Prior to taking the leap of faith into the charter yacht realm, Carla was worked as an assistant to a physical therapist, before undertaking formal training as a flight attendant in her native Italy.
Carla felt a calling to the maritime way of life and took off to Miami where she secured a job as a chef/stewardess aboard a private 100ft motor yacht.
"It was my dream job; cooking, travelling and working with different cultures, on the sea." The experience whet her appetite for culinary arts and she pursued formal qualifications as a Chef from Ashburton Academy in Devon, England.
"I did freelance work until 2007 in the British Virgin Islands on the 50ft catamaran Soul's Calling with my husband, Alex. With the encouragement of my family and friends, Alex and I embarked AVALON in 2013."
Carla has made the gourmet fare onboard AVALON the prime feature of the charter experience.
Carla's culinary creations reflect her joy for connecting with people. Her creations are part Italian home cooking and fine French dining contrasted with exotic Thai dishes. She is also adept in Vegan food, Indian cuisine and Kosher considerations.
AVALON menus offer mouth-watering dishes from around the world, prepared from fresh local products and presented with Carla's unique flair. She skilfully matches each course with a suitable wine for a totally satisfying experience.
Carla says, with the myriad islands of the Caribbean on their doorstep, bursting with ingredients and local specialties, she is never short on inspiration.
"The ocean is an endless inspiration for creating my dishes. I draw on all cultural influences and traditions which I tailor to suit our guests. Cooking is a form of love. In this line of work we dedicate countless hours to creating a perfect experience for our guests. With every detail we hope to create an unforgettable memory."
Children onboard are the opportunity for Carla to cater to the next generation of gourmands. Whether they are keen to savour new flavours or more conservative, the junior set always enjoys learning some skills in the galley with Carla.
"I love having children onboard so that I can be a kid again! When vacationing onboard AVALON it is a celebration of life, whatever your age! We always put on a special night serving a delicious cake and putting on a laser show – it's a magical night! You have to experience it for yourself!"
Sabayone served with strawberries
This self-described "lifelong learner" likes nothing better than to challenge herself through exposure to other customs and culinary repertoires, thus broadening her own spectrum of food. For Carla, downtime is spent taking cooking classes, eating out at restaurants with family and friends and travelling.
Alex and Carla, with the assistance of stewardess Bea, go to great lengths to create a dream charter experience for guests aboard AVALON. Many of them write to Luxury Charter Group with praise for Carla's skills and her wonderful warmth in sharing her passion for her vocation.
One couple said of their recent experience on AVALON: "The crew were a perfect fit for our group. Great personalities, consistently friendly, and calm as can be. They did all that was necessary to allow us to relax and enjoy each day".
"The boat and the crew manning it are a truly important aspect to the vacationer's enjoyment.
They could detract, be neutral, or add to the experience. Ours added a tremendous amount to our experience."
The food deserved special mention, the same couple reporting that they still dreamt of Carla's concoctions as much as the tranquillity and azure waters of the Caribbean: "The food Carla prepared was outstanding and plentiful! We couldn't conceive of how a charter could be better."
Ask your Luxury Charter Group specialist about your charter on AVALON
Here, Carla reveals just one of her tantalising recipes which has become a favourite staple onboard AVALON.
Carla's Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Coconut Velvet Soup
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion diced
1 carrot peeled and diced
½ apple peeled and diced
2 cups of fresh butternut squash cooked and diced
2 cups of fresh chicken stock
1½ cups of fresh pumpkin roasted
½ cup of coconut milk
Soy sauce (a dash)
Salt & white ground pepper (to taste)
Cook the butternut squash in a pot with water and little salt until is tender. Cool.
Preheat oven. Cut the whole pumpkin in half, discarding the seeds. Place on a baking sheet with little water. Roast in oven until tender. Cool.
Scoop out the pulp, set aside.
In a pot over medium heat, melt butter and add coconut oil and sauté onion, carrot, apple until all are tender. Add the cooked butternut squash and the roasted pulp of pumpkin and cook about 10 to 15 minutes until it becomes a gold colour.
Puree the mixture in a blender. Then return the puree to the pot, add the fresh chicken stock (homemade) and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add coconut milk, soy sauce and simmer for more five minutes, without boiling. Season with salt, white ground pepper and fresh cilantro/coriander. Serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin with crisp crostini.