How Cruise Ship Chefs Keeps Food Safe From Germs

How Cruise Ship Chefs Keeps Food Safe From GermsWith thousands of guests and crew to be fed, cruise ship chefs jobs demand close attention to how food is cooked and stored before being served. Even a slight mistake can cause bacteria and germs to proliferate and spread, increasing the risk of infection.

Globally, cruise ship chefs follow strict procedures when it comes to handling food. The main aim is to keep it out of the temperature range between 4 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius (4°F and 140°F). This range is known as the Danger Zone and is most ideal for bacteria to thrive, thus greatly increasing the risk of infection.

Bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, salmonella enteritidis, escherichia coli (e.coli) and campylobacter are the most common disease-causing microbes found in food. A small percentage of the human population can carry some of these microbes (such as staphylococcus) in safe numbers long-term, but it’s when they start breeding uncontrollably that the problem arises. 

They produce toxins that poison the human body, and such food-related illnesses are so common that millions get sick each year simply from poor hygiene and unsafe cooking and storage methods.

Cruise ship chefs know that food should never be left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours, or without sufficient heat for more than an hour. This means they need to plan ahead, particularly since most meat is frozen.

The most acceptable way to defrost meat is to place it in the refrigerator overnight in a way that neither the meat nor its run off juices can come in contact with other cooked food or vegetables. This ensures that the meat is stored under 4 degrees Celsius while it defrosts and is ready to be used the next morning.

Due to the volume of food that needs to be cooked, most produce and meat is frozen in large batches. But some specific food might need to be bagged or bought in smaller quantities – truffles, caviar, specialty cheeses, etc – as only small amounts are needed at a time. For this, they might need to more finely estimate the amount needed for the upcoming meal before taking it out of storage.

Vegetables are always washed well in cold water to remove any bacteria and soil residue. They must be kept well away from uncooked meats and must always be prepared on separate cutting boards or work stations. Even the knives, other cutlery and clean dishcloths must be used around raw vegetables, particularly those that will be going into a salad or used as crudités.

When cooking, cruise ship chefs know that they must allow meat to attain a certain temperature to ensure that all the bacteria have been killed. Red meat, including beef, pork, lamb and veal, should reach an internal temperature of at least 63 degrees Celsius (145°F), then rested before service. If the meat has been ground, it should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 71 degrees Celsius (160°F). For poultry, the internal temperature of the meat should measure at least 74 degrees Celsius (165°F) to be considered safe to eat.

However, care should be taken that the raw meat should have been out of the danger zone before being cooked as the toxins that some bacteria produce are heat resistant.

Any leftovers are cooled quickly in shallow containers, then stored in clearly marked containers and refrigerated within two hours. The containers on cruise ship vessels are required to show information such as the name of the dish, any specific common allergen ingredients and a use-by date. 

These should be used quickly if stored in a fridge at 4 degrees Celsius (40°F) or they should be frozen at -18 degrees Celsius (0°F) where bacteria are rendered inactive.

To reheat food, the entire dish must evenly reach an internal temperature of at least 74 degrees Celsius (165°F) before it can be considered safe to be consumed.

 

Common Culinary Terms Cruise Ship Chefs Should Know

Common Culinary Terms Cruise Ship Chefs Should KnowThe organised chaos that defines cruise ship chefs jobs can throw any newbie off. Directions are shouted, information cross-checked and everyone runs around attempting to reduce the time between order and service.

In the midst of all this, being unfamiliar with common culinary terms can slow cruise ship chefs down. It helps to get acquainted with words that you may hear in the galley. Here are just a few:

Al dente

Pasta is an all-time cruise favourite on cruise ships and preparing it right is essential. Typically, recipes require pasta to be cooked al dente, which literally means ‘to the tooth’. It means the pasta should have a soft bite; it should not be soft and mushy. Cooking pasta al dente involves using the right pot, the right amount of water and salt, and draining the pasta on time.

Baste

Basting is an excellent way of showcasing the depth of flavour of any type of meat. It is used primarily in cooking styles where meat is exposed to heat over long periods of time. Basting involves periodically coating the meat with either its own juices, a sauce or marinade as it cooks. 

Dash, Dice, Julienne, Pinch, Smidgen

Recipes often call for quantities that don’t appear specific. For amateur cooks, estimating has few negative consequences. But for professionals such as cruise ship chefs, the high standards require hundreds of dishes and dozens of plated meals to look and taste exactly the same. 

