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  #11  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
I would say for saying you can cook you should be able to cook and season without written recpies. If someone gave you $200 to provision a boat you could come up with some basic nutricious balanced meals.
I'd expand on that and say they should be an opportunistic cook. In other words can you throw together something that tastes good with whatever foods and spices are in the galley? Or will you get thrown out of whack because you don't have X on board?

The same goes for provisioning from the quirky dockside market. They' may not have the brands you're familiar with.

And being aware that you're cooking on a boat. If you start the first day with bacon and greasy eggs you probably won't have a happy crew. When provisioning or cooking you have to allow for sloppy conditions and crew stomachs adjusting to being on board.

Oh, and what the hell is quinoa???
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
So if you saw "Can Cook" on someones sailing resume what level of cooking skills would you expect.
Yes, you cant cook.
Part of being able to cook is cooking things you dont like. (Hi I'd like a job as a cook but I only cook vegitarian)

Why dont you do a cooking course and learn to cook?

And.... imho anyone that says that in stormy weather they have to revert to sandwiches, frozen dinners or MREs is letting the side down! They are not cooking when the crew really neeeds hot high energy food. I love cooking at sea I haven't actually killed anyone yet and nobody has complained while I hold the meat cleaver...

Learn to cook, and do so at sea in all weather and you will be a better crew/capatain/owner etc.
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

I think you nail it when the word 'provisioning' enters the discussion. It's not simply a matter of being able to throw something together but to plan the menu for an entire passage or cruise.

That is not to put down anyone who can cook at sea in bad weather. I am in awe of anyone who can cook at sea, I confess we resort to salads and sandwiches or pre prepared meals warmed up. Cooking from scratch at sea is purgatory indeed.
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

Interesting discussion.

I'm going to say that a lot depends on managing the expectations of the captain and crew you might be joining. While most people can manage to toss some frozen entrees into the microwave at home that does not make them a cook, per se. Some folks might consider that frying up a couple of Bubba burgers, making some Mac'n cheese from a box and opening a can of canned peaches for fruit salad is all it takes to be a cook. A lot really depends on what kind of meals might be expected.

I have taken up the habit of bringing along my own traveling spice pack when I go for an overnight weekend on my friends boat. I bring along spices that I like that are not likely to be found in just any grocery store: cumin seeds, roasted ground cumin, ground and whole pepper corns, ginger, curry powder, saffron, thyme, rosemary and even salt. You never know what spices you will find in someone else's galley (expect nothing and you won't be disappointed) or know how long it has been sitting there in a hot cabin. I like to cook and while I would eat Bubba burgers that is not the kind of food I'm really partial to. With a judicious use of spices, technique and ingredients I can even make Broccoli taste good but some people actually like simply steamed (yech!).

The trouble is that not everyone really likes highly spiced or exotic tasting foods. You have to cook for the median taste of the crew rather than the extremes (like me).

I took a Thai cooking course and I like to make certain Indian dishes but not everyone likes food loaded with fresh ginger and fiery taste.
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

I like where this is going!

Recently we hired a cook in Greece on our boat. I was tired of cooking the same old stuff (SOS). SOS has many variances.

We had this AWSOME CIA trained chef from France, her mother (we later found out) owned a restaurant in Corfu.

Here is where it gets interesting:

it was a full three/four days until we realized...there was no meat. She cooked so well that we did not even realize we were doing Vegan! She knew people on each island that had "stuff". she would take the "stuff" and create "MAGIC". Linda and I had the best boat cuisine that I have ever had. She had a 1000 dollar budget for 4/10 days, she told us she spent ~350 bucks...YEP, keep the tip.

She was a MASTER! Eggplant mousse, layered with tomato, covered w/béchamel. with texture of a cloud!
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

Quote:
Originally Posted by hallucination View Post
I like where this is going!

Recently we hired a cook in Greece on our boat. I was tired of cooking the same old stuff (SOS). SOS has many variances.

We had this AWSOME CIA trained chef from France, her mother (we later found out) owned a restaurant in Corfu.

Here is where it gets interesting:

it was a full three/four days until we realized...there was no meat. She cooked so well that we did not even realize we were doing Vegan! She knew people on each island that had "stuff". she would take the "stuff" and create "MAGIC". Linda and I had the best boat cuisine that I have ever had. She had a 1000 dollar budget for 4/10 days, she told us she spent ~350 bucks...YEP, keep the tip.

She was a MASTER! Eggplant mousse, layered with tomato, covered w/béchamel. with texture of a cloud!
This is what the cuisine on T37Chefs boat is like.

