Apart from various other crew members who work hard in order to manage the ship, there’s one person who has the duty to keep all the other crew members and everyone on board fed and nourished. That person is a Ship cook or a chief cook.
The chief cook usually has a small team that consists of an assistant cook, a storekeeper and a pastry person. Together all these people have a duty to feed the people on board while they are out in the sea.
Pros of being a Ship Cook
Being a ship cook demands you to foresee day to day kitchen activities, food planning, menu engineering, quality control and food hygiene. On your way to pursue this as a career you walk through a path consisting of cooking classes and chef courses which helps you to make a decision about the opportunities on land or sea. Following are a few from many advantages of becoming a chief cook or a ship chef.
- Working as a ship chef is very addictive – Even if you have started your career in culinary arts years ago and got a job as a ship cook just recently, you’ll feel the same addiction an older working chef would feel after years of service in this industry. You share the kitchen with same enthusiastic people as yourself during your working hours which make it even better.
- You get to travel and meet new people – A ship chef goes anywhere the ship takes him/her along with hundreds of other passengers. You get to experience the ocean and its secrets and find out about different tastes of different people.
- The beautiful scenery – On and off you can experience the majestic flips of a hump back whale which is a memory of a lifetime or feed the seagulls flying above. The beauty of the sea keeps you mesmerised.
- You get to work with fresh sea food – In the sea and no sea food feels like an empty void in your career. The best part of being a ship chef is eating and serving fresh sea food that melts in your mouth (That’s what sea food classes are all about).
Cons of being a Ship Cook
Along with many advantages there are not so ideal things about being a ship cook. Here are a few drawbacks of this particular job.
- Being away from your family at the sea – This is one difficult thing especially for family oriented people. You’ll probably get to meet your family after months of separation and not to forget it gets crazier with weather conditions and other minor issues that are easier to resolve on land.
- You have to test EVERYTHING on the menu – you cannot get away from the foods you dislike or have allergies with because as a chef you will be required to test everything and see how it tastes, looks and smells.
- No experimenting on the ship – here’s another drawback of being a ship cook. You cannot experiment with food or invent different recipes and bring new dishes to the table. You’ll be responsive to take care of your pantry and food safety. A food safety course shall be taken right before your career starts to avoid any unfortunate events.
However, all these cons can be dealt with the perks, benefits and experience you get out of it. It’s a great way to start off with your career and continue for many years ahead.