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post #1 of 56 Old 02-24-2013 Thread Starter
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The definition of I can cook

I've been working on getting whatever certifications and skills that might make me a better crew or captain.
One skill that I have noticed that comes up often is that of cooking. The context is something like "We picked up Bill in the Keys because he said he could cook and seemed to know his way around a boat."

I'm very nervous about putting something on my resume that inflates my skills.
While I cook for my family almost every day my skills are very limited.
I try to cook gluten free so usually just cook a vegetable and make a steak or turkey cutlets or pork roast and that is the extent of what I do.

I can do scrambled or over eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, quonia or put together a sandwich and throw some crackers and cheese on a plate.
As you can see my abilities are very limited.
Also my cooking aboard so far has been either at anchor, dock or mild conditions.
I have no problem cleaning up after someone else. At least that is something I know I can do.

So if you saw "Can Cook" on someones sailing resume what level of cooking skills would you expect.

Needless to say during the interview I would elaborate but maybe I can learn some new tricks this winter.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.

Last edited by davidpm; 02-24-2013 at 05:46 PM.
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post #2 of 56 Old 02-24-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

FWIW if I saw that someone listed the ability to cook on their resume I would expect that they could, without help, prepare appropriately portioned meals for the crew of whatever size. I wouldn't expect gourmet. I would expect edible, not wasteful of the supplies, and mindful of portions. I would expect nothing unusual dietary wise such as low cal, vegan, or anything along those lines without prior discussion and agreement.

Just my opinion

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post #3 of 56 Old 02-24-2013
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you might consider looking at your local community college and see if they have any cooking classes. we do and they're pretty good ;-)
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Re: The definition of I can cook

"quinoa" and "gluten free"... have you thought about crewing on an engineless wharram cat?

Dude, if you can do more than simply slap bologna on bread, you're hired.
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post #5 of 56 Old 02-24-2013
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Re: The definition of I can cook

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Originally Posted by bljones View Post
"quinoa" and "gluten free"... have you thought about crewing on an engineless wharram cat?

Dude, if you can do more than simply slap bologna on bread, you're hired.
Hey we eat quinoa with dried staes and apricots as a starxg a lot and dont own a cat

Its quite tasty with bologna


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post #6 of 56 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
I've been working on getting whatever certifications and skills that might make me a better crew or captain.
One skill that I have noticed that comes up often is that of cooking. The context is something like "We picked up Bill in the Keys because he said he could cook and seemed to know his way around a boat."

I'm very nervous about putting something on my resume that inflates my skills.
While I cook for my family almost every day my skills are very limited.
I try to cook gluten free so usually just cook a vegetable and make a steak or turkey cutlets or pork roast and that is the extent of what I do.

I can do scrambled or over eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, quonia or put together a sandwich and throw some crackers and cheese on a plate.
As you can see my abilities are very limited.
Also my cooking aboard so far has been either at anchor, dock or mild conditions.
I have no problem cleaning up after someone else. At least that is something I know I can do.

So if you saw "Can Cook" on someones sailing resume what level of cooking skills would you expect.

Needless to say during the interview I would elaborate but maybe I can learn some new tricks this winter.
T37 had a good suggestion

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. As T37 will atest everyone thinks they can cook and are a chef.

The rubber meats the road when you do it for a living and people can criticise or you cook for other than your family ( like a crew of guys on a delivery) who wont necessarily be nice to you.

Saying you are a good cook on advertisement would mean you were better than most. Saying you are a capable cook would mean you can cook the basics..meats, stews, soups, pasta, roast, broil, etc. saying you can handle the basics means you can open cans and make bolgna sandwiches... no disrespect meant. Its all according to your skill levels and I know what you are asking here is you dont want to misrepresent yourself and ccreate unrealistic expectations. A Good cook is great for a delivery and good for morale. You want to see a great cook read Sequitars antics...now hes the bomb inclusive with the wine pairings. Its amazing he stays so thin.

