Sunday, November 8, 2009

Working in the Galley

I thought I give everybody a little glimpse into my working life here on board, at least the fun part of it, the cooking, service, pressure, sending the food out to the guest. That is the part I like most of being a chef, I like the hustle and bustle in the kitchen, the heat, the pressure, the organizing, having to prepare food for 100 guest which usually come into the restaurant within 15 minutes and then...action! On the photo on top are my guys busy plating during evening service. I have no idea how I had time to make a photo, but that is how it looks during service.

Now, of course I am not on my own here, I have a great team of dedicated chefs who are busy whole day long preparing everything. We are a team of 12 in total, two of which are our pot and dish washer, then there is a baker, a pastry chef, a crew cook and breakfast cook. I got one sous chef who is in charge of preparing all the meat and fish and then the rest are chefs working on the different stations.
Unfortunately I usually have a lot of office work to do, ordering, new menus, inventories and, and, and so I am not as much in the kitchen as I would like to be, but am still there quite a bit.

And at the moment we have our consulting chef, Serge Dansereau from Bather's Pavilion in Sydney on board; all you Aussie food lovers, take that! He brings every year a couple of new menus on board which we use in a special section dedicated to him. Then the on board chef is designing some alternative choices and creates all the lunches, buffets and a gourmet dinner once a cruise, so still plenty of room for my creativity! At the moment we have a special cruise, so he and one of his sous chef, Ben are traveling with us and we are having some new dishes on the menu.
Lucky me, as I am really enjoying his style of cooking, I am happily taking in all the new recipes and dishes, one is never too old to learn and of course with his experience one can draw a lot and at the same time find some new suppliers with speciality goods. I was able as well to spend a week at Bather's Pavilion, cooking with the guys and get a whole lot of new ideas, especially in the pastry. One can never have enough recipes.

So I thought I will be parting with some of the recipes which he bought on board just for this cruise, so they are sort of limited edition recipes! We all sat together, Serge, Ben his sous chef, me and Rannie, my sous chef, and we put the thinking caps on. The limitation we have on board are on this cruise mainly the quarantine coming into Australia, so we all went through the fridges and freezers, looked at what is available and took it from there. The menus needed to be inspired by Asia, but still reflect Serge's style as well. One of these recipes was actually the salmon salad, I featured a short while ago and some recipes will follow, like a braised beef cheek.

I feel very privileged to work with my galley team, they are all fantastic guys, very dedicated and hard working and still a lot of fun.


  1. Very nice story about life on board, :)
    Molto bello!

    1. Thank you very much for your comment, a chef is only as good as his team, and it was a wonderful time on Orion


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