When the recipe calls for a dash, add 1/8th of a teaspoon. Dicing involves cutting the pieces to a size of 1/4th or 1/8th of an inch. When asked to julienne vegetables, they are expected to be approximately 1/4th of an inch thick and an inch long. A pinch is 1/16th of a teaspoon, while a smidgen is 1/32 teaspoon.

Bouquet garni

Cruise ship chefs make stocks and soups from scratch. For these, a bouquet garni is essential. Typically, it’s a bundle of herbs tied with string or stuffed into a small sachet made of cheesecloth, then cooked with other ingredients and removed before the dish is consumed.

Frenching

Aesthetics play a big role in cruise ship dishes. Frenching is usually done to lamb, pork, beef and chicken to make it both easier to eat and also make the dish look clean. To do this, chefs move the meat and fat away from the bone which can then be held when eating the meat. This technique is used for chops, chicken breast or leg, and tomahawk steaks.

Quenelle

This term became increasingly popular with the public with the success of Masterchef Australia. It’s a technique by which a spoon – or two – is used to give a presentable oval shape to soft foods such as creamed meat or ice cream. For meats, the quenelle is usually coated with breadcrumbs and egg before being poached to help hold its shape.

Xylitol

Along with stevia, agave nectar and coconut sugar, xylitol is fast becoming popular as a plant-based sugar substitute. Some of these, such as xylitol, are regarded as a safe alternative for diabetics and are well-liked by the health-conscious. With an increasing number of guests with food restrictions travelling on cruise ships, chefs must stay up to date with changing trends.

Culinary Nightmares For Cruise Ship Chefs

Culinary Nightmares For Cruise Ship Chefs

Pic : luis_molinero / Freepik

Cruise ship chefs jobs can be tough. Cooking for thousands of people three times a day is no mean feat and can be a nightmare. Cruise lines have standard operating procedures to follow for smooth running of the system. But there are always a few fears that cruise ship chefs hope never materialise.

UNTIDY STAFF

This doesn’t seem like much but if you have juniors working under you who do not clean up after themselves, it can be very frustrating. Having a poorly managed work-space can throw cruise ship chefs off their game, and no one wants to get started on a bad note when there are hundreds of hungry mouths to feed.

MALFUNCTIONING EQUIPMENT

One of the worst nightmares for cruise ship chefs is dealing with equipment giving out. A simple thing as having the stand mixer stop in the middle of kneading can add many more minutes to your already long day. Imagine not realising that the ice cream churner gave up 5 minutes after you left it to do its job. It means having to start from scratch all over again.

Malfunctioning equipment can also stretch to huge ovens and electric chafing dish warmers. There are engineers on board to help fix these issues but it might not be immediate. 

BAD WEATHER

Sudden nasty climatic conditions can ruin anyone’s trip. With global warming and climate change very real now, cruise ships sometimes have no choice but to weather a sudden storm. Most guests on board are not used to a tossing ship and can get seasick easily. 

This means that cruise ship chefs must work accordingly. First, their estimates of meal types and numbers go askew as some people do not eat at all when feeling sick, while others like to have a good wholesome meal. Secondly, they might need to make food that’s easy on the stomach – like soups, brews and stews, which do not hold very well in their serving dishes on a ship trying to ride very large waves.

SERIOUS FOOD ALLERGIES 

Guests can be rather careless at times. Most are required to let cruise companies know of any dietary restrictions so cruise ship chefs can cook food accordingly. However, in the rare case that a guest has left out allergen information or is unaware of it, it can be a bit problematic for cruise ship chefs. 

It may not be their fault at all, but no chef wants the trauma of someone else’s severe allergic reactions connected with them at all.

DELAYED VENDORS 

One of the biggest attractions on cruise ships is its food. To maintain high standards, ingredients need to meet the mark on quality and freshness. Cruise ships can only access fresh produce in port, so if a vendor is delayed, cruise ship chefs can be in a fix.

Typically it is then the onus of the vendor to ensure that the shipment reaches the next port on time, but this still presents a problem to cruise ship chefs who must now make do until that time.

FOOD POISONING

The last thing cruise ship chefs want on board is for guests to have a case of food poisoning. It might not even be the cruise line’s fault. Perhaps the guests ate something dodgy in port and fell sick after the ship set sail. If a significant number of guests fall sick, it could be bad business for the company. There will be inspections and analyses of how the issue occurred. There might even be new procedures put in place if a few – maybe even unrelated – lapses are noticed.

