After nine months of classes, document gathering and, four trips to Louisiana, last week I was hired as an OS Cook in the GOM for ECO.
They don’t have a boat/ship for me yet, so I am at home north of Houston, packed and waiting for my call. It could take several weeks to place me.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Intend to work toward my AB.
Would like to fly to and from work, but am not sure if that works.
I don’t want to change anyone or anything, I love to cook and work hard to keep my crew happy.
Advice from mariners who have worked for ECO about what to expect, and tips for success with the company would be greatly appreciated.
Charlotte, IMO cooking is one of the hardest positions aboard. Once aboard you typically work alone with no one to help ease the learning curve of life at sea on an OSV.
Try not to take things personal. Everyone has different tastes and you aren’t going to please all with your menu. Go ahead and accept that. Crew comes from all over the country and that leads to alot of different dietary preferences.
Try to vary menus. Some cooks fry EVERYTHING others nothing. Variety is the spice of life. Bring cookbooks or print out some ideas. Be open to menu ideas from crew then look up recipes to see if its viable to try.
Observe consumption volume. There is a fine art to enough food without blowing a budget with waste. It’s frustrating to the crew when there just isn’t enough to go around. Some boats have more “heavy hitters” at the food line than others. Ask about any food allergies, ect. Some guy don’t eat pork or seafood or whatever and having an alternative for those guys goes along way.
Every boat is different but you have already shown the one attribute I really look for in a new cook, or any new crew member for that matter, caring. Show that you take pride in your job and want to do your best to keep the crew fat and happy and you will be fine.
Charlotte, rigdivr nailed it. I totally agree with him. Side note: I am currently sailing as an AB on a tug/atb unit. We have anywhere from 7-9 people in board. I am the cook for my 2 week hitch. I write a menu every hitch. I also keep inventory of every single can, box, bag, spice etc etc etc. This inventory will greatly decrease your time and effort to write a menu. I have the pickiest crew I’ve ever cooked for. Fortunately for them I really enjoy cooking. I come from the restaurant industry. .both front and back of the house. The mate doesn’t eat anything with butter, the 2nd mate can’t eat anything with a hoof or shrimp, the engineer doesn’t eat pork, the tankerman doesn’t eat any seafood. Clearly a difficult task at first to please everyone. 14 day hitch equals 2 days for each person for whatever they like. Taco Tuesday with turkey meat is a HUGE HIT. When I cook pork I have beef ready for the engineer. When I do seafood…I have leftovers for the tankerman. You can’t ever go wrong with whole chicken in the oven. After the carcass is left, cook it down and make homemade chix stock…use the meat for chix salad the next day. Those are just a few things I do. For the menu, rotate days as such: beef-chicken-fish-pork-turkey amd repeat. Don’t get discouraged with whiners. You can’t please everyone…believe me I’ve tried. Hit me up if I can help. Oh and start a menu book…take note of what most people liked vs didn’t like. Good luck.
Sorry I wasn’t clear. I decided to work offshore in January. I already know how to cook, just had to research your industry and do what it takes to get the job. Didn’t find gcaptian until August. Could have saved myself a great deal of time and effort if I had had an opportunity to read through these forums in January. There is a wealth of insight and information offered with agreat deal of compassion and a little bull.
I’d guess it was 9 months to get all the documents, maybe take BST, and find a job. If you had to keep a job in the meantime to pay the bills I can understand it taking that long. Sometimes people run into difficulties. Congrats on the job.
[QUOTE=RubberRhib888;119808]I didn’t have any intention of insulting you. or your culinary skills.[/QUOTE]
GREAT ADVISE here, however, if the cook tries to run the galley like a restaurant with separate dishes for each individual, they are in for a very long tour. Set the menu, if they don’t like it, adjust. Most important, run your galley, do not let the crew run it for you. When it comes to stowing provisions and cleaning, if they help out, then a favorite dish is a good idea.
“The first person to complain cooks the next meal”. That’s the rule on here. Its one thing to work around a food allergy, but alot of people take it to far, this is a tugboat not a cruise ship. Good luck on your new job, a great cook is always appreciated.
[QUOTE=seacomber;119811]… however, if the cook tries to run the galley like a restaurant with separate dishes for each individual, they are in for a very long tour. Set the menu, if they don’t like it, adjust. Most important, run your galley, do not let the crew run it for you…[/QUOTE]
That right there is great advice, and not just for a cook. Let the crew know you will accept complaints or requests on your terms not theirs. Not just whatever and whenever something happens to pop into their head and you’re busy or tired.
[QUOTE=z-drive;119810]I’d guess it was 9 months to get all the documents, maybe take BST, and find a job. If you had to keep a job in the meantime to pay the bills I can understand it taking that long. Sometimes people run into difficulties. Congrats on the job.[/QUOTE]Its taken me a year so far.
GREAT ADVISE here, however, if the cook tries to run the galley like a restaurant with separate dishes for each individual, they are in for a very long tour. Set the menu, if they don’t like it, adjust. Most important, run your galley, do not let the crew run it for you. When it comes to stowing provisions and cleaning, if they help out, then a favorite dish is a good idea.[/QUOTE]
Well said. Fortunately I’ve never let the crew run me. I’ve also never made a separate dish for each crew member. I have however made meals upon request. And Bargemonkey is correct…the first to complain makes the next meal. Also, don’t let the crew get away with leavng the galley a mess. I’m sure “tug life” cooking is different from OSV cooking. I do all the shopping for my crew. We don’t have food delivered.