Van Lent’s Andiamo
— By Diane M. Byrne
— November 2003
Let Them Eat Quiche
|Real men do eat that—and a whole lot more—onboard Andiamo, where the galley is the center of attention.|
Not only is the old adage about the famous French dish contrary to life onboard Andiamo, but, as a matter of fact, real men help cook it—gladly.
Oh, and by the way, I’m talking about guests here, not chefs or sous chefs.
Confused? Don’t be—the idea behind how this 139-footer was conceived is actually pretty simple. Built by Feadship’s Royal Van Lent shipyard, Andiamo was literally and figuratively built around the concept of cooking with friends and family, all the while taking in the world’s most celebrated and even unusual anchorages.
It’s all thanks to Nancy Mueller, a vivacious American who commissioned Andiamo to embody her dual passions of good food and the cruising lifestyle. How passionate, you ask? The entrepreneur behind a successful food business, Mueller welcomed 35 people onboard for brunch on New Year’s Day in Amsterdam, Holland—and the yacht wasn’t even finished yet.
No matter—once they got a look at how the room is designed, they, like me, probably all got a serious case of kitchen envy. “I had a blast with the galley!” Mueller laughs, reflecting on how involved she was in its design. Reasoning that many people like to hang out in the kitchen when they’re at a house party, Mueller requested the galley be set up to permit large groups to either observe or participate in the cooking—and if they’d be observing, there would still be enough space for the yacht’s chef to operate without interference.
That’s where the large island comes into play. It effectively separates the stove, oven, and gas-fed wok, all forward, from the prep areas aft. But the island also serves another, more important purpose: stowage. When I was aboard, Feadship’s marketing director, Hein Velema, pointed at the lowest drawer facing the stove and said simply, “Watch this.” He then proceeded to open the longest drawer I’ve ever seen—just when I expected it to end, it kept rolling out. Easily three feet deep, it contained at least a dozen pots of various sizes (a separate drawer contained their lids), all neatly stacked and easily accessible. Velema then gave the drawer a gentle push to demonstrate how effortless it was to close.
When I spoke with Mueller, she explained that she had to have the design of this island set first before the rest of the galley could fall into place. She bought the pots she wanted, lined them up on a large piece of paper, drew their outlines, and gave it to Feadship, saying, “‘Okay, now you can build the island!’” As for why she wanted drawers instead of cabinets, it was a matter of common sense: “I don’t like crawling around digging for things,” she explains.
Just as Mueller had precise ideas on how the galley should be designed, given her penchant for entertaining, she wanted a variety of dining areas. Besides the galley banquette and the traditional main-deck dining area forward of the saloon, there are also three alfresco spots. The aft bridge deck has a barbeque plus a table for eight, but if the sun proves too intense, the main aft deck, with a hi-lo table that can extend to seat 14, can be enclosed with screens or be air-conditioned. Personally, I’d opt for the area forward of the hot tub on the sundeck, set up like an outdoor country kitchen. A true second galley, complete with an Alto-Sham cooker/warmer, full cutlery and dishes, and even a dishwasher—all contained in what at first appears to be just a large wet bar, to starboard—eliminates the need for a dumbwaiter connected to the main deck to serve the table for 12 that lies opposite.
Next page > Part 2: “I’m not going to build another boat, so I wanted this to be as perfect as possible.” > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
This article originally appeared in the October 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.