An appetite to honour the people who prepare delicious, nutritious dishes for vessels’ crewmembers is the inspiration behind a new shipping industry celebration: ‘Cooks Day.’
MCTC, the international catering management provider to the maritime sector, will host the inaugural event on 30 May 2022 to recognise and express appreciation for the valuable role cooks play while at sea.
“The ship’s cook serves wholesome, nutritious, hearty meals that not only support seafarers’ physical and mental wellbeing, but also cater to any dietary requirements,” said Christian Ioannou, Group CEO at MCTC. “And they prepare food for culturally diverse crewmembers, creating dishes that remind them of home.”
Mr Ioannou added that mealtimes are crucial for engendering a community spirit among seafarers who spend months away from family and friends.
“Life aboard a vessel is very challenging,” he said. “When away from their loved ones, mariners often take comfort from the daily routine of eating alongside their colleagues.
“Mealtimes in the galley, the heartbeat of any vessel, draw people together for a communal activity where crewmembers can relax, chat, share stories or discuss the challenges of life at sea. Eating with others, particularly during religious or festive holidays, can also evoke memories of a special event or family occasion.”
Tips from MCTC on how shipping companies can pay tribute to their cooks before 30 May include:
• Encouraging vessels in the fleet to support this initiative and to raise awareness of the critical role that onboard cooks play;
• Sharing pictures with MCTC of crewmembers enjoying their favourite meals, which will be posted on the catering management company’s social media channels;
• Emailing MCTC with stories of how the cook has helped or supported crewmembers and colleagues;
• Recording a personal video message for the cook, thanking them for their work and contribution. The footage will be posted on MCTC’s social media channels and its website.
For the day itself, crewmembers can bake a cake (MCTC’s experts will provide all the ingredients and a step-by-step guide for making it) or organise a group photo with seafarers and the vessel’s cook holding a ‘Cooks Day’ banner.