Cruise ship chefs: Travel, cook and get paid!

There’s a growing breed of youngsters straying away from career paths traditionally chosen by their families. Many have a passion for food and travel, which can be expensive as on-the-side hobbies when you work run-of-the-mill jobs you don’t really enjoy. The smart and able ones turn these passions into jobs, and everyone knows that if you love your job, it ceases to be one.

Cruise ship chef jobs are something like that. Working on board offers you the option to indulge in your favourite hobbies of travelling and cooking at the same time, all the time. Being paid wages that are higher than land-based jobs of a similar level is just an added bonus.

The main point here is that cruise ships never go anywhere boring, and they never serve anything boring. Their aim is to give guests the time of their lives and entice them into coming back for more, or at the least, give them a top-notch review. This means, as a chef on board, you get to cook all the dishes you’ve dreamed of and visit places you thought were the stuff of wishful thinking.

Itineraries are often what you’d expect on a celebrity vacation page – the Caribbean islands close to south America, Alaska in north America, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean in Europe, Cape cruises in Africa, the islands of Australasia and delightfully colourful Asian cruises. Each port is as breath-taking as the last, and your social media feed is sure to be the envy of all your friends.

Double that up with your love for cooking and you have a winner! Cruise ship menus are far from ordinary. While they will have staples such as classic pizzas, burgers and other comfort food, you can work your way up to a specialty restaurant, where an experience will carry you a long way in the rest of your career.

Many top celebrity chefs have opened restaurants on cruise lines. America’s Guy Fieri has his Burger Joint on Carnival, Japan’s Matsuhisa Nobu serves his signature dishes on Crystal ships, America’s Todd English has his restaurant on Cunard, America’s Geoffrey Zakarian is on the Norwegian ships along with compatriot Buddy Valastro’s Carlo’s Bake shops, Frenchman Jacques Pepin features on Oceania, Australia’s Curtis Stone on Princess Cruises, as well as Britain’s Jamie Oliver, America’s Michael Schwartzand Devin Alexander on the Royal Caribbean.

Work is hard, but when you love travelling and cooking, being a cruise ship chef is like a dream come true.