What You Need to be a Cruise Ship Chef?

Many cruise ships tend to hire chefs who have undergone formal culinary training



For chefs who have the passion for whipping up delectable dishes and, at the same time, the love for traveling to exotic and faraway places, then being a cruise ship chef is the perfect job for you.  Not only will this give you the opportunity to showcase your cooking talents, but this will also give you the wonderful opportunity to explore new places during your days off.  Furthermore, this can also be a big step for you to gain more experience working in a professional kitchen or, in the case of ships, galley.

Kitchens on cruise ships are massive operations. Here a chef works in the Silversea Silver
Wikimedia Commons

What You Need to be a Cruise Ship Chef?

Of course, passion for cooking and love for traveling are not enough to make you a cruise ship chef.  In fact, like regular chefs who are working in land-based professional kitchens, you also need to have the talent and the experience of working with food.  This includes preparing and planning the menus and dishes, purchasing and organizing the food products and ingredients, inventorying of the stocks, and, of course, preparing and cooking the dishes, etc.

Many cruise ships tend to hire chefs who have undergone formal culinary training.  They prefer chefs who hold degrees and have proper qualifications, and they also take a look at the work experience of the chef before hiring him or her as a member of the galley.

However, if you do not have any formal training or work experience, for that matter, you can still work in a cruise ship’s galley.  You can apply for a kitchen staff post and work your way up the ladder.  You will start with washing dishes as well as cleaning duties first before you start helping with food preparation duties such as peeling fruits and vegetables or cutting food products.  This, however, differs from one cruise ship to another.

Difference Between a Land-Based Chef and a Cruise Ship Chef

In terms of the working environment, there is not much difference between working in a land-based restaurant kitchen and the cruise ship’s galley.  The hustle and bustle of the kitchen atmosphere are relatively the same, so you can expect to be very busy during its peak hours.  Aside from this, the areas of the galley are also divided into two, the hot and the cold galleys.  The hot galley is where you cook the food such as grilling and frying, and the cold galley is where you usually bake pastries and desserts.

The big difference between the two though is the period of time you will have to spend away from your loved ones.  You cannot just take the weekend off and drive home to be with your family, but you have to endure long months away from home.  These long periods of time away from your family can be very tough and lonely, so you really have to work hard at keeping loneliness at bay whenever you are aboard the cruise ship.


Perks of Working as a Cruise Ship Chef

Lonely it may be at times aboard the ship, but there are also a number of perks that you can enjoy as a cruise ship chef.

For one, you do have a day off.  You can spend it aboard the cruise ship and enjoy the variety of facilities that the ship has such as the gym and the pool, or you can spend your day off on land excursions at whatever port the cruise ship happened to be at, depending upon the cruise ship itinerary.

Two, there is, of course, the valuable working experience that you are sure to gain during your time as a cruise ship chef.  If you started out as a crew messman, which requires no experience, you just might be promoted to crew cook assistant.  From crew cook assistant, then there is the possibility of being promoted to cook trainee.  From cook trainee, you may be promoted to commis three or third cook, and from the third cook to second cook then to first cook then to demi chef de partie.  From demi chef de partie, you just might be promoted to chef de partie then to sous chef then to executive sous chef.  Who knows, you just might end up as the executive chef or the chef de cuisine someday.

Image Credit: francolania.com

Source by Matthew J. Goudge