Friday, September 4, 2009

New Kids on the Block

As the newest two members of the FantaSea Family, one of the things that impressed us the most about FantaSea Yachts during our multiple interviews was the longevity of the staff. It was clear to both of us that we were lucky to be interviewing for a position at all because positions at FantaSea rarely became available. In addition, our interviews took place during the height of the economic downturn and we both think that we were one of the few people in the U.S. that were actually offered a position when so many were loosing their jobs– But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Needless to say, we were a little more than nervous about our prospects of actually getting the job – but here we are blogging about our illustrious careers, now at FantaSea!

FantaSea is family through and through – from the Ginzburg family to the deck hands and dishwashers! In fact, there are three generations here working together. During school holidays, you will often see father and son working together out on the yachts so that the young men appreciate the hard work that goes into their upbringing.

The Captain, crew and staff have all been working together for ten to twenty years. As part of our interview process, we had to work a yacht party. We were both super impressed with the team – they worked like a well-oiled machine! The entire crew is very versatile and shares responsibilities to ensure a seamless cruise. We were personally amazed as we watched the party deck where a ceremony was held be transformed into the most elegant dinning room in a flash – it was actually less than 8 minutes. We were later informed that this is standard operating procedure for this group!

The impact of a group of this caliber and their knowledge and experience can’t be measured when it comes to your party and makes us proud and confident to plan parties here at FantaSea Yachts.

-Amy Chong and John Williams-Jacob
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Back in the Kitchen Again

Well last Friday, Stephanie and I put on our aprons and went upstairs to our main kitchen and joined Executive Chef Edward Valles, Ruben and Wilson in action and made a 5 course Thai meal for our office staff. Stephanie and I had just returned earlier in the week from a trip to Thailand and we were eager to show off our new skills. We were talking boldly as we headed upstairs, but, truth be told, I was a little nervous as this was my first time back in the kitchen in some years since cooking an Indian meal for a 150 guest engagement party. I was becoming more talk than action and I needed to put my reputation back in order.

With visions of Iron Chef and Kitchen Stadium in my mind and a 1 hour clock ticking beside us, we quickly stepped into a busy Friday morning kitchen. Let me say at the outset, our kitchen team rocks and I have extra respect for the flow, dexterity and physicality of working in a hot and busy kitchen. Our guys were moving in unisom as they busily prepped for that weekend’s 9 parties. When Stephanie and I took our places on the line, I felt a little like Moses with a parting Red Sea as our guys cleared space and gathered round with perhaps a raised eyebrow.

Our Menu:

  • Larb Gai (Minced chicken salad)
  • Tom Yam Koong (Spicy prawn soup with lemongrass)
  • Gai Phad med Mamuang (Fried chicken with cashew nuts and chili)
  • Phad Thai (Thai style fried noodles)
  • Kluay Baud Chee (Bananas in coconut milk with sticky rice.) (We added the sticky rice as how could you go wrong with some sweet rice to dip into the coconut milk.)

Thai food focuses on real freshness and a robust balancing of some basically quite strong spices and flavorings. Chili and lemongrass are certainly dynamic duos. The wonderful thing about Thai cooking is that it focuses on freshness and requires relatively simple prep and cooking and also the chance to customize the flavor balance on the fly which is a style of cooking I enjoy. Our target was to be able to make a full lunch in one hour.

Our first action was to survey our ingredients and double check our recipes. A couple minutes into working together, Stephanie and I decided, as much as we may love collaboration, in the kitchen, it was about control and efficiency. So we quickly divided up the menu. Stephanie made the Phad Thai and dessert and I made the soup and chicken dishes. Lunch was set to be served at noon and we entered the kitchen at 11am, so we were very time focused calling out the passing minutes to add a little pressure and drama as well as keeping us moving along. Stephanie and I are very goal oriented, so there was no way we were going to be late.

Looking back now a week later, we sure had fun. It was great to be back in the kitchen again and certainly we were proud and impressed to be next to our kitchen team. We even managed to turn it into a little cultural episode with our 3 year old daughter who joined us the night before dashing to Bangkok Market in Hollywood to pick up the last ingredients and some fresh lemongrass. Finally, like any artist, it was the compliments of our office staff, during lunch, which made our day.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

FantaSea Named a Perfect California Wedding Spot

Just want to say thanks to California Weddings for listing FantaSea as a perfect wedding destination in Marina Del Rey!  

One thing that is included that they didn't mention is that you get me or any of our other expert planners to make sure you have your dream wedding.  We are all planners at FantaSea, not sales people, so you get a wedding planner to take care of everything for you - at no extra charge! Come by for a tour and let's start planning your perfect day aboard one of our gorgeous yachts or in our ocean view yacht club.

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