Chef de Cuisine for Six-Star Ultra Deluxe River & Canal Barge Cruising in Europe
From the moment guests step aboard La Nouvelle Etoile, they sense they are about to embark
on a journey that most come to refer to as the “trip of a lifetime”. As the first boutique river
and canal cruise ship to have been awarded a six-star rating, and one of only a handful of these
ultra-deluxe class “hotel barges” to currently hold this prestigious rating, the culinary
experience onboard is central to this six-star classification.
Deemed comparable to that of Michelin-starred restaurants, the cuisine presented on board is
always of the highest caliber. As Chef de Cuisine, you must be a tour-de-force of culinary
genius, capable of bringing a fusion of French, continental and international cuisine, or your
own, signature specialties, together with lunch entrées offering an homage to regional cuisine,
all with avant-garde creativity and stunning presentations. Each dish, each taste must offer a
journey of the senses for the sophisticated and discriminating guests we serve during our
European cruising season, which runs from late March through mid-October.
The Chef de Cuisine serves as an employee under a fixed-term contract commencing in mid-
March. Over the 7-month contract period each year, the chef is entitled to 4 weeks of paid
time off during the ship’s scheduled repositionings. Compensation for our Chef de Cuisine,
including salary, benefits and tip share, yields a total income on par with, if not above, the
highest chef compensation levels in Europe, and far above that of other luxury hotel barges.
Interested? Read on.
The Chef de Cuisine is solely responsible for all food service on board the vessel including both
guest and crew meals. Working with the hotel manager, the chef shall develop all weekly
menus, taking into account any guest food allergies or expressed preferences, provisioning
requirements, and availability of fresh, local ingredients.
The chef shall coordinate with the hotel manager to select weekly wine pairings with both lunch
and dinner menus, coordinate with the captain regarding the daily cruising and excursion
schedule for any impacts on meal service times and arrange with the tour director to procure
local specialty or guest-requested items, as needed.
The chef prepares and plates all menu items ensuring the highest standards of culinary
excellence in both preparation and presentation. Meals are to be served at the scheduled
mealtimes, and courses are to be served at optimal temperature. Menu items shall call for the
use of the highest quality fresh ingredients.
Following plating, the chef will present each course to the guests. The flow of the meals,
including the timing of each course’s service, the wine pairings presentation and service, and
calling for the table clearing by wait staff after each course is the chef’s responsibility. The kitchen shall operate professionally with calm focus, precise timing, exceptional artistry, and harmony. The chef will be assisted in the kitchen with plating by the steward(s), who also serve as wait-staff during meals.
Daily Food Service
Breakfast: Each day of our six- or eleven-night cruises begins with a breakfast consisting of
freshly made fruit salad, fresh local pastries, croissants and breads, fresh orange and fruit
juices, cold cereals, yogurts, eggs cooked to order, breakfast meats, a daily chef’s special
breakfast entrée or any guest-requested menu item.
Lunch: Lunches traditionally consist of specialty salads, mixed greens, charcuterie platter,
cheese platter, fresh local breads, soup and/or a hot entrée, as well as a light dessert. Lunches
are paired with both white and red wines.
Cocktail Hour: Two different canapes/hors d’oeuvres are served during Cocktail Hour nightly.
Dinner: Four-course dinners are presented nightly, consisting of starter, main, cheese and
dessert courses. A five-course dinner is presented at the Gala Farewell/Captain’s Dinner on the
final night of the cruise. Two wine pairings accompany each dinner. An amuse bouche or an
entremets may also be offered, at chef’s option, depending upon the menu.
Special Occasions: Special occasion celebrations will typically warrant the baking of a specialty
cake, so the chef must also be proficient in both baking and decorating specialty cakes
Chocolate and Coffee/Aperitif Service: A tradition aboard La Nouvelle Etoile is the nightly offering
of a freshly made chocolate, served with coffee and aperitifs in the salon following dinner.
Inventory Management & Procurement
Tracking and management of inventories on board the vessel and menu planning for each
cruise is a critical role of the chef, who will place provisioning orders to meet guest counts while
minimizing food waste. Included in this task is coordination with the Hotel Manager to order
required floral arrangements, housekeeping supplies, beverage stocks and other supplies.
Major ship provisioning is typically done on a weekly basis, with supplemental provisioning
including local provisioning of fresh fruits, vegetables, specialty meats and seafood
performed as needed. The exact means, methods and timing of provisioning may vary
depending upon ship position and supply chain logistics, so proper advance planning and
coordination with suppliers is essential to successful cruise operations.
