By Andrew Siebert, Executive Chef of the Carolina

We last left off in the Bahamas and since then have been hanging out in West Palm Beach, Florida for maintenance and down time.

Every super yacht needs to take a break to maintain its upkeep about twice a year. Every five years, a survey must be completed to ensure the boat and safety systems are fully up to date and that everything is running as it should. That gives insurance companies, owners and the crew peace of mind.

The Carolina just had her 20-year survey and is in great shape to start the 2017 season.

St. Thomas is where we will be for the next four to six weeks, hosting guests and doing a few trips around the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

As most of you know, when you travel by boat, crossing the border requires you check in with customs as you would if travelling by air or land. However, without defined border crossings, the process is a bit different.

When entering the Unites States, the captain must report our arrival to the U.S. customs office by radio then all the crew and guests need to go to the customs office to have their passports checked.

We left from Florida and made our first stop in St. Thomas, a territory of the United States. Other than reporting to the U.S. customs office by radio, since we were technically still in the U.S. we didn’t have to clear customs again.

But when we arrive at a new port and country other than the U.S., the captain must report our arrival ahead of time and then once we get anchored we are required to raise a quarantine flag. We then wait for customs and immigration to come to the boat and check our passports and paperwork. We are not allowed off the boat until cleared by the officials.

We plan to do short island-hopping trips between the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, so when we’re in BVI, customs will come to the boat, but when in USVI, all crew and guests have to check in at the immigration and customs office.

Boats are not exempt from the rules and regulations set out by each country’s border protection services—including what foods are allowed to enter. That can make things difficult for us since I have to have a certain amount of food on board. If the ship needs to make any detours or stops in unexpected waters, that might mean sacrificing some of the goods onboard.

Once when venturing up the west coast of Canada from the U.S., Canada customs seized the frozen chicken and fresh eggs that were purchased south of the border.

Another time when entering Hawaii from Japan, U.S. customs taped our ship’s fridges and freezers closed because we had purchased meat products while in Japan. We weren’t to open them while in town. They also gave us the option of paying a fine and having a garbage barge show up to take the food. In this case, we opted for the first choice since we weren’t going to be there for long.

Just be sure wherever your travels take you that you do your research on the customs regulations for the countries you’ll be entering and try to keep only food on board that complies with the rules!

Mustard and Panko crusted Pork Chops with Butternut Squash Corn Risotto and Apple Walnut Chutney
Serves 4

Note: Though not practical for an everyday meal on the boat, with enough preparation, this recipe is a perfect treat for special occasions.


  • 4 pork chops
  • ¼ cup Dijon
  • ¼ cup stone mustard
  • ¼ cup regular mustard
  • 1T horseradish
  • 1T fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper


  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced butternut squash
  • ½ cup fresh corn kernels
  • ½ cup Arborio rice
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper

Apple walnut chutney

  • 2 apples peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1t chilli powder
  • Salt and pepper

In a 4-quart pot add 2 tbsp olive oil and heat. Add apple and onions and walnuts. Sauté until lightly browned. Add sugar, vinegar, water and spices and let simmer 15-20 minutes. When mixture is all incorporated to a thick sauce, salt and pepper to taste and cool.

Heat oil in a large frying pan. While heating, mix together mustards, horseradish and parsley. Season pork with salt and pepper and spread mixture on both sides of pork with pastry brush. Firmly press both sides of pork into panko crumbs, coating both sides. Place in hot oil and fry 2-4 minutes each side. Place on paper towel then on plate and let rest 10 minutes. Check pork temperature. If underdone you can finish in a 400 degree oven (if your galley has one) for 5-10 minutes. Put aside and keep warm.

In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. When hot, add onion, squash and corn. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add rice. Sauté again for 2 minutes then add wine. When wine evaporates add stock half a cup at a time. Stir mixture and add stock when needed. Let simmer. Once all stock is absorbed, take off heat and add Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Add all three items to plate and garnish with fresh greens.

This article is featured in the Spring 2017 issue of Boats&Places.