Usually, a yacht chef is in a department of one. On larger yachts, there can be a crew chef or a sous chef, or both. And with larger numbers of souls in the galley, general upkeep, cleaning and maintenance is scheduled and completed.
But what if you are the only one in the galley? Do you schedule time for maintenance and cleaning or does it happen only when you have time?
Granted, with everything chefs have going on, from cooking, prepping, stocking, shopping, inventory and budgets, it’s hard to schedule time for routine cleaning and maintenance. Even simple things like knife sharpening can get forgotten if it’s not part of a routine. And I can say that busy charter chefs can’t always keep their galleys as clean as they want. I have walked onto charter yachts and seen crumbs in a drawer near the silverware or stains near the under-counter lights.
If you find that scheduling maintenance for cleaning the galley or taking care of the necessary upkeep bites into your cooking time, here are several tips that might offer solutions.
Too many times, I have walked into a new galley and was greeted by the captain or chief stew and the first thing out of their mouth was how dirty the last chef left the galley. I have never seen a galley really dirty, but they almost always need a good cleaning.
If you want to be called back to work another charter, or even remembered for how good a chef you were, take the time to clean your galley to the point of spotless. The stews will definitely remember that they didn’t have to go behind you to clean it. More importantly, the captain will remember it, too. Don’t be that “dirty” chef. Work as a team to keep the galley maintained.
Mary Beth Lawton Johnson is a certified executive pastry chef and Chef de Cuisine and has worked on yachts for more than 25 years. Comments on this column are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.