A Yacht Chef’s Story: Much More Than A Flash in the Pan

Have you ever contemplated trading in your corporate career for your dream job on the water? Sherri McNary did just that; she shares her story here.

Seven years ago I never dreamed I would be a yacht chef sharing my love of sailing, food and hospitality aboard a sailing catamaran. It’s crazy how one decision in life can take you on a whole new path and change your entire direction.

sherri and arthur of green flash / flash in the pan blog

Green Flash skipper and chef, Arthur and Sheri McNary, photo: Sheri McNary

green flash, a 47' catana catamaran sailboat

Catana 47 Green Flash, photo: Sheri McNary

After purchasing a 47-foot Catana in Peru, husband Arthur and I sailed to the Virgin Islands, fell in love with the area, and started running weeklong charters with Arthur as the captain and me as the chef. It was a very special time in our lives meeting so many amazing people.

catana 47 green flash under sail

For me, it’s always been about the people. And, of course, that turquoise blue water is not too shabby either. Although home was starting to call my name… It might have had something to do with our three adult kids. I think they were starting to wonder if we were ever coming home.

a front seat to wildlife on green flash

A front row seat to sea life, photo: Sheri McNary

So… after six seasons of running charters in the Caribbean, we made the decision to sail Green Flash to the West Coast of California. It’s turning out to be another great chapter in the Green Flash book. We have loved sharing our home cruising grounds aboard The Flash.

fun on and off the the green flash

An awesome time chartering in Santa Barbara, photo: Sheri McNary

We’ve had an awesome first season chartering here in Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands. I’m sure the never-ending summer we’ve been having certainly has helped.

garden to table on green flash

Sheri provides a wonderful ‘garden to galley’ experience aboard, photo: Sheri McNary

It’s been heavenly being able to provide my guests with truly a “garden to galley” experience. Sometimes I get my local fish so fresh I’m able to serve it the same day it was caught. Lately, I’ve been loving the Santa Barbara local halibut.

sheri with her fab cerviche

Chef Sheri at work, photo: Sheri McNary

ceviche aboard green flash

Sheri’s amazing ceviche, photo: Sheri McNary

One of my favorite ways to serve it is Ceviche. With fish this fresh, why cook it? I just love how light and refreshing this Ceviche is. This is the perfect dish on or off the water and so simple and easy to prepare. Of course, you can use any semi-firm white fish but “fresh” is the key. I’m sharing my favorite Ceviche recipes. I hope you enjoy!

Halibut Ceviche

Recipe Type:  Appetizer

Serves:  4



• 10 oz Halibut Fillet, skinned and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

• Zest of 1 Large Lemon

• 1/2 C Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

• 1/4 C Lime Juice, freshly squeezed

• 1 tsp Kosher Salt

• 1/2 tsp Pepper, freshly ground


• 2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

• 2 T Lime Juice, freshly squeezed

• 1 tsp Agave

• 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt

• 1/ tsp Pepper, freshly ground

• 3 Green Onions, pale green and white parts only, finely sliced

• 3 Tomatoes, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

• 1 large Avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

• 1 small Jalapeño, finely diced

• 2 T Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

Instructions for the Ceviche

1. In a glass or ceramic dish, mix together the Halibut, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice,

Lime Juice, Salt and Pepper.

2. Cover the dish and refrigerate for 3 hours (or until the fish is opaque) stirring

halfway through the refrigeration time to distribute the marinade.

Instructions for the Salad

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the Olive Oil, Lime Juice, Agave, Salt and

Pepper until smooth.

4. Add the Green Onions, Tomatoes, Avocado, Jalapeño and Parsley.  Toss until coated.

To Assemble

5. Divide the Salad and spoon into 4 glasses or small salad bowls of your choice.

6. Drain the Ceviche and spoon on top of the salad.

7. Garnish with Tortilla Chips and slice of Jalapeño before serving.


Sherri is chef aboard Green Flash, a crewed charter yacht now in Santa Barbara, California.  She is in her seventh season, having spent the first six years with husband, Captain Arthur, running weeklong charters in the Virgin Islands.  She loves to share her passion of food, travel and sailing adventures aboard their yacht.  Other passions are tennis, running, gardening, paddle boarding, and anything water related.  You can follow her culinary adventures on her blog.

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