The New Chef in Town

Johnny Jones

The first of two articles written by Johnny Jones, a semi-pro triathlete with self-professed ‘food issues.’

A couple of weeks ago, I spent some time with Linda and John Andreotti, aboard their classic powerboat, M.V. Poseidon.

Linda is a superb cook and setting out to be ‘the new cook in town’ – except that she isn’t ‘in town,’  Her kitchen, her galley, is on Poseidon and much of her gourmet cooking takes place at sea.  Even though Poseidon is a big boat, and the galley better equipped than many ashore, gourmet cooking under these circumstances reminds me of what someone once said about Ginger Rogers, whose dancing partner, Fred Astaire, took the lion’s share of praise. “Yeah, but think about it: Ginger did everything he did – going backwards and in high heels!”

Linda does everything that the celebrity chefs and cooks do, but in a boat and more or less regardless of the sea conditions.

A Cook In The Classic Tradition

When I say ‘celebrity chefs and cooks,’ I’m thinking of the classics: Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Emeril.  Neither I nor Linda have any interest in the nonsense currently served up on eponymous food shows: the bizarre ingredient challenges; the hair-transplanted foul-mouthed egotists; the Barbie Dolls promoting easy cooking or ten dollar meals.  Like the dumbed down nonsense presented on kids TV, these travesties of the culinary arts do, of course, have a place in ‘Entertainment’ but have nothing to do with good cooking, good food, healthy eating or an interaction, via TV, with people who really do want to cook and eat better.

A New Cookbook

Linda is writing a book, Poseidon Cooks!  Linda Andreotti’s Galley, a collection of 150 of her recipes embedded in a narrative that also describes her and her husband John’s lifestyle:  living on the boat, cruising the unique waters of Southern California, an idyll that encompasses the wilderness of the Northern Channel Islands, the charm of Catalina, and the variety of harbors like San Diego, Newport Beach  and Santa Barbara. Wherever they voyage, they cook – enjoying, and sharing, their passion for good food with whoever is lucky enough to be aboard. John, a deeply knowledgeable oenophile, scours local vineyards for appropriate wine pairings.  ‘Local’ is vital to both of them, as I will describe in Part Two of this article.

A Different Kind of Cooking Show

Poseidon Cooks! is also the title of the new TV show Linda and John are developing, along with their partner Peter Lawrence.  The show sees them inviting a big name cook or chef aboard, to cook with Linda, to assess the wine pairings and share the lifestyle.  Some of the chefs on their list are well-known food show stars but ‘a big name cook’ might be anyone whose name is reasonably recognizable – a musician or an athlete, for example – but who has a genuine interest in gourmet food.

I’m hoping that I may be one of those guests, but I that means I need to win a few more triathlons.  That way, I’ll be a ‘big name,’ too.