Challenges of running a Galley amid global impacts highlighted by MCTC on International Chefs Day


Catering management specialists MCTC is shining a spotlight on the challenges Galley Cooks deal with onboard, including a lack of provisions, catering for different nationalities, and putting crews’ needs before their own, on this year’s International Chefs Day.

As the world has struggled with cost of living and supply chain crises over the past year, MCTC has highlighted the vital work of the role of the Galley Cook on this special day and the challenges they face, as industries show appreciation for Chefs across the globe.

The shortage of supplies has been a particular challenge for Galley crews in 2023 due to the global supply chain crisis, which in turn can impact the smooth running of the Galley, says Culinary Training Consultant Costas Georgakoudes (pictured).

He said: “Not having the correct provisions is a particular challenge for Galley crews currently. Not only does it impact on their organisation of the Galley, but it can also lead to resentment from other crew members. They look forward to a particular meal they often enjoy with their families at home and if that is not available for whatever reason, the Chef must deal with the upset among their colleagues. It is a constant pressure to perform and deliver the right meals for crews.”

International Chefs Day recognises the hard work, passion, and determination of the role of the Chef and highlights the importance of inspiring our next generation to enter the profession of catering. As part of their own initiatives to work with the families of seafarers, MCTC annually holds sessions with the wives/partners and children of crews to teach them how to cook healthy and delicious meals while their loved one is away at sea.

To celebrate World Chefs Day MCTC’s team of Culinary Training Consultants have highlighted the challenging working environments of a Galley cook and why so many in the seafaring industry choose to work in the Galley.

Culinary Training Supervisor at MCTC, Tonia Drousiotou explained a successful Galley Cook would need a blend of culinary skill, adaptability, and efficient time management. Cooks must competently prepare meals while efficiently managing tasks such as menu planning, inventory control and adhering to safety protocols.

“Cooks are vital to sustaining the ship’s crew. It’s essential for all crew members to recognise the key role the Chief Cooks play, ensuring tasty meals and maintaining morale onboard. With tireless dedication and skill, the Cooks orchestrate the flavours that keep the crew nourished – a contribution deserving of sincere appreciation,” she said.

For the past two years running, MCTC has held the annual Cook’s Day on May 30th for the shipping industry, encouraging crews to come together and show appreciation for their Cooks by baking a cake.

Dominique Beato, Culinary Training Consultant at MCTC, added: “The hardest part of being a chef is having the mindset that you must put others before yourself, ensure everyone has eaten before you, endure long hours, sacrifice your holidays, special occasions and sometimes even sick days.

“Being a chef is about putting in the effort to prepare something even if your own needs will be compromised. We usually work during meal periods to ensure that everybody else gets to dine and nourish themselves properly. It is about being selfless. Cooks make these sacrifices because they enjoy catering to the crews needs and seeing them enjoy a delicious meal they have created.”