Women In The Cruise Industry

Women In The Cruise Industry

When one thinks of cruise ship jobs, the immediate association is with long working hours, chaos and months away from family. Back in the day, these conditions were considered more appropriate for men. But today, times have changed and women have just as many opportunities to avail in the cruise industry.

According to Condé Nast Traveller, around 18-20 per cent of the cruise workforce is made up of women. Statistics vary depending on cruise lines but figures show that between five and 22 per cent of officers are women. When compared with just five per cent in the global airline pilot industry, this looks promising.

Back in 2007 – more than a decade ago, a woman took control of a cruise ship as its captain for the first time ever. Since Karin Stahr-Janson’s ascension to the top of Royal Caribbean’s Monarch Of The Seas, many other cruise ship companies including Cunard, P&O Cruises, Sea Cloud Cruises, Aida, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Seven Seas have employed women as captains.

Cruise ship jobs are open to women of all nationalities. It appears, however, that for the moment, women from developing countries typically land offshore cruise ship jobs in the lower rungs before getting the chance to slowly climb up the ladder. 

Data is scarce, but this could be due to a combination of various factors including necessary qualifications and experience along with a general attitude stemming from a male-dominated industry.

But opportunities exist. For young women new to the industry looking for cruise ship jobs, some of the more easily available sectors include food and beverage, reservations and front office, and spas. In these sectors, typically available positions include cruise ships chefs jobs in different hierarchies – from line cook to chef de partie, waiters, maitresse d’s, hostesses, bartenders, receptionists, provisions assistants and managers. 

Good work and excellent track records in the food and beverage sector can get one placed as private butlers or head chefs of various restaurants, and supervisors in the housekeeping sector. In spas, cruise ship chefs look for beauty therapists, hair stylists, manicurists, massage therapists, spa attendants and even fitness instructors.

Based on experience, there may be a chance for women from developing countries to work in youth services – baby-sitting, caring for toddlers and working with young children and teenagers to keep them safe and busy while their parents relax.

Cruise ship jobs are also available on a side of the industry one rarely thinks about. Increasingly, women are applying for jobs on deck and as engineers to help physically take the cruise ship from one port to the next. 

These are important jobs and come with the many perks of being an officer on board. For these cruise ship jobs, one will need an educational background in navigation or marine engineering and perhaps some experience working on board. Like the merchant navy, some opt to join as cadets and work their way up.

The price may still be heavy for women from developing Asian countries lower in the hierarchy – long contracts, limited access to birth control options, and sexual harassment, but like other industries, many brave these by taking appropriate measures and manage to enjoy a successful life at sea.

Why Adulterated Food is Bad News For Cruise Ships

Why Adulterated Food is Bad News For Cruise ShipsFood adulteration involves the addition of chemicals to food which degrades its quality. It is typically carried out to make food seem more fresh, enhance flavour or increase the quantity of food production at a cheaper rate.

According to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act – followed by most cruise ship chefs – adulterated food includes any edible substance that has additives that are injurious to health, has additives that have not yet been deemed safe for consumption, has been packed or stored in unsanitary conditions and has had a valuable ingredient omitted or replaced (completely or partly).

On board, cruise ships chefs jobs require in-depth knowledge of food safety and skills to identify adulterated products. If found, they are kept aside for inspection and a report submitted to higher ups. This keeps the fraudulent adulteration industry in check and helps the cruise ship maintain its quality status.

Adulterants can cause immediate health effects such as diarrhea, nausea and poisoning, but can also have long-term effects (especially if ingested over a prolonged period of time) such as glaucoma, lung and heart disorders.

Bacterial adulterants such as salmonella and bacillus cercus can cause severe abdominal issues. These kinds of adulterants are most easily spread on cruise ships and must be avoided at all costs.

A majority of cruise ships make stops in US ports and therefore, come under US food safety laws. Non-compliance can cause hefty fines, sickness and repercussions for the whole company.

In 2017, the Center for Disease Control Prevention noted 17 instances in which cruise ships failed inspections, according to a MarketWatch analysis. These included a range of issues including minor ones where a mop was stored incorrectly to major ones where crew continued to work despite displaying symptoms of gastrointestinal illnesses.

