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Orient Star with Chef Mahmut Im
11th November 2022
Interview with a Chef

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ORIENT STAR Luxury Motor Yacht for Charter | C&N
47.00m | CMB Yachts | 2012
5 Cabins | 10 Guests | 10 Crew

From: € 180,000 p/w


Orient Star with Chef Mahmut Im

Turkey is one of the most intriguing countries to visit because of its distinctive blend of civilisations, which can still be seen today. Since the beginning of human history, these territories have served as a crossroads for numerous peoples, cultures, and religions. Turkey, which boasts more than 8,000 kilometres of coastline in the Black, Marmara, Aegean, and Mediterranean seas, has some amazing diving opportunities in crystal-clear waters of turquoise, and has historically served as the meeting point of ancient cultures and maritime trade routes.

This is why Turkey is a popular destination for yacht chartering and a great way to spend time with family and friends. The Orient Star superyacht, which was built by Turkish shipyard CMB Yachts and delivered in 2012, is one of the most requested superyachts in the region and to make the yacht even more special, Tara Bernerd, the award-winning interior designer used her amazing talent to bring out the very best of Orient Star, with a custom-designed interior specifically for friends and families.

Orient Star has a fantastic crew, but in order to really get to know the yacht, we had a chat with Chef Mahmut Im. This is a chef who started cooking at the early age of fourteen and has been serving as a chef onboard Orient Star for the last eight years; “I started working as a chef twenty four years ago when I was only fourteen. I became chef de partie at the age of eighteen. Since then I have been successful, having now been a chef on various yachts for fifteen years. Over these fifteen years I spent seven years on my previous yacht, and I have been on Orient Star for eight years now.” added Mahmut.

With so much experience, like many of the great chefs, the passion for food develops at a young age; “Since my childhood, cooking has been my biggest passion. When I discovered this intense feeling, I began to find out more and learn new recipes. Even now, after many years of experience, I am still very keen on travelling and searching out new cuisines.” Said Mahmut. It is natural for any good chef to explore and build his pallette and cooking knowledge, infusing different styles from their travels, and being a chef onboard, a superyacht ticks all the boxes. Having said that, not every chef is made for life on the water, and for Mahmut, his first thought was cruise ships. “My first desire was to work on cruise ships with the understanding that I was going to be able to discover new places and cook at the same time. At the age of forty two I have been to fifty five countries. As I travelled around the world, I became a sponge, absorbing the world around me, which helped me gain remarkable experiences as an innovative person.” Mahmut continued.

Published in IMPERIUM magazine.

With Mahmut’s extensive experience, it is easy to understand why guests ask to charter Orient Star. This superyacht can accommodate ten guests in five luxurious cabins when she is on charter. The full beam master suite is located on the main deck. The owner’s quarters include a study area, walk-in closet, and a spacious en suite, as well as stunning views thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. The remaining four en suite staterooms on Orient Star are two doubles and two twins, and are located on the lower deck around the central lobby.

With ten guests to cater for and eight years as Orient Star's chef, we can only imagine some of the strange requests from guests he has had over the years. “Once it was a goat, the other time it was a sponge cake and one time it was Mexican dessert. On a different charter one of the guests wanted to try blue crab and they couldn’t eat it.” Added Mahmut. With so many different guests, trying to stay on top of the current trends isn’t easy, but like any chef, there is always one chef they look up to, someone that inspires them, and it turns out that me and Mahmut happen to share the same chef; “For sure; Gordon Ramsay. I like his way of cooking. He contributes to his existing recipes and therefore I find him similar to what I have been trying to do for many years.” Continued Mahmut.

But it is not all strange requests from guests. Sometimes life on the water can be interesting enough; “Once we were cruising in the Caribbean when we were caught in a storm. Under normal circumstances the distance was 8 hours, but we did manage to get to the destination we wanted in three days. Unfortunately, myself and the rest of the crew were seasick for a while. This experience showed me that I am strong and could enjoy every condition when you are at sea.” Said Mahmut.

When guests aren’t making use of Mahmut’s amazing abilities, Orient Star offers an outdoor bar, a welcoming seating area, and a relaxing Jacuzzi surrounded by cosy sunpads. The expansive sundeck on Orient Star is the ideal spot for socialising, unwinding, and relaxing. And if the sun gets a little too intense, the second salon, which is located on the upper deck, provides a remarkable area and a fantastic illustration of how to perfectly combine natural light with a sophisticated interior to obtain some much-needed shade and cool off. On either side of the room, sliding floor-to-ceiling windows open to create intimate yet spacious balconies.

And when Orient Star is not on charter, we asked Mahmut what drink helps him unwind; “French Bourgogne wine and Mojito. But mostly I prefer to drink beer.” Mahmut answered. Whenever I am relaxing, I sometimes find myself thinking about other things I could be doing, and I imagine Mahmut has compared his experience working in a restaurant to cooking on a yacht to which Mahmut shared his thoughts; “In a restaurant you work on menu based dishes and you are able to get the ingredients easily from the local market. It is different on a yacht. I work on weekly menus mostly, and all depends on requirements/restrictions of the guests. Sometimes I need to cook vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian and gluten-free food.”

Superyacht chartering is addictive since everything is catered to your demands and those of your guests. So here is some advice from Mahmut for those of you who have not yet chartered a yacht or superyacht, which is the only way to escape the frantic life at home; “In order to serve the guests whatever they desire you need to provide us with as much detail about your needs. As mentioned before, it is not always easy to access fresh ingredients when cruising and for us to be prepared properly I need specific requests. This will also help you to enjoy your vacation.”

If you have more questions, please, get in touch.

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