And then a sudden fluky encounter sank his livelihood.
As a novice boater zoomed previous, the starboard pontoon on Lycke’s boat gave approach. An hour later, the craft had fully capsized. Fortunately, Lycke, hostess Coulette Murray, and one other chef onboard escaped unhurt.
But the enterprise he’d constructed for the previous 4 years — recognized for its recent gator bites, wings, and Hong Kong-inspired pork – was gone.
Within 4 days, the shipwreck website was salvaged at a price of $8,000. And now, two weeks after that fateful Sunday, he and plenty of of his loyal patrons and neighbors are counting the times to a rebuild.
“The community has been absolutely outstanding through all this,” Lycke tells New Times. “Even the town [of Fort Lauderdale] has been outstanding. They fought us tooth and nail when we opened. They didn’t want to grant me a license and gave us a lot of hell wherever we parked after opening. But, through this shipwreck, they’ve bent over backward to help me. It really is a small town, and everyone has been incredible.”
When Lycke purchased his meals boat, it was a comparatively inexpensive funding. Now, the chef says, a brand new boat will run him about $125,000. To increase Lycke’s financial savings, Murray, the hostess, began an on-line fundraising effort to lift $85,000. As of May 24, the fundraiser had generated about $11,500.
“I am so grateful for $5 or anything we can get from anyone,” Lycke says. “We’re very much a family business and we provide a magical experience out there. It’s my passion that pulls it forward. It’s not just a food boat, but it’s a dinner party during the day for 200 boats and friends.”
Lycke hopes to lift the rest of the mandatory funds for a brand new boat and, in the end, to open a brick-and-mortar location.
“I’m hoping to be back as soon as possible,” he says. “This is all an obsession of love. I love cooking for my friends.”