In situations where cruise ships fail inspections, the vessels are required to submit a Corrective Action Report indicating exactly how they plan to rectify the issue. They must also pay a fee for re-inspection. This fee can go up to almost US$18,000 for the latest large-scale commercial liners.

Vessels that continue to fail on major issues where the health of passengers and crew is at stake maybe given a ‘no sail’ recommendation. During this time, they are expected to stop plying while issues are being fixed. If they continue to sail without fixing the issue, the recommendation turns into an order.

But all food establishments, not just cruise ships, can suffer other consequences of food adulteration if a guest gets affected. If they have enough evidence, guests can sue the company. If many are affected, they could take to social media and the internet to vent their feelings.

Many establishments have felt the backlash of poor reviews online. A study by Checkit in the UK in 2016 suggested that as much as 61 per cent of people would not eat at a restaurant that received poor food hygiene ratings.

The implications can also reach employees who might not take too keenly to working in an unsanitary environment or who might have a grudge against the company and make mention of it on social media.

There are many ways in which adulteration of food can harm the cruise ship industry, so vessels take great precaution to avoid safety hazards as far as possible.

How Cruise Ship Chefs keep Meals fresh on Board

How Cruise Ship Chefs keep the ingredients for Meals fresh on BoardPassengers rarely wonder how the high quality scrumptious meals each day make it to the table while far out at sea. Cruise ship chefs jobs require specific training and knowledge on how to maintain freshness during each trip.

It all begins with the provisions team, who make notes on how much of each item will be required for an upcoming trip and place the orders well in advance. Provisions are typically ordered with a couple of days to spare, in case of emergencies or bad weather not permitting the ship to get to port.

The provisions team also bases its orders on the expected demographic of guests. Europeans, for example, prefer lighter wines such as Riesling and Pinot Noir; Australians like heavy breakfasts; Europeans like craft beers; and Asian passengers will, overall, have a different palate for food compared to Westerners.

Vendors ensure that stocks reach port in time for loading, and as soon as the ship is berthed, crew get round to checking each shipment. If they find any that are not up to standard, the shipment is returned and replaced before the ship leaves port. With fresh produce, vendors pack them in various stages of ripeness so they last a longer while. All items are also transferred from wooden pallets to metal trays as the latter are more easily cleaned and less likely to carry contamination from the wood onto the ship.

Once on board, the crew stores them in specially designed refrigerators, each holding a separate item. Bananas are stored separately as they give off chemicals that can easily spoil other fruit. The temperature and humidity levels in each refrigerator are set specifically for the item it holds, to ensure it remains at optimum freshness.

Fish is often very fresh when it comes on board, and cruise ship chefs will determine how much is required for the first four to five days and put that amount on ice. The rest is immediately frozen. Shellfish is typically already frozen on arrival. If the number of days between ports is fewer, the ship will pick up fresh fish and produce more often, instead of relying on frozen goods.

Salads and raw food are pretty popular on menus during initial sailing days, and taper out towards the end. The menus are also fairly simple – perhaps just one main version of meat, seafood and poultry, so that cruise ship chefs can hold dishes at a food-safe temperature and prepare food to order.

At every point, the provisions team ensures that food is used in a first-in first-out manner. This means that food with an earlier use by date is utilised first. These are all prepped in separate cool rooms to avoid cross-contamination – and thereby unnecessary wastage – before heading to the galleys.

The crew is constantly keeping an eye on depleting provisions and produce that might go past its use by date. Fruit, in particular, must be used appropriately. Unused items from fruit baskets in state rooms are repurposed into desserts and sweet snacks. Peach sorbet, bananas foster, cherries jubilee and strawberry flambé are excellent ways of using up fruit that are ripening faster than the guests consume them.

In addition, vegetables such as carrots and beets are pickled, cabbage can be made in sauerkraut, particularly if there are many Germans expected on board. Meat is generally frozen until required, when it is defrosted in a safe manner before being used.

How Food Drives Cruise Culture

How Food Drives Cruise CultureFood is intrinsic to cruises, a far cry from the days of old when passengers made do with whatever the cruise ship chefs could make. Today, technology helps produce stay fresh longer and allows a wider range to be transported, helping to satiate the growing culinary demands of clients.

Currently, there are cruises that focus solely on the culinary experience, from offering cooking demos to wine tours during port excursions and even an on board cooking school. As a member of staff, cruise ship chefs jobs on such liners will demand good galley experience and extensive skills.