Hygiene and Government Standards Compliance
The kitchen and all culinary equipment as well as all food storage areas are to be always
maintained to the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene, to meet, at a minimum, the standards set forth in national and EU food safety regulations including the EU’s General Food Law. All foodstuffs shall be stored and processed in accordance with these standards.
Prep areas, cooking surfaces, utensils and equipment shall be cleaned and disinfected, and the
kitchen shall be left organized and ready for guest inspection after each meal service, as guests
may look, or appear unannounced, in the kitchen with special requests or questions for the
chef at any time while on board. The chef is responsible for all health and food safety
compliance and for formulating, monitoring and updating a food safety plan in line with the
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system.
The chef will have daily interaction with the guests throughout the cruise and must be both
articulate and personable. Occasionally, a guest cooking demonstration may be requested of
the chef, and we endeavor to satisfy these requests whenever practical.
The suitable Chef de Cuisine candidate should possess:
- a passion for preparing and presenting exceptional cuisine of the highest caliber,
including 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners weekly
- prior experience as a chef aboard a luxury yacht or luxury hotel barge, in fine dining
establishments (Michelin-starred or equivalent caliber or renown preferred, though not
required), or as a private villa/ski chalet chef in Europe
- creativity and innovation in flavor profiles, ingredients used and plating
- an ability to work independently as the sole chef in the kitchen
- a varied menu repertoire including alternative offerings of vegetarian, vegan or gluten-
- a mastery of sauces, proteins, and desserts
- English proficiency (guests and crew all communicate in English)
- a pleasant disposition and an ability to work with fellow crew in a team environment
- exceptional organization skills
- an ability to adapt to changes in scheduled mealtimes without compromising quality
- EU residency and/or a legal right to work in the EU without restriction
- a valid EU driving license (preferred).
Nouvelle Etoile is an owner-operated cruise vessel with the experienced husband-and-wife
team of owners serving as captain and hotel manager, respectively. The Dutch-flagged vessel is
39 meters in length, 5.1 meters in width, has 2 full decks and an elevated wheelhouse. Cruising
the countries of the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany, La Nouvelle
Etoile offers more itineraries and cruises in more countries each season than any other hotel
barge in the world. She is staffed by a total complement of 7 made up of officers and crew including the Captain, Hotel Manager, Chef de Cuisine, Second Captain, Tour Director and 2 Stewards.
A maximum of 8 passengers can be accommodated in the 4 King staterooms. The ship also
features an exercise room, elevator, guest laundry, salon, library, full bar, dining room,
breakfast bar, 3 wine cellars housing 1,600 bottles of exceptional French and international
wines, and, of course, a fully equipped professional kitchen and chef’s pantry. On deck, her
gleaming stainless-steel railings and mast, colorful flower boxes, topiary-accented chef’s herb
gardens, jacuzzi spa, teak and metal table and deck chairs, retractable sun canopy, retractable
transparent wind screens, infrared heaters, sound system, and hydraulic gangway afford guests
an opportunity to dine, drink or relax beneath the sun or stars. The ship is also outfitted with 8
bicycles, including 4 electric bicycles, for both guest and crew use on shore. An 8-passenger
Mercedes Sprinter van accompanies the ship and is used for guest transfers, shore excursions
and local ship provisioning trips, as needed.
The crew accommodations feature private cabins for each crew member with separate (shared)
shower and toilet facilities, a crew lounge/dining area, beverage refrigerator, television, crew
laundry and a small library. The chef’s private cabin features a large window and is located with
the other officer’s accommodations in the after house on the upper deck.
Salary: According to experience and qualifications, typically ranging from €6.000+ – €8.000+
Additional Income: Exceptional cash gratuities (while variable and at guests’ discretion),
typically ranging from €20.000 – €25.000+ each season.
Benefits: Four (4) weeks of paid vacation time each season, uniforms, accommodations, meals,
social contribution (NL), and travel (2 round-trip flights to and from ship and home) included.
Period: Mid-March to Mid-October, 2024 (Fixed-Term Contract)
We’re seeking only the best qualified candidate in the Hospitality and Catering Industry to fill
this position and are looking for an individual who would be interested in returning for several
seasons in this role. If you believe you possess the drive and the necessary skills, experience,
creative talent, and consistency of quality in execution required of this demanding, but highly
rewarding, Chef de Cuisine position, please send an e-mail expressing interest and attach a
current CV and photo, together with any relevant diplomas, certificates or references via the Apply Now button!