. Blanch basil in boiling water for 30 seconds and shock in ice water.3. Squeeze excess moisture frombasil and whizz in a blender for 1 minute with the 2oz olive oil. Strainand whisk into the aioli base.charter cuisineServe crab cakes with aioli and French fries, or lightly dressed watercressPhotography: JŽr™mr KŽlagopian