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Meet the chefs

The dining experience is an important part of every windjammer trip. The chef must not only be an excellent cook but also go out of their way to make each guest feel at home in their galley. We’re excited to introduce you to this year’s chefs!

Chef Ellie is back for her third year on Schooner Mary Day. She went to Le Cordon Bleu (but there’s no cookbook coming 🤣) and has fallen in love with cooking on a wood stove. “I just love the woodstove,” says Ellie. “It’s like a chef’s field trip to go back and visit the origins of cooking with fire, using modern recipes and yesterday’s technology, tried and true methods hold fast to this day.”

When she’s not on the MaryDay you’ll find her raising her son, taking longs swims and building model rockets.

Jocelyn Schmidt is chef and co-owner of the Schooner J. & E. Riggin and is excited to share meals with you that highlight the best of what Maine has to offer from land & sea. Locally-sourced ingredients are at the center of every dish she serves, some even as close as her own garden & apiary. Jocelyn uses meals as a medium to tell her stories from her journeys here in the US & abroad. Sometimes she cooks classic Maine dishes like New England clam chowder, fresh lobster, and wild Maine blueberry pastries & desserts. Other days, she may ask you to join her on a journey abroad to enjoy a jambalaya from her time in New Orleans, a riff on tangia from her time in Morocco, or pastel de nata from her time in Lisbon. Jocelyn says “Cuisine is an integral part of experiencing any place. Each recipe shared with me in my travels or by people I love over the years has become a part of my story, and now, I have the privilege of sharing them with you, so they can become a part of yours.”

Chef Bradley of Windjammer Angelique: After traveling around Europe for four and a half weeks last fall and landing in his hometown in NY for the winter, Bradley has returned to Angelique‘s galley for his fourth season as chef.

Having worked in restaurants and hospitality his whole life, he says Angelique holds a unique niche in hospitality that intrigues him.  He says, “It’s like I’m throwing an intimate dinner party each night.”  He is currently working on a book about the hospitality industry.

Chef O. B. of Schooner Lewis R. French: O.B. has been working on windjammers for nearly 12 years. He worked as First-mate/everything-guy aboard Grace Bailey and Mercantile before coming to the French two years ago. This is his third year cooking aboard the Lewis R. French. He has a passion for exploring historical cookbooks such as New England based American Frugal Housewife and enjoys cooking in a similar setting on the French’s wood cookstove.

Born and raised in Nebraska, his desire to go to sea arose when he first watched Muppet Treasure Island as a 6 year old. After high school he shipped out in the U.S. Navy where he served four years as a logistics specialist. In 2010 his ship came to Camden, Maine, for the Camden Windjammer Festival and that’s when O.B. first saw the Windjammers. He set out to work aboard one and thus came to Camden in 2014.

Sean Grimes is not only a captain and co-owner of Schooner Heritage, but he’s the chef as well! He’s been cooking and managing restaurants since he got out of school, but didn’t realize his passion until he started windjamming. He learned about windjammers through a friend and found a job aboard the Heritage under its former owners. Not long after starting the job he realized he wanted to make this his life’s work and just knew he would one day own her. When Doug and Linda Lee retired in 2020, Sean stepped up to buy the vessel with his co-crew member Captain Ben.

Chef Anna Miller aboard Schooner Ladona
Leigh Doran Chef Anna Miller aboard Schooner Ladona

This is Anna’s 9th summer cooking on Ladona and her 21st season cooking on a Windjammer! She came to Camden the summer before her last year of culinary school looking for a cooking adventure – not knowing what she was getting into or if she got seasick (She doesn’t! And it’s actually very rare for guests on these boats to get seasickness because our sailing waters are so flat!).

“I love it,” says Anna. “I love meeting all the people that come, hearing the stories of how people ended up in the ‘middle of nowhere Maine’, and how they decided to take the leap of making this their vacation experience.”  And, of course, “there’s always something new and pretty to look at”

Anna enjoys the creativity of cooking on board Ladona, “I’m always doing something different all summer long. I maybe repeat five or six dinners throughout the season. It’s a lot of fun.”

Chef Marty of Schooner American Eagle is no stranger to Windjammer cooking. This is his third year on the American Eagle and he previously cooked on Windjammer Angelique.

Marty has worked all over the north country over the past decade and a half. He has worked everywhere from ski bum bars to diamond rated inns. He has spent the better part of the last decade working in midcoast Maine. After years working as the kitchen manager of the Lincolnville general store, he returned to the sea on his new home, the Schooner American Eagle.

This is Chef Grey’s first year cooking on the Schooner Stephen Taber, but they are certainly not new to cooking. They’ve spent the last ten years cooking in Chicago and is excited for a new adventure. And, having spent the last few years cooking on live-fire stoves, they’re fully versed in the ways of woodstove cooking.

Category: Food and Recipes

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