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TRANQUILITY & Chef Giovanni Bruno
29th March 2023
What happens when you get two of the biggest maritime powerhouses together to build a yacht? The answer is TRANQUILITY.

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TRANQUILITY & Chef Giovanni Bruno

What happens when you get two of the biggest maritime powerhouses together to build a yacht? The answer is TRANQUILITY.

Built by the famed Dutch shipyard Oceanco, known for some of the best-looking yachts on the market, TRANQUILITY is without a doubt one of their finest designs. This is a world-exploring superyacht with ocean-crossing prowess, and since it is Ice Class certified, there is no place on Earth it can’t go. To ensure that guests have a pleasant experience during long transoceanic voyages, Andrew Winch of the multi-award-winning Winch Design Studio (the second powerhouse) was tasked with designing the vessel’s interior. The decor incorporates rich, opulent materials like gold leaf, bleached oak, wenge wood, and Travertine Velluto marble for a subtly oriental feel. The walls are covered with elaborate paintings, while modern chandeliers provide a touch of glitz to the room.

When the world is your oyster, TRANQUILITY makes each voyage that little more exciting; however, when you are travelling to exotic locations, whether that be to see the glaciers in the north or to swim in the warm waters in the Maldives, you are going to need more than just amazing views; to really experience each location, there is nothing like trying the local cuisine. And to do this, let me introduce you to someone who can do just that: Chef Giovanni Bruno is the head chef onboard TRANQUILITY. His food is so good that it was his talent that got him his first job as a chef onboard a yacht. Giovanni added, “Whilst working in a restaurant on the island of Elba, I was approached by a customer who happened to own a 62-metre yacht. He offered me a position on the boat as his chef, and after six months working my notice and getting my STCW qualifications, I stepped foot aboard his vessel and began my career in yachting.” I mean, if that doesn’t inspire confidence, then what will?

Chef Giovanni started his journey at a young age, “My professional cooking career began 22 years ago, after I turned 18.” Giovanni continued, “I think like most chefs, the passion begins at a young age, usually in the family home. “Growing up, I would often cook with my grandmother, at first just to help out but slowly becoming more passionate over the dishes I was making.” But to go from cooking in a restaurant to cooking on a yacht is a very big contrast; “In a restaurant, you have a set menu, which you are always prepared for. On the yacht, everything is fluid. Whether guest itineraries have changed, provisions have been delayed, or appetites have been lost, you always have to be on your toes, prepared to adapt to the next situation.” Chef Giovanni added.

Chef Giovanni is fortunate to be able to truly experience different ingredients from the yacht’s many stops because TRANQUILITY is an explorer class superyacht. I imagine he takes every opportunity to step off and browse the local markets. “ I make a real effort to get myself to the local food markets as often and as early as possible. It is not uncommon for me to slip ashore during charters to pick up the freshest of ingredients”. Giovanni continued, “It is hard not to be drawn in by the local environment of the various locations we visit, and this quite often reflects in the meals that I prepare. Sometimes the smallest ingredient in a local food market will inspire a whole new dish”.

Let’s not forget that TRANQUILITY is also Passenger Yacht Code compliant, which means it can comfortably accommodate up to 22 guests, making it the perfect option for gatherings of families and friends. This means that every meal that Chef Giovanni creates is for almost double the number of guests that a traditional superyacht would host. I imagine that the planning behind each dish is lengthy and stressful. “Ordering and accounting have to be the most stressful parts of my job, ensuring that everything I require has made it onboard before we depart so that no vital ingredient is missing from my dishes.” Giovanni continued, “I have a selection of dishes that I have mentally preplanned prior to guests’ arrival, which I then further develop after consulting with them. The presentation varies from dish to dish, but it is incredibly satisfying to see the final product plated up before sending it off to be served.” Giovanni revealed that the Caribbean is, and always has been, his favourite travel destination adding “It would be hard to select one country in particular but the Caribbean as a whole is my favourite destination. From the vibrant colours found in the architecture and local vegetation, to the diverse social cultures found in each location. You can spend years travelling around the region and never grow tired of it!”

When guests aren’t dining on Giovanni’s culinary creations, they can take advantage of the variety of water toys on TRANQUILITY, which, at 91.50 metres in length, has just about everything one could want. These include inflatable slides, an on-water trampoline, and a complete SCUBA diving setup with a dedicated dive boat and a certified onboard dive master. There is entertainment for visitors of all ages! If you’d rather keep dry, practise your yoga poses on the foredeck, shoot hoops on the upper deck basketball court, or perfect your party song at the DJ mixing station.

