Monthly Archives: October 2016

Smart Cooking To Keep Guests Satisfied

Cruise ship chef jobs vs Shore jobs

Cruise ship chef jobs are one of the many hundreds of on board positions that ensure the smooth functioning of the vessel as well as a great overall experience for guests. It’s a similar responsibility for those in hotel and restaurant kitchens on shore.

For both, the skills required are mostly the same – excellent culinary technique and a passion for cooking. But the environments are vastly different. The most vital is the type of contract one signs – cruise ship chef jobs require staff to stay on board for months at a time, away from family and friends and often work every day of the week. On shore, chefs get days off every week, and can see friends and family whenever they like – off work, of course!

Additionally, working on shore means you can enjoy the comforts of your own room at home every day. On board a cruise ship, crew cabins have restricted space and are most often shared, so there is little space for privacy.

Because work hours can be so demanding companies typically sign contracts with cruise ship chefs that last a few months – between four to eight typically – and give them a few months off before the contract is renewed. This ensures you have time off as required by maritime law.

On board, risks are higher so pay is usually commensurate with it. As a cruise ship chef you will enjoy a higher salary than your on-shore counterparts for the time you are on board, but none when you are on leave. Shore jobs offer you compensation that covers the entire duration of the contract, including a certain number of holidays and days of leave as well.

 When you work on board a ship, contract durations mean you will spend a big holiday – such as Diwali or Christmas – at home with family every once in a while. Shore jobs are not so lucky in this regard as these are the busiest times for the hospitality industry. Most holidays will be spent working.

Cruise ship chef jobs offer the opportunity to travel wherever the vessel goes, and this is often to some of the world’s most exotic ports. It depends, of course, on your duty hours if you are able to get shore leave and enjoy your time there. Onshore jobs are based in a single location. However, with hard work and at higher levels, big companies often hand select good candidates to lead restaurants at hotels in different locations.

 But wherever you choose to work, the fundamental skills are identical and working hard in both environments will ensure you do well at work.

Food habits on a cruise ship

This is the age of gratification, particularly more so when it comes to food. Eating habits and preferences are as varied as the guests themselves on a cruise ship. Being up to date with changing trends is part of a cruise ship chef’s job and knowing the subtleties of each style will impress not just guests but one’s superiors too.

Broadly, the world has classified eating habits into vegetarian and non-vegetarian, but these are far too loose for today. Vegetarians themselves are classified into lacto-ovo vegetarians, lacto-vegetarians and vegans. The first consume milk products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt as well as eggs, but no meat, poultry or seafood. The second will have milk products but no eggs, meat, poultry or seafood.

Vegans on the other hand subsist only on a plant-based lifestyle and will avoid any food with ingredients that come from animals. This includes milk products, eggs, honey and gelatin.Some are fruitarians and subsist mainly on raw fruit, nuts and seeds.

Cruise ship chefs must be aware that non-vegetarians are also sub-divided. Flexitarians eat mostly vegetables, but are not averse to trying out meat dishes on occasion. Pescatarians will eat vegetables as well as seafood and fish, often as the latter is considered a healthier meat option. Raw foodism follows a principle where only uncooked and unprocessed food is consumed. It mostly involves vegetables but can include meat dishes such as ceviche and sushi which is made of raw fish, beef carpaccio, steak tartare or koi soi.

Other prominent eating styles cruise ship chefs may come across on board include paleolithic diets, lactose-free and gluten-free eating habits. People usually follow the latter two as their bodies are unable to digest the sugar (lactose) and the protein (gluten) that exists in dairy and wheat products respectively. The former is more of a health diet in which people try to follow the food habits of cavemen in the belief that human digestive capabilities were not suited to processed foods. It involves eating seafood and lean meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and almost no dairy, grain, added salt or sugar.