With Spring Break and a variety of celebrations starting this March, there are many different places you could travel with your family and loved ones for your next getaway. But a yachting adventure in the Caribbean may be the getaway your whole family will enjoy. When I was looking for a possible yachting adventure that would offer island excursions and culinary delights, the Yacht Lolalita came to mind. With a professional staff, they are sure to create the perfect vacation experience for your family. With that in mind I decided to interview their talented chef Megan Schlobohm! She and her husband, Captain Ernie Schlobohm, have run and maintained the Lolalita all while offering superb adventures to the families they welcome aboard. To reserve your spot for a Spring Break getaway be sure to Contact Us today!
Tell us about yourself, what got you into cooking aboard a yacht, how long have you been working in the industry, etc.
My name is Megan Schlobohm and I have been chefing in the yachting industry for 5 years now. I’m from Atlanta, GA and I first started working in the yachting industry shortly after meeting my husband, Captain Ernie. My family and I were vacationing in the Bahamas and my now-husband was my Captain for the week! We fell in love and started planning our future together. I was at the time finishing my master’s degree in Mental Health Therapy, but knew I wanted to join Ernie on the water. I completed a gourmet cooking and catering course and practiced cooking at home with Ernie, drawing from his extensive knowledge in the industry from 15 years of experience. Since selling all my worldly possessions and moving abroad to chef on the ocean, I have worked on monohull sailboats; liveaboard dive boats; mega yachts; and now my very own catamaran that Ernie and I purchased together Septmeber 2012, all alongside Ernie. Today we own and operate 65-ft Privilege Catamaran, Lolalita, in the British Virgin Islands.
What’s been the best part about working on the yacht for you? What do find to be most enjoyable?
Being on the water has always tugged on my heartstrings. There’s nothing like watching a sunrise over the blue horizon; snorkeling to discover the wonders that hide under the ocean; or just feeling the energy of ocean breeze and sunshine on your face. To combine my love of cooking with my love of the ocean was a no-brainer. Chefing is an instant gratification kind of career: everyone in the whole world eats food, and as soon as a beautiful plate of delicious-smelling and -looking food is in front of someone, it warrants an immediate “OOH” and “AHH.” It’s an art form that makes sense to me- it involves multiple senses and can cause deep sighs of satisfaction. When you find that perfect combination of flavors that excite your palate, and build it up perfectly on a plate with color and wonder- it’s worth all the prep time to me, every meal.
What is the most memorable meal that you’ve prepared?
I think my most memorable day of cooking was on a Christmas charter this last year. The family of 5 had always celebrated a “Feast Of Seven Fishes” on Christmas Eve, and asked me if I could accommodate. I was given no rules except to cook with at least 7 fish within the day. We started out with smoked salmon and eggs on English muffins for breakfast; seared tuna with mango-jalapeño slaw for lunch; mahi mahi ceviche for hors d’oeuvres; clam and charred corn chowder as a first course; and a spicy Cajun seafood pasta with lobster, shrimp, and mussels for entrée. It was great fun planning the day and surprising them with a new way to celebrate their beloved holiday.
What are some of the activities/experiences the guests aboard your boat enjoy the most?
Onboard Lolalita we are well known for scuba diving. Every boat Ernie has ever mastered has had diving capabilities, and all three of our crew on Lolalita (Ernie, me, and our adult son, Jeff) are dive instructors. We have onboard a commercial-grade dive compressor to facilitate unlimited diving and love teaching new divers. For those not interested in diving, Lolalita herself is just fabulous for relaxing and basking in the beauty of the islands. We have beanbags on our bow nets and cushions everywhere for maximum lounging. We also have onboard snorkel gear for all guests, as well as tow tubes, a wakeboard, water skis, and many other water toys.
Could you walk us through an average stay aboard the yacht?
A typical week onboard Lolalita begins with a pickup at a marina where we meet and greet and give a quick safety briefing. Within an hour of boarding we are off to a beautiful snorkel spot and our nighttime sleeping anchorage. Every evening we have a four-to-five-course meal with cocktails and wines to guests’ preferences. Throughout the week we sail our way around to all the best spots: Norman Island, Peter Island, The Baths, North Sound, The Dogs, Jost Van Dyke, etc. Before every charter we receive a preference sheet and discuss with the guests how to best schedule their week. With Ernie’s extensive knowledge of the islands we tailor every week to the wants and needs of the guests, adding in an element of flexibility to change and adapt at any time throughout the week. Almost every week we make our way entirely around the British Virgin Islands, and even some of the US Virgin Islands, too, exploring several locations everyday and sleeping in a new anchorage every night. It’s a really special experience, not having to choose just one or two things to do within a vacation. Guests literally get to see as much of the BVI and USVI as they would like to throughout the week!
With so many families traveling with their kids during spring break, what are some of the meals you might cook for the children that come along?
Kids menus are the best! It’s a time when I get to “play” with food and make it fun and entertaining. While some families insist the children eat the same as the adults, every kids meal involves an element of humor- with google-eyed monsters (previously known as rice pilaf with sautéed beets) and silly puppies (rice krispie treats with gummy eyes and grape ears). Other kids menu items include homemade 5-cheese pasta mac; baked chicken fingers; lobster grilled cheese sandwiches; and endless cookies and treats. As always, even with kids menus, the menu is tailored to their exact preferences.
What are some of the local dishes you would recommend? Are there any must see stops to make as well?