When T37 and we raft together we dont try and out cook each other, but he always makes something good ( with no recipie).
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post #7 of 56 Old 02-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: The definition of I can cook

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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. As T37 will atest everyone thinks they can cook and are a chef.
Now that is a very useful way to look at the problem.
IE: Here is $200 bucks go get the grub for 4 for guys for X days.
That gives me something specific to think about.
As far as doing it without written recipes, I'm willing to cheat and print a few out and accidently leave them in my duffle.

What would be some sample basic nutricious balanced meals that you are talking about?
As I explained my home cooking is very, very simple and maybe not suitable for a cruise.

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It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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post #8 of 56 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
One skill that I have noticed that comes up often is that of cooking.
Good question. What do you want to accomplish?

If you're signing onto a megayacht OR a small boat that is doing the ICW or Bahamas on a casual basis, the focus on technique and recipes is appropriate. I put myself in the talented amateur category in this space.

If you want to be crew on medium (a week) to long (a month) deliveries and passages the game changes. On these kinds of trips the cook is usually the steward and agent. You need to work with the skipper (unless you are the skipper) to understand allergies and medical conditions, including sensitivity to motion sickness. You need to be able to turn a meal plan into a shopping list and provision the boat for 13-15 USD/person/day, including snacks. You need to be able to wedge yourself into the galley and crank out three meals a day no matter how bumpy things are. You need to adjust the meal plan and portion sizes based on sea and crew conditions. You need to be thinking days ahead all the time. Everything changes (again) based on boat outfit. Do you have a reefer? A freezer? How are you doing on ice?

Example:

First day out, early departure, lunch of sandwiches (bread won't last long and neither will deli meat). Dinner of roast pork loin and vegetables - make lots.

breakfast - yogurt and bagels (bagels won't last long). Lunch knock out the rest of the sandwiches. Dinner pasta and sauce with salad (lettuce won't last long, hard cook eggs in with the pasta)

breakfast - yogurt and oats with fruit (fruit doesn't last long) lunch - egg salad sandwich (mayo isn't a problem and you can always make it from scratch). Dinner roast or grilled chicken and whatever looks like a salad, including any leftover hard-cooked eggs.

breakfast - scrambled eggs and sausage or soy replacement. lunch - leftover pork sandwiches and cookies dinner grilled fish (if you caught anything) or a stir-fry (what depends on freezer or not).

breakfast - frittata with leftover stir-fry. lunch - chicken salad from leftover chicken dinner - kielbasa and sauerkraut and cole slaw (cabbage lasts longer than lettuce).

There's nothing magic about this plan. It's all about realizing you only have what you leave the dock with and that the more value you can get from each cooking evolution the better for everyone.

On delivery you have to see the boat before you shop because you don't know what you have in terms of infrastructure (reefer, freezer, pots & pans, knives, appliances).

My plan with a stick blender and inverter will be very different from dealing without. No oven? New plan. If I don't have an oven but do have access to a hardware store before pushing off the dock the options increase.

Very long answer to a short question, so I'll return to my first point: what do you want to do?
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Talking Re: The definition of I can cook

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Originally Posted by bljones View Post
"quinoa" and "gluten free"... have you thought about crewing on an engineless wharram cat?

Dude, if you can do more than simply slap bologna on bread, you're hired.
Thanks for that. I've helped provision several boats already and the discussion about food was always very interesting.
Some people love their food on a boat. 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.
One caption solved the problem nicely by buying a frozen lasagna pan. He had 7 wide mouth thermoses. Pop the pan in the oven and when it was ready passed up the thermoses and a spoon.
It was very rough trip but you could still eat hot food. It was great.
Our very own bene505 did something similar but his pan was grandma made.
So their are ways to have good food if your skills are minimal.
No reason why I can't improve my skills however.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.

Last edited by davidpm; 02-24-2013 at 08:42 PM.
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post #10 of 56 Old 02-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: The definition of I can cook

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Very long answer to a short question, so I'll return to my first point: what do you want to do?
Wow that was great. I'm willing to soak up any wisdom you have on this subject from three days to three months.

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.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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