chefs in kitchen

Cruise ship kitchens: A pot of culture

Cruise ship jobs, particularly in the galley, offer a great experience, not just in terms of work but also in terms of life learning. Cruise lines often have at least one multi-cuisine restaurant, no matter how big or small the vessel is. Guests come with different preferences, and this style of menu allows them a variety of choices.

Taking on a job as a cruise ship chef will be easier if you have experience with different styles of cuisine. Getting trained in a reputed culinary institute will also get you up to speed on the latest trends in various culinary cultures. But it isn’t just the dishes that are multi-national. The chefs on board come from a number of different places around the world too.

As a cruise ship chef, your colleagues and work mates could be from your home town, speaking your own language, or from anywhere around the world. It’s possible to have 20 or more nationalities working in the same kitchen every day. Working with people from your own community builds familiarity and comfort, but being with people from different places offers its own share of learning.

Most cruise companies require the chefs they take on to have a minimum level of understanding English, as this is a universal language learnt in most countries around the world. Being fluent in English is an added perk as it ensures you are able to follow instructions with ease and also communicate difficulties and issues without trouble.

Being in close quarters with so many nationalities also allows you to learn about cultures from various places. Often, throughout life, people are restricted to culture from their own communities, barely exposed to cultures even from other states in their own country. Religious norms, social life, and even hygiene practices can differ. Working with people from cultures different from your own will open your eyes to a global culture, an understanding and respect of other people’s beliefs, as well as tolerance.

It’s also a great place to learn a new language – or several if you wish! Hanging out with your chef mates from different places lets you swap treasured recipes you would never have come across even in a restaurant serving that particular style of food.

Influential American photographer Harvey Lloyd once said that “travel is like an endless university; you never stop learning”. With cruise chef jobs, this quote holds true all the more. The learning never stops – not with the pots and pans in the kitchen, or with the people you live and work with alongside.