A Seychellois chef, Ricco Dubignon, is this year’s runner-up at the Superyacht’s culinary competition organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco for the Monaco Classic Week, under the aegis of its training centre La Belle Classe Academy.
The annual event in the Baie de Monaco is a celebration of the country’s maritime past and brings together some of the most prestigious classic sailing yachts worldwide. The event also showcases food, arts, and elegance.
A luxurious Seychelles-flagged super yacht, M/Y Le Kir Royale, was among those participating in this year’s show September 8-12.

Seychelles-flagged super yacht, M/Y Le Kir Royale. (Ricco Dubignon) Photo License: All Rights Reserved

Its executive chef, Ricco Dubignon, went head-to-head with nine other superyachts chefs from various parts of the world including Argentina, the Caribbean, France, Spain, and Italy.
Speaking to SNA, the 30-year-old who has been doing five-star cuisine onboard the yacht for the past 10 years, described the experience as “out of this world and exciting”.
It was his first time testing his skills with other great chefs from around the world.
“I was very nervous and stressed as it was a first-time experience. But I was relieved when I was given the basket of goods to choose my ingredients as I saw a variety of items I am used to working with when preparing local Seychelles dishes such as octopus, prawns, as well as fruits like coconut, passion fruit and mangoes. So I was in my element and felt at ease”, said Dubignon.

It was his first time testing his skills with other great chefs from around the world. (Ricco Dubignon) Photo License: All Rights Reserved

All the participants were given the same items to choose from including a bottle of whisky which had to be used either in the starter or main course.
The Seychellois chef’s dishes included ‘crabe royale’, octopus curry, black codfish and carabineros shrimp.
“The challenge was to respect the jury’s request which was to adapt and work with the products given while at the same time using my skills to bring out the Creole flavours that I am used to. So you need right amount of spices and cooking time to get the best flavours,” said Dubignon.
The eight-hour competition started with the ‘mise en place’ in the morning and the tasting later in the afternoon.
Encouraged by his fellow crew members as well as owner of M/Y Le Kir Royal, Olivier Manaut, Dubignon managed to complete the tasks required. 

The eight-hour competition started with the ‘mise en place’ in the morning and the tasting later in the afternoon. (Ricco Dubignon) Photo License: All Rights Reserved

Manaut said it was an auspicious occasion to be able to showcase the Seychelles cuisine. He added that working onboard a luxurious yacht means preparing five-star cuisine daily, and Dubignon is used to adapting by using what he has on hand and still delivering quality cuisine to his clientele.
“The competition was a high-end event, as we were among the greatest chefs both in terms of participants and the jury. We really wanted to showcase Seychelles cuisine and one of the top judges commended Ricco on the use of the right amount of spices for the octopus curry. That was a huge compliment”, said Manaut.
Dubignon who was this year’s runner-up.
“It took a while for it to sink it. First because it was my first time participating at this level and secondly, I was alongside top executive chefs who are very experienced”, he told SNA.

Dubignon won a set of engraved knives and a magnum of Champagne from the ‘Yacht Club de Monaco. (Ricco Dubignon) Photo License: All Rights Reserved

His prizes were a set of engraved knives and a magnum of Champagne from the ‘Yacht Club de Monaco’.
The chef who said the experience has been mind-blowing and thrilling and a huge accomplishment encourage other young chefs to pursue their dreams, and to always challenge themselves. 

Source: Seychelles News Agency