Food, Glorious Food! February 27, 2016
I was able to take a short tour of the main kitchen for the ship (tours of various places are offered to guests when time permits), and thought you might enjoy some of what I learned. The ship holds 1,000 passengers, and crew of 655. The staff of the galley for the main kitchen is 100 people, and they work hard. There is a large main dining room, and food is served at several other locations on the ship (including high tea each day).
A shopping list for each leg of the cruise is prepared on board, and emailed to the Crystal purchasing department in Los Angeles; the purchasing dept makes arrangements around the world for purchase, delivery to the pier, and quality/freshness checks. Food that is accepted is stored in various places (special meat lockers, produce coolers, etc.) until is needed for meals. Fish is always fresh, so it’s brought on board in most ports.
The breakfast team (10 chefs, cooks and assistant cooks) starts in the main dining room at 5 a.m., and the race is on to prepare and serve breakfast throughout the ship (staterooms, the main dining area, the buffet areas).
At 7:30 a.m. lunch and dinner preparations begin, and the work continues until everyone’s final meals are served (generally 11 p.m.), and the dishes, glasses, silverware, pots and pans are cleaned and put away. The night cleaners finish their work in the galley just before the 5 a.m. breakfast team starts all over.
There are 7 pastry chefs and 4 bakers on board, as well as 15 people who prepare cold dishes, and 6 people who deal with fresh vegetables, pasta and soup dishes. There’s a butcher shop, dedicated coffee pantry staff, sauciers and fish prep team. Ten dishwashers are joined by a team of 4 people who scrub and polish the pots, pans, skillets, etc.
Here’s some data for those of you who like numbers; the daily average service of various food items follows:
- Ice cream * 170 quarts
- Salads 200 lbs
- Fruit 2,000 lbs
- Cooked veg’s 2,000 lbs
- Pasta 150 lbs
- Beef 500 lbs
- Poultry 850 lbs
- Fish, seafood 750 lbs
- Coffee 100 gallons
- Eggs 2,300
- Milk 90 gallons
*Ice cream is top priority for those who live near Hoffman’s!
So I guess Joe and I will not be complaining when we get back to NJ and have to prepare our own little meals for 2! Hopefully our guests will benefit from what we have learned about good food while on this trip!