Risotto with chanterelle mushrooms, chicken breast stuffed with onions, veal in white sauce, marinated salmon, vegetable soups, rice pudding, fruit cakes… It’s a far cry from the freeze-dried dishes, which means food that is dehydrated and reduced down to a powder, that sailors usually carry aboard on transatlantic and round the world races.
Equipped with a single stove and a kettle, Sébastien Josse has neither the utensils nor the time to get embroiled in a heavy cooking session aboard the Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild. In order to get the measure of what awaits the skipper of the Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild and create an array of dishes adapted to the living conditions his steed and the race pace impose on him, Julien Gatillon exchanged his chef’s hat for boots and a set of foulies during a day’s sailing offshore of Lorient. This outing brought about a set of dishes cooked up by the chef of the 1920 and his group, which are preparing to traverse the Atlantic. Devised and prepared on the hills of the resort of Megève, in the same way as the dishes he presents in the Michelin-starred restaurant of Le Chalet du Mont d’Arbois, the meals are specially vacuum-packed as close to the date of departure from Saint Malo as possible so that Sébastien will be able to feast on them for a few days despite not having a fridge aboard.
At sea, the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild consumes around 4,000 calories a day, which equates to double the average daily intake by an adult. This important nutritional need compensates for the physical effort of this top-level athlete as well as a multitude of minor energy-guzzling details, such as the constant battle to remain balanced in line with the motion of the boat, the reduced and often poor quality sleep phases and also the seasickness that can strike in the first few days at sea. A vital need and a competitive factor, meals are also an opportunity to take a well-earned rest and relax for a few minutes: “When racing, I don’t have a set rhythm to my meals, but I have to have a regular supply of food that is rich in calories to match up to the physical effort required to drive a trimaran like Edmond de Rothschild. It’s not always easy or even pleasant to eat, particularly when you’re in very heavy seas, but it’s essential for performance. As such, it’s more of a need. As a result, I’m lucky that I can take dishes with me such as those cooked by Julien Gatillon, because being able to enjoy real flavours will give me a few moments of important respite during the race” admits Sébastien Josse.