With a total of five decks, TRANQUILITY is the perfect vessel for events and gatherings thanks to its cascading aft design. The focal point of TRANQUILITY’s expansive upper deck is a 23-metre-diameter circular plunge pool. Additionally, there is a bar outside and lots of room for lounging and mingling. Two touch-and-go helipads, one in the bow and one on the top deck aft with refuelling facilities, are also available on the yacht. On board, there are two saloon lounges. The main saloon features a welcoming and comfortable sitting space in addition to a stunning formal dining table that can accommodate all of the visitors. A large cinema-style TV, a second inside-outside circular dining table for more private dining, and a fully functional Perspex piano serve as outstanding showpieces for the upper saloon, which is located one deck above. The expansive master suite, which takes up more than half of the upper deck’s interior space, includes a walk-in dressing room, a private study, and a luxurious bathroom with separate Italian showers for the owners’ heads and a stunning free-standing walnut bathtub. The suite’s elevated and forward location offers stunning views, a private Jacuzzi deck with sun loungers, and easy access to the bow.

The only cabin on the bridge deck is the VVIP stateroom, which is situated there. It offers direct access to the rear deck on this level as well as the remainder of the external space and boasts breathtaking 180-degree panorama views through floor-to-ceiling windows. On the main deck, there are two additional VIP suites, each with a separate balcony. In total, the interior layout allows for 18 people to be accommodated as usual; this number rises to 22 when convertible rooms are used. With a 31-person crew, the yacht works with the best employee-to-guest ratio possible for the best possible service and hospitality.

Undoubtedly, a superyacht is quite capable and ideal for nearly any type of guest. I questioned Giovanni, who has been a chef for over 22 years, about his influences and his career highlights. “I have always admired the innovation Massimo Bottura has accomplished regarding Italian cuisine.” Giovanni continued, “In my youth, I found myself working in Richmond, Virginia, USA. Working so far from home, in such a different culture really gave me the confidence and realisation that my role as a chef could take me anywhere in the world. The second high point for me was when I was fortunate enough to work with Gualtiero Marchesi, often considered the founder of new Italian cuisine. His restaurants are often considered some of the best in the world, and my time there helped me develop my skills to become the chef I am today. And lastly, stepping onboard my first ever yacht was another career highlight. I was instantly enthralled with the idea of being able to follow my passion while at the same time being able to visit the most beautiful places.”

With 22 passengers sleeping onboard TRANQUILITY I am sure that our talented chef had some interesting requests from some of the guests: “Each person is welcome to their own preference, but the most unusual request I have come across is a Vienna sausage omelette covered in caviar. As peculiar as I found this order, it appeared to be thoroughly enjoyed by the consumer.” And with this mindset, when I asked him about his signature dish, he simply replied, “I tend to stay away from a signature dish as each guest has their own specific likes and dislikes. “I do, however, enjoy baking fresh bread every day.” But it is not all stressful; one of the perks of being a chef on board is the opportunity to have some fun, especially on longer than normal journeys. “Often during ocean crossings, I will prepare large BBQs for the crew. It’s a great time to unwind and spend quality time with friends, which can often be hard to come by during a busy season.” And when guests have finished their charter, that’s when Giovanni pours himself a well-earned glass of red. Giovanni added, “Spending my younger years in my hometown of Mondovi, Piedmont, I have a bias for the regionally produced red wine, Barolo. When a busy charter has finished, however, nothing helps better to unwind than a Negroni.”

With over two decades as a chef and many years working on yachts, Giovanni is the perfect person to ask for his advice when it comes to chartering a superyacht like TRANQUILITY. “As a first-time charter guest, you will have many new experiences, from trying out new water sports to visiting some of the world’s most exclusive and elusive locations. What can often be overlooked is the culinary journey you can embark on by trusting the chef to navigate your taste buds to dishes you had never before considered.” He also added, “A preference list is the best friend of a chef, as it helps us efficiently provision prior to the charter starting. Once I have the guest’s preference, it also allows me to begin preparing a menu for the charter that is personalised for them.”

Finally, I asked Giovanni about his thoughts on the yachting industry, “The yachting industry is a fantastic way for people to depart from the status quo and work in a challenging yet rewarding environment that allows you to not only travel the world but also make incredible friendships along the way.” It’s a viewpoint with which I wholeheartedly concur. Whatever your budget, chartering a yacht has advantages over staying in a hotel or resort. I think chartering is a great way to spend quality time with loved ones.

The article appreared in IMPERIUM magazine. TRANQUILITY is available to charter through Camper & Nicholsons.