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 I first met chef David Powell on our Tuna Wars Captains Rollo‘s kids at sea fundraiser trip on the Ocean Odyssey out of H&M landing back in June. Tuna Wars is a friendly competition between two boats with the stars of Wicked Tuna, captains Paul Hebert and Dave Marciano along with his Wife Nancy do an annual Tuna Wars competition to lead their teams in this battle of the boats Team Wicked Pissah” aboard the Liberty with Captain Taro Takeuchi and Dave and Nancy Marciano “Team Hard Merchandise” aboard the Ocean Odyssey with captain Rick Scott. The boat with the largest 3 bluefin at the end of the 2-day trip wins, but the real winners are the kids.

Chef David’s culinary background consists of a three year culinary program with a focus on dietetics at Ohio State in 1995. He then worked at private clubs and Chef owned restaurants till taking a position with the Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas, Hollywood and San Diego. In 2007 David met captain Rick Scott of the Ocean Odyssey while fishing on the Premier (1/2 day) trip.  His plan was to fish for a year and now, 15 years later he’s still fishing and doing his magic in the Ocean Odyssey galley. David said “cooking for 30 always has its challenges but doing it while flying through the air adds a new dimension to it, It’s a love hate relationship, but it really gets in your blood” he also adds “it truly takes a unique personality to smile while working 16 hour days and you gotta be just a little crazy LOL!”Chef David’s culinary skills are top notch.  You never know what he’s going to serve up in his galley, his meals are so unique and different from other boats and it’s very refreshing to have a variety of dishes to stimulate your pallet while fishing on a multi day trip.

Here are a few descriptions of Chef David’s menu. His breakfast choices are a to die for, the machaca breakfast burritos filled with a homemade beef machaca, Pica de Gallo, eggs potatoes and a Queso Fresco Cheese with an array of hot sauces to heat it up to your liking.  This was my personal favorite and I had it every morning. Every time I think about this burrito my mouth waters and I can’t wait to get back on the boat to have it again! David’s French toast is the best I’ve ever tasted with notes of vanilla and cinnamon dressed with a dollop of creamy butter and drizzled with maple syrup!

Our lunch menu included a yummy burger, but because this article is named “More than a boat burger” guess what? David passed the test. Did you ever think that you could have homemade pizza on a sport boat? Yes, chef David makes the best pizza you’ve ever had, it’s so delicious with a crispy crust and he makes several kinds to satisfy any pizza lover, like vegetarian with caramelized onions and a meat lovers pizza, one of the most interesting things that I got to try that he does is a chocolate peanut butter pizza! Yes you heard it here, a chocolate peanut butter dessert pizza! I didn’t think that I would like it but I had three slices lol, it was so delicious and so unusual that I didn’t think the combination would work but it works perfectly. A must try for sure.

Our dinner menu consisted of an amazing taco bar. Chef David made three different types of meat to choose from: pork, chicken and beef, with a large spread of toppings where you can build your own taco how you like our choices where; onions & cilantro, pico de gallo, jalapeños, an array of cheeses, lettuce, guacamole & sour cream served with mexican rice and refried beans. Another highlighted dinner dish is David’s Herb crusted prime rib, served with a freshly baked potato with all the toppings, sautéed seasoned green beans, Cesar salad and a roll. My mouth was watering just writing this article and thinking about those meals I had on that trip.

We had a great two days and even though we didn’t win this year’s tuna wars we all had an amazing time with Captain Rick Scott and his very professional crew.  They have an amazing boat, the bunks are comfortable, with an amazing platform to fish from.  You know you’ll be well fed on any trip you take on the Ocean Odyssey with chef David Powell.

Captain Rollo’s Kids at Sea organizes marine- awareness fishing trips for children who might not otherwise have such an opportunity to witness the beauty and splendor of being on the ocean. Youth are provided with on-the water ocean preservation education where they learn hands-on about the ecosystems that exist in our coastal waters. We serve disadvantaged, physically challenged, and at-risk youth. Since 1999, over 130,000 children have benefited. If you’d like to make a donation or donate your time to Captain Rollo’s Kids at Sea go to: 

Ocean Odyssey is located at H&M Landing, 2803 Emerson Street ,San Diego California 9210. To book your private charter contact the Ocean Odyssey at: Call: (619) 889-4535

Bluefin Tuna Poke’

By Chef David Powell

2Lb Bluefin Tuna loin

1-ea. Yellow or orange Bell Pepper

1-ea medium Jalapeño (diced)

1-Tbls Fresh Ginger (minced)

6-ea. chopped Green Onion stalks (1/2 bunch)

4- Garlic Cloves (minced)

1-Tbls Sesame Oil

1/4c. Soy Sauce

1). Cut Bluefin Tuna or Skip Jack into 1/4” cubes cover & chill

2). Cut yellow or orange bell peppers (not Red due to the color contrast) jalapeño and green onions into small pieces.

3). Finely mince ginger and garlic.

4). Add all the above ingredients to tuna dices cover & chill.

5). 20 minutes prior to serving add sesame oil and soy sauce, mix thoroughly.

6). Serve with craft crackers or wonton chips & enjoy!