When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 81 Old 07-24-2013 Thread Starter
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When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

I see this skill listed by people looking to crew and wonder what possible advance dishes they could be cooking on most of these ships O.o

Like can I be a cook I make good omletes

Or do I need to make a full 3 course meal?
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post #2 of 81 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

There are cooks, and then there are good cooks. A good cook can be creative with a bowl of Wheaties. A good cook will plan every meal well in advance, and have the ability to supplement other ingredients when a called for ingredient is not available, and make that dish taste even better. Cooking is an art and believe me, not everyone that cooks is has the creative ability to produce a great meal each time they enter the galley. There's a reason that TV dinners and Chef Boyarde still exist.

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post #3 of 81 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

Omletes, No! But if you can make an Omelette, then you're a cook!
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post #4 of 81 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

To be qualified cook on a boat is dependent on the type of vessel one cooks upon.
On a commercial vessel, say a tug, fishing boat or freighter, a cook must produce great quantities of good food in the style of the nationality of the crew; American would be steak/fries, ribs/baked beans, pork chops/mashed, etc for dinner and what you would get in a diner, for instance, for lunch or breakfast.
A sailing voyaging cook must know how to prepare simple, hearty meals under any sea conditions, hopefully including a gale, too, but not necessarily.
A cook on an ocean racer must be able to produce high protein, large portioned and good meals under any conditions and normal is extreme conditions.
A cook on a charter boat or private yacht should be able to produce chef quality meals without the presentation. Eggs Benedict, salad Nicoise and a fresh lobster bisque, for instance.
Cooking properly aboard any vessel underway is a challenging occupation. The ability to plan and execute good, interesting, healthy, hearty food for anywhere from 8 to 22 hungry people over an extended period of time in which there are no markets available, is quite a skill.
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post #5 of 81 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

When someone says they can cook it could mean anything from being able to boil water to a chef who can prepare gourmet meals. There is no defined standard. It's up to the captain who is doing the hiring to determine the "cooks" level of competency.
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post #6 of 81 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

I'm reading a book, Mediterranean Summer by David Shalleck, about a professional chef who does a stint on a private sailing yacht for a season in Italy. Good stuff. Someone from SN recommended it. It has a lot about cooking with whatever is available locally and in confined spaces with the limitations that a yacht has.
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post #7 of 81 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

I would expect someone who lists that on a resume to be crew would be able to prepare a meal that you provision. So if you were planning spaghetti for dinner, you could point them to the supplies and they would put a good version on the table.

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post #8 of 81 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

I'm thinking that it is not so much about the cook's ability with the pots and pans as their ability to plan. If I was appointing a cook and while I'd prefer it if they didn't kill off the entire crew it is the planning and provisioning that is the key. Presuming we are talking about smallish boats here (say circa 50' and below) then eating on passage is always going to be something of a compromise and few chefs will be able to display the full extent of their talents nor are they expected to do so. Running out of rice and/or potatoes when you are two weeks from land is a whole other fiasco.

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post #9 of 81 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

I agree with TDW. The cooking part is the easy part. The planning is difficult.
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post #10 of 81 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: When someone lists cook as a skill what is expected?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
I agree with TDW. The cooking part is the easy part. The planning is difficult.
When the Admiral asks what I want to eat I reply that I navigate, route plan, check weather, steer, trim, provide security, do maintenance and manage the ships systems. I don't have any brain left for menu planning. Throw something out, I'll eat it.

Dale

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