ON BOARD

In March this year, Silversea Cruises announced its latest immersive culinary enrichment programme tailored according to the itinerary in a way that incorporates ship-based and shore-side events. Cruise ship chefs jobs on board will involve taking guests through market trips, winery visits and meals at port eateries, as well as guest hosts, food lectures and demonstrations on board.

In 2015, its L’Ecole des Chefs by Relais & Châteaux offered knife skills workshops, cooking competitions, a market-to-plate tour and a lunch and learn session where the cruise ship chef prepared an entire meal in front of guests.

Celebrity Cruises attempted to give guests a closer look at what goes into their beautiful dishes. It offers a popular Excite the Senses Culinary Theme Cruise with a behind the scenes experience including a private tour of the ship’s galley. In the past, guests have been able to meet upcoming chefs including Jacques von Staden and Junior Merino.

On board cooking demonstrations are popular on many cruise ships around the world, some given by celebrity chefs such as Jacques Pépin on Oceania. The cruise ship company boasts a state-of-the-art galley where chefs host cooking classes and demos on board its vessels Marina and Riviera.

Other vessels demand greater skills from their many cruise ship chefs – Paul Gauguin Cruises, for example, plates a sumptuous variety of Polynesian dishes using local ingredients during its voyages to South Pacific ports in Tahiti, Fiji, Bora Bora and French Polynesia.

Social media is playing an interesting part in cruises too. Le Petit Chef on Celebrity Edge offers a 3D dining experience for Instagram-loving patrons, created in collaboration with TableMation Studios, that screens an animated character beside your plate preparing your dish before it is served.

Holland America Line took food-themed cruising to another level with an itinerary that included special viewings of America’s Test Kitchen, showing the reality show’s live demonstrations up close, encouraging participation in hands-on workshops, getting tips from professional chefs and also on-screen test cooks from the show.

IN PORT

Cruise companies are always on the lookout for something different to offer their guests. Celebrity Cruises hosted a Baked in Alaska specialty cruise that included a food foraging expedition in a remote area of the state and a visit to Ketchikan understand its commercial crabbing industry.

Saga cruises targets the middle-aged crowd and has been offering unique experiences to draw in their guests. Its European cruises offer port excursions to quaint little villages and towns such as Madeira where guests sample local food such as bolo do caco and exotic fruit, and Cádiz where its tapas workshop teaches guests how to make the best local small plates and the appropriate wines to pair them with.

Other cruise ship companies plan a variety of excursions to culinary hotspots such the floating markets of Vietnam or a beer tasting cruise in Germany.

What To Ask Before Joining a Culinary School

What To Ask Before Joining a Culinary SchoolMost culinary positions, including cruise ship jobs, demand some level of formal instruction. While it is possible to climb the ladder based solely on your passion and motivation to learn on the job, it might be easier to get a foothold in the mainstream industry with some qualifications or experience under your belt.

So here are a few things you should ask yourself and the culinary school before taking the decision to sign up.

Should I get a degree or a diploma?

Many culinary schools offer both options. A degree involves around four years of training, in-depth and schooling in focused skills and management, including personnel and budget management, as well as learning how to cook. Opting for a diploma means a shorter course that is often specific to a type of cooking – pastry and baking, bartending or general entry level instruction.

Based on your preference, time and funds available, you can shop around for the appropriate schools that offer what you’re looking for.

What is the culinary school’s reputation in the industry?

This may not seem important, but in today’s competitive world, fly-by-night operators are more common than ever before. Thanks to the internet, it is far easier to create beautiful websites that can hoodwink unsuspecting students. Ask around about the reputation of various institutions to cross-check their background. You may even call or visit the school  if possible before taking your final decision.

Is it located in a culinary destination?

The school’s location in a place well known for variety in food can help immensely with your exposure to the industry – its inner workings, creative new endeavours and also internships and placements. Goa is a hotbed for tourism and hospitality, making it an ideal place for a reputed culinary institute like the American College of Culinary & Language Arts (ACCLA) to be located.

What specialisations are on offer?

Culinary institutions can have varied programmes. Choose your specialisation – if offered – based on what you’d like your career graph to look like.

Do on-site chef instructors lead the programme?

Having someone well-versed in the workings of the industry can make a big difference to the quality of your instruction. Chef instructors can help teach you short cuts to efficiency, techniques and skills that will otherwise only be learned through years of work.

How much time is spent in the kitchen?

