|the chef, sous chef and other shipboard culinary and cooking occupations
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Culinary Work Opportunities
Positions for chefs, sous chefs, cooks, galley workers and other food and beverage
opportunities are out there for qualified candidates. The cooking and chef positions
are as diverse as the different types of hotels and restaurants out there. Every
kitchen is run differently, designed to cater to a different crowd, crew, or passenger
list. Culinary training is an industry in itself with chefs and sous chefs on large
ships coming from impressive culinary arts colleges.
The forerunners of the modern cruise ship sous chefs and culinary specialists... the
galley of the S.S. Africa around 100 years ago in 1910. It's interesting to note that ships
are no longer put together with the rivets you see holding up the galley shelves.
However, the neat arrangement of pots, pans and cooking utensils demonstrates that in
some ways, good cooking habits and techniques haven't changed that much in a century.
Whatever the pedigree of one’s cooking and culinary skills, one thing is true
across the board… chefs and cooks are important aboard any ship, large or small.
On workboats, they are vital for crew morale and crew well-being. On ships with
paying passengers, they are key elements in providing top shelf customer service.
What are the differences between a chef and a cook? They
can be as vast as the differences in vessel types out there.
There are 100,000 ton cruise ships that carry 3,000
passengers for whom hotel scale culinary staffs crank out
15,000 meals a day. There are also 90' tugs where a
deckhand who doubles as a cook whips up lunch when
things slow down. If you innocently refer to a chef as a
cook, he or she may take offense that the error is akin to
calling an orchestra’s first violin player a fiddle player.
Culinary training can vary according to the objectives of the program. There are
four year colleges that offer specialized courses in everything from kitchen
sanitation, food presentation to specialized areas like desserts, pastries, fish,
wine selection and more.
Norwegian Cruise Line, one of the world's largest employers of shipboard culinary