So I’ve been working in kitchens for years. The whole time, I’ve been trying to figure a way out. So I decide to get on a ship. I’m thinking deck or engine. I’m waiting at the hall and boom I get my first job. They put me on as a SA, “o my god.” Then they decided it’s going to be a rotary job and I’m going back. I see what’s going on I’m looking at what they’re doing and at this point I figure ok I’m just going to stay in the stewards. The pay is good and the work is not hard. I really like that they have a very clear path to upgrade. I like cooking and working in kitchens, but I just don’t like the pay and no insurance of working in the kitchens shore side. I guess my big question is what do you think makes a good steward? What can a person do to make a positive impact on the crew? The crew on the boat I was on did not like the steward but I think that had more to do with personality than skills in the kitchen. So like I said, I’ve been in the kitchen for 5 plus years but I think I can be better. I’m going to do a culinary program when I finish my next 120 days and I’ve also applied to a bakery program in 2019. If you have any ideas about what makes a good steward, please sound off.
I’m not a steward but I am a captain and from my perspective the best stewards can maintain a budget, manage their department efficiently, and have enough computer skills to properly prepare orders and overtime sheets. Managing the department is something I rarely find in relief stewards. My permanent is very good at it. Doesn’t get hung up on being everybodies friend. I also focus heavily on sanitary standards so the boxes and galley must be inspection ready at all times. Lastly, and this is probably the biggest one, but can’t be trained or managed is taking pride in your work. I see too many stewards and chief cooks for that matter that objectively speaking do not have an interest in cooking. This is fundamental in my opinion and if you do not enjoy preparing food for people as well as constantly want to improve your processes and performance, you are going to be miserable and it will manifest itself in your overall performance.
You sound like the kind of galleyhand I’d like to see climbing the gangway. I think you’ll do just fine if you continue with this conscientious attitude.
Great answer Sir. Thank you!
If someone approaches you with a food allergy or special diets accommodate them. Some cooks are great about this but I would not even say a lot are. Usually if someone is approaching you with a special diet or food allergy they can give you an idea of what you can do to accommodate them within reason. It sucks having next to nothing to eat for a whole hitch. Also, we aren’t all trying to die of heart attacks cook vegetables and meats that aren’t breaded and deep fried which also gives options to people with food allergies depending on how it’s prepared.
I know I I did not answer you right away but I heard you because of you post I took a food allergies online course. Thank you for the input.
Maybe my article would help you a little- http://usmerchantmariner.com/galley-prep-for-a-first-time-cook/. I think being consistent is important. Planning a well balanced menu, listening to constructive criticism, and work towards improvement. I saw a sign at a school today, “Show Up. Do the work. Be positive.”
I appreciate you more than you know man!