What Is the Difference Between Cruise Ship Kitchens and Restaurant Kitchens?


Life aboard a cruise ship is quite candy. There’s a pool; masses of options for workout, rest and relaxation; unlimited libations; masses of sports; exciting ports of name and, of course, all you care to devour. Indeed, there’s meals seemingly anywhere, served at dining rooms and eating places, supplied at poolside snack bars, added to staterooms and constantly replenished at buffets. But how exactly does all this food live warm and fresh whilst being grew to become out around the clock? And how exactly do onboard kitchens fluctuate from restaurant kitchens?

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We had the opportunity to analyze firsthand whilst onboard Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Sky, which is one among six nearly-equal ships inside the cruise line’s fleet (a 7th may be unveiled in 2021). These expensive ships are surprisingly small, with most effective 930 guests and a duration of 745 ft (as opposed to, say, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, that could keep greater than 4,000 passengers and is 1,141 feet long), however in step with Viking Sky’s govt chef, the fundamental principles of how cruise deliver kitchens function are constant across the enterprise.

“Everything we serve is made on-board, from scratch, from breads to sauces,” the chef, who formerly served as head chef on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas (then the biggest deliver in the international), informed us. “Thousands of recipes are advanced by means of a corporate crew and stored on record, and the menu changes each day.”

The basics of the Viking Sky’s kitchen don’t differ an excessive amount of from the ones of high-give up restaurant kitchens; everything is just scaled as much as serve a far higher quantity of guests. Cruise ships, unlike a few restaurants, don’t get clean substances introduced every day, of direction. Raw elements are sourced based totally on which dishes are slated to be served, arrive at the start of the voyage and, relying on how lengthy the cruise lasts, are replenished at decided on ports of call. The inventory is meticulously cataloged and saved in big pantries, refrigerators and freezers.

Every morning at 7:45, the chef meets with his group (which includes sixteen sous cooks who run the numerous specific departments — bakery, seafood, bloodless appetizers, and so forth.) and goes over the plan for the day. He continues an eye fixed on provider at some point of the day, and at 5 p.M. He meets with them once more to taste all of the dinner menu’s dishes. If he notices any issues, the team has an hour to restoration them earlier than dinner carrier begins.

Once provider begins, orders arrive at the kitchen electronically; every waiter is prepared with an iPhone that sends orders to screens installed for the duration of the kitchen. When an order comes in, it’s handled just like it’d be at a pleasant eating place, shifting station to station till the dish is whole. An expediter then routes the order to the correct table.

There are approaches in which this kitchen differs from eating place kitchens, even though. For one, the kitchen body of workers works seven days a week, with no days off throughout their whole contractual period, which could last from 4 to 6 months (in the event that they’re no longer feeling nicely and want to call in ill, a doctor will examine them first). It may be grueling, but the end end result is a group that works fairly nicely collectively, like a properly-oiled system, leading to a always exquisite product.

The biggest distinction between cruise ship kitchens and restaurant kitchens, but, is a simple one: In order to prevent onboard fires, not anything is cooked over an open flame in a cruise deliver kitchen. This method that there aren’t any fuel-powered stoves or ovens and the best open flames in the kitchen are blowtorches used for crème brûlée. Instead, the whole thing is cooked thru electric stovetops and ovens, which the chef assured us the chefs get used to pretty speedy.


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