A few of our favorite local stops for local treats- ribs at Foxy’s Friday night BBQ on Jost Van Dyke, where they also serve tamarind BBQ chicken and fresh-caught grilled mahi, and we dance into the wee hours of the night. Grilled Lobster at Abe’s By The Sea Lobster Shack, where they have an honor bar and welcome all groups to bring their own music, decorations, and start their own party. The Bushwacker at Top Of The Baths Restaurant on Virgin Gorda, perfect for an after-The-Baths excursion, where the view is gorgeous, looking from the furthest Eastern point of the Virgin Islands. The Painkiller at Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke- claimed as the “original,” and totally delicious, mixed up with style by famous bartender “Oldtimer,” also a great place for throwing a frisbee on the beach and people-watching. The roti wrap (a mild West Indian curry dish famous in the Virgin Islands) at Pirates Restaurant on Norman Island is to die for- either veggie or chicken, served with a homemade mango chutney. The Island Passion Cocktail at Deadman’s Beach Bar on Peter Island is just heavenly- a refreshing passion fruit rum drink that’s perfect for sipping while you sun yourself on the beach, mixed up by beloved bartender “Captain Ernie” (different guy than Lolalita’s captain, but still as fun and entertaining!).
Tell us about some of the ingredients that you use, and the dishes you prepare.
I would say my signature style is “Sneakily Healthy.” Everything I serve is made from wholesome, fresh ingredients cooked in a healthy way, yet never lacking in flavor- you’d never know it was so good for you. I love to cook Thai food and have converted many a first-timer into addicts. My signature night involves thai chicken lettuce wraps with vermicelli rice noodles, fresh cilantro, and sriracha for those needing that extra spice; shrimp summer rolls with avocado and mint with a coconut-peanut dipping sauce; Tom Kha Gai, or Chicken Coconut Galangal Soup with fresh green onions, bamboo, mushrooms, and cilantro; Spicy Lobster Panang Curry with sugar snap peas and bell peppers, served with jasmine rice. To cool our palate, we enjoy a mango-basil sorbet with a coconut sticky rice garnish.
If you could only eat one dish that you’ve prepared for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I explain to my guests on the very first day: “I have to eat my own food, too!” I love all the food I make because it’s all well-balanced in nutrition and flavor. I have to say, though: every week I anticipate my hamburgers on the grill day. They’re made from freshly-ground grassfed beef, mixed with caramelized onions and garlic and other fresh herbs and seasonings. We call it a “BYOB” lunch- Build Your Own Burger- served alongside all the “fixins” (fresh tomatoes, onion, lettuce, pickles, jalapeños, banana peppers, and condiments); Breakfast Potato Salad with bacon and hardboiled eggs; and chipotle baked black beans. The burgers are mouth-watering and satisfying, the sides are delicious (and still “sneakily healthy”), and I look forward to that lunch every week!
Tell us a little bit about what the yacht has to offer, services, amenities etc.
Lolalita is owned and operated by my husband, Captain Ernie, and myself. Working alongside us is my husband’s son, my stepson, Jeffrey, who works as our “D Man”: Deckhand, Dinghy Driver, Dive Instructor, Dishwasher, and on occasion, Disco Dancer! Vacationing onboard Lolalita is a family experience and we pride ourselves in treating guests like they’re family, too. Lolalita is 65 feet long and 35 feet wide with over 2,000 square feet of deskspace. She was built as a racing cat and was upgraded to a carbon fiber mast and hydraulic sailing system for even faster sailing capabilities. At the bow we have two nets with oversized beanbags for lounging, cocktail-drinking, hors d’oeuvres-enjoying, and all-around relaxing. In the cockpit is a dining area ample for gourmet meals, disco parties, and/or stargazing. Moving inside we have 4 guest suites with 3 oversized queen beds and 1 king, with up to 7 feet of headroom. In each suite is a separate shower and head, TVs, and Playstations or DVD players. In the salon is a wet bar with alcohols and mixers procured to each guests’ preferences; two large couches; a dining table; a coffee table; and a 46-inch flatscreen TV with a state-of-the-art sound system. Everything on Yacht Lolalita is designed for maximum comfort and relaxation! If you’re the adventurous type, no worries! We have onboard for guests’ use scuba equipment for 8 guests and 2 instructors; tow tubes; water skis; a wakeboard and kneeboard; as well as other fun water toys. There is truly something for everyone onboard with Lolalita. If nothing else, Lolalita’s three (sometimes four) crew provide attentive service and hospitality for up to 8 guests, striving to make everyone onboard feel as welcome as family in their own homes.
Which itineraries or islands would you recommend as being best for a family with kids (ages 5-14).
The Virgin Islands is a magical haven for all ages, and kids especially seem to love The Baths on Virgin Gorda where they can climb and explore the gorgeous natural formations; The Happy ARRRR Show with Pirate Michael Beans at Leverick Bay where they can sing old pirate songs and participate in a conch blowing contest; the Bubbly Baths at Jost Van Dyke, where the water rushes in toward a beach, spilling and “bubbling” everyone about; and all the amazing snorkel spots in between, like Eustasia Sound on Virgin Gorda; Great Harbour on Peter Island; and The Caves and The Indians at Norman Island.
After sharing so many insider tips and suggestions for travel getaways, we have to thank Megan and Ernie for taking time out of their day to give us such a great interview. Spring Break is one of the best times of the year for a tropical getaway and if you're looking to take a vacation with your family, then Journey's will be more than accommodating. We will plan your next spring break voyage and put together a yacht charter than you will be sure to remember. These kind of yacht charters have long been a staple of our company, and we won't hesitate to create an itinerary that will be sure to leave you amazed. Contact Us today and get ready to set sail on your yacht adventure!
And for more information on the Lolalita Yacht, be sure to check out their website
Here's a little bit more about the Lolalita for those who would like to know!
Length: 65 Ft / 19.81 M
Year Of Launch: 1996 (Refit 2009)
Accommodation: Up To 8 Guests In 4 Cabins
Rates: From $17,000 To $32,000 Per Week.