Working as a culinary professional demands in-depth, hands-on skills so a focus on practical sessions over theory is important.

How often are students graded and what is the classroom size?

Having frequent tests and practical quizzes keeps students on their toes and strengthens the understanding of fundamental concepts, which helps immensely in the industry. Additionally, a healthy teacher-student ratio allows for better individual attention.

Are there internship and placement programmes?

Most culinary institutions include an internship programme as part of the curriculum. Internships are valuable experiences which offer students real-world working conditions. Many schools do not offer placements, but for those that do, students can expect jobs quite quickly if they do well.

Can I be a vegetarian in school?

Many students have dietary restrictions for ethical, religious or health reasons. However, they may still have to cook with ‘prohibited’ ingredients. Typically, they find a way around it – they could give up for the duration of the course, or taste the dish until the ‘prohibited’ ingredient is added – getting a fellow student to taste instead, or judge the preparation based on sight, sound and smell.

Is there accommodation and financial assistance?

For degree courses, it can help to be located close to school. Some culinary schools offer hostel accommodation while others may help students locate appropriate lodging. Culinary programmes can also be expensive, so it helps to look for financial assistance if provided – through loans and scholarships.

Cruise Ship Chefs & Instagram

Cruise Ship Chefs & InstagramInstagram is the most widely used photo and video-sharing social networking service in the world, with more than 800 million users as of September 2017. Used well, it can be an excellent launch pad for new businesses, help immensely with sales and marketing, and generate business.

For cruise ship chefs, Instagram is a great way to set the tone for future ventures and showcase abilities. On board, you will be sending out thousands of meals in a single day; with a variety that boggles most minds. You can use Instagram to create a visual resumé of the food you create to better your prospects. Here are a few tips to take better photographs for Instagram:

KNOW YOUR PHONE

Today’s phones offer innumerable options for photographs. Take test shots on your phone to understand how it works in different lighting conditions and how its various manual settings affect the image.

Knowing how your phone responds to various settings will help you take quick decisions in the galley for the perfect photo.

PLAY WITH LIGHT & ANGLES

Almost every notable Instagram influencer advises using natural light for better images. But this is not always possible on board. If you are a cruise ship chef working a barbeque close to deck or a pastry chef doing demos outdoors, it might be possible. But down in the galley, you will almost always be depending on artificial light.

In this case, use it as best you can, ensuring that the light is always away from you and not behind you to avoid shadows on your food. Use white napkins to help bounce light back onto your dish or the torch from a friend’s phone to light up a specific spot in your frame.

You don’t always have to take photographs from the same angle either. Switch it up now and then to get a better picture of your food. Try a 45 degree angle or a close up shot or even an overhead shot to bring the dish into focus.

FOCUS ON THE FOOD

Ensure that the food is always the main focus of your photograph. Keep the phone steady so you avoid blurred images, and find a focal point for your image. It could be the gooey layers of a chocolate cake, the mélange of colourful items on a Buddha bowl or a steaming cup of coffee.

Additionally, it might be interesting to add some action into your photograph. Perhaps include the process of making food – a cutting board with knife and vegetables that are indicative of the dish you are about to make, a smoothie or tea being poured, a ratatouille being placed in the oven.

Colour makes a big difference to photographs on Instagram so if your dish has colour, take a picture or two. Sometimes, the serving dish can bring out the colour of the food – perhaps a black plate with a dollop of creamy hummus and a vibrant garnish on the side.

TAKE SEVERAL SHOTS

That said, take time to compose your photograph. Even though you can now take horizontal and vertical photographs on Instagram, it remains a predominantly square medium.

One useful practice is to remember the rule of thirds – a classic composition strategy in which you divide your frame vertically and horizontally in thirds. The main focus of your photograph should rest where the lines intersect – typically a third of the way from the top or bottom, and right or left.

Once your photograph has been composed, take multiple images. Sometimes, the image is fuzzy, has a shadow, or your arm is bumped by mistake in the galley. Taking a few options allows you to later choose the best one to upload.

POST-PROCESS

Finally, don’t be afraid to tweak the image here and there. It’s best to avoid filters, say Instagram bloggers, and instead use photo editing apps like Snapseed and Afterlight that mimic some of the features of Photoshop.

With these, you can adjust colour saturation, brightness, warmth and more, but sparingly. The key is to use it to make the photograph look better, not fake. The food in your photograph should look appetising and interesting.