On Haleakula we eat hot dogs...(Hebrew national or Nathans of course,) We do make our own baked beans with black beans and real molasses and smoke turkey,
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
For myself I'm always interested in the food at the market but as soon as the boat gets moving I only eat chips and nuts and crackers.
If you are the cook you have to cook for the crew and not for yourself. I came down with the flu on one trip and didn't want to eat anything. I drank chick broth for four days. I still cranked out three meals a day plus midnights. Stuff happens. You have to do your job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Wow that was great. I'm willing to soak up any wisdom you have on this subject from three days to three months.
Happy to help. Got a few oceans behind me and I love good food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
What would you get at the hardware store?
thinking about it based on what tools are available vs what food will last how long makes sense.
You MUST know what is onboard before you go shopping. On delivery I've had owners tell me they had everything on board to cook and there was one dull knife, a 6" pan, and a 2 qt pot. Ha.

On one trip the oven didn't work. Fortunately I checked before going shopping. We picked up a bunch of disposable aluminum foil pans at the market and a roll of silver furnace tape (not duct tape - that will burn, the metal adhesive tape). Two foil pans taped together across the burners gave me an oven of sorts for roasts and bread. Kludgy but it worked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
I'd expand on that and say they should be an opportunistic cook.
If you are offshore and your job is cook opportunism is no excuse. You show up at the boat and do an inventory. You have a plan for the passage plus 15-25% already in place. You have a shopping list based on the plan. You update both based on what you find and go shopping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
And being aware that you're cooking on a boat. If you start the first day with bacon and greasy eggs you probably won't have a happy crew.
No excuse for sending up greasy food on board. Work on technique. See T37Chef for that. Simply no excuse for greasy food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
And.... imho anyone that says that in stormy weather they have to revert to sandwiches, frozen dinners or MREs is letting the side down!
+1

When things get bad the cook really has to work. There may be people that can only keep broth down. Others may really benefit from a thick stew. You have to be cognizant of the potential for spills and other messes.

Priority one is to keep people hydrated. After that get calories and protein into them. You're not responsible for their long-term nutritional needs, you need to keep them alert and thinking and on their feet for the next few days. There is plenty of time for balanced meals and vitamins when you get to Fiji or the Azores. As cook/steward/agent you have to keep them functional for the boat. Unless you have a medical person on board you need to watch things like caffeine intake and try to watch for signs of constipation (a real problem for some people offshore).

In my opinion the freeze-dried, frozen dinner, MRE stuff is not for people.
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  #18  
Old 02-25-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

Dave,

Good to see you posting again.

You of course have some good meals when on board and value the good aspects of food preparation as well as keeping the crew well fed/ hydrated on deliveries/
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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

In all my crewing for other captain/owners for off shore or coastal (multi-day), somehow by default, I was always be the cook and medical officer on board. I don't have any specific training for as a on-board cook. But with a common sense and superb observational skills, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to be able serve gourmet meals on board. Over the years sailing I have perfected my cooking skills on a boat including under a blow.
Here is what I inform the captain about my policy, so there is no misunderstanding.
1. I only cook two meals a day. Crews need to help themselves if they are hungry between meals.
2. If I cook, I don't do dishes. Dishes must be clean and put away and galley and sink are clean and disinfected. All these must be perform with 2 hours after the meals. I can't stand dishes sit until the next day.
3. Prior the voyage, I need to know any food allergies and food dislikes or others.
4. I provision the food with my own money, prepared at home and vacuumed packed and frozen the day before.
5. The nite before departure, we will do the last minute provisioning for fresh veg. bread, cold cut meat, fruits, water, soda, eggs with other person's money.
6. I will responsible to pack the freeze/frig or ice box.
7. I don't cook with recipes. It is all in my head. I improvise and invent dishes depending what is on board. Cooking is a passion and art to me. After all these years, I have not lost a single patron yet.

My signature diskes
Crab Imperial or Crab cake or Phillips Crab bisque
Prawns scampi or Catsup Prawns (with Head)
Linguine with white clam sauce fortified sea scallop
Pho with beef balls and raw roast beef
Chicken wing in oyster sauce
Spareribs with garlic and Worcestershire sauce
Saute grilled raw Streak with Mushroom on the side
BBQ country style port chop

For the side, Jasmine rice or bread, pasta, noodle, fresh veggie
All my food is served on a dog bowl, never on Plate unless on hook. All the food is in bite size, no knife is needed. I don't cook if we are at the dock.


YMMV
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  #20  
Old 02-25-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

I think that I can cook. While I like to take a lot of time to research and create new recipes, I would say that maybe my best skill is cooking up a delicious and nutritious meal using what I've got. In preparation for sailing across oceans, I am learning to grow sprouts and make cheese. I love the idea of having fresh crunchy greens every few days, and I think that out in the middle of the ocean, a week away from land, would be an ideal place to make fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheeses to construct a wonderful lasagne dinner for the crew. I'm not prone to seasickness and have medical skills too. Our first meal that I cooked on our boat was angel hair pasta with bolognese sauce topped with fresh-grated parmigianno reggiano, served with garlic bread and steamed green beans with slivered almonds. This was paired with a bottle of red wine and dessert was tarte tatin.
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