Ships Cooks – Jobs at Sea


Cooks are in great demand in merchant marine ships. These jobs not not only provide the cooks with high salaries but also gives them an exposure to some of the world’s most exciting cusines. This gives the cooks a chance to expand their horizons and exploit their capabilities to become a genuine cook, by cooking and preparing meals for people of different cultures and traditions. Its an ultimate learning process, where demands and expectations are high but so is the pleasure and excitement to work. Let’s take a look at the different opportunities that the shipping world provides for the cooking department.

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A General Overview

It is said that, "Coal drives the ship,and good food drives the crew". Good food is an integral part of the people on board, whether they

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are tourists whose majority of the time revolves around the food as they are on vacation, or ship personnel who, after a long and hard working day expect genuine and good food. Food not only has to be in abundance but also exceptionally good.

The main job of the cooks is to prepare and serve regular meals to the ship’s crew and passengers.The cooking department in mainly divided into two parts – Cooks and Stewards. Cooks do the cooking and the Stewards serve and attend to other needs of the people on board. All the job opportunities are classified under these two main categories. Let’s have a look at them.

Types Of Jobs


The Kitchen of the ship is known as the galley. The Chief or First Cook is the captain of the cooking department. He supervises the

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galley staff in preparing menus and requisition list. He assigns duties and delegates responsibilities to the galley staff. He along with the Chief steward prepare menus and plan the cooking process. If the meals are demanding, Chief cook himself makes them with the assistance of the kitchen staff.

Chief steward along with the duty of supervising the food preparation process,is responsible for maintaining the ship’s accommodation areas. They keep a record of all the accommodation requirements such as linens, bedsheets, furniture etc and order if there is a need for more.Second and Third cook assist the chief cook in preparation of meals and cleanliness of galley.

Apart from these there are many other assistants that carry out different chores of the galley.Most of the jobs listed below are applicable only to cruise ships

Chef de Partie is the one who is responsible for planning and execution of buffet meals. The person needs to have a good personality and excellent communication skills, as he/she will be directly dealing with the passengers and crew. A trainee cook is responsible for carrying out various cooking tasks and also assist seniors.


Crew cook or Crew mess-man is responsible for all the activities related to cleaning and maintenance as ordered by the First cook . He reports only to the first cook. Butcher and Trainee Butcher works directly under the First Cook.


Cruise ships have a different department in the galley itself that concentrates on preparing pastry.

Pastry Chef Supervisor is the one who looks after the coordinating and supervising the pastry staff. He gives orders to the staff, assigning duties. He must be someone having loads of prior experience in the same field. Assistant Pastry supervisor, Pastry Man and Pastry trainee works under Chef Supervisor, performing duties assigned by him.

Baker Supervisor and Assistant Baker Supervisor looks after the baking processes. Baker and Baker Trainee works under Baker Supervisor. Apart form them there are Galley cleaners who look after the cleaning and maintenance of galley. There are also Dish washers to assist them


All the main positions require a degree from a culinary school, including strong work experience of minimum 2-3 years. All the lower positions do not require a degree from a culinary school but an equivalent land based prior experience is a must. There are many opportunities for freshers too, but they also require some equivalent experience. There are many schools that provide training for these jobs.


State university career website

Cruise line employment- cvtips website

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