Training – August 12, 2020
When a seafarer joins a new ship, there are two people they want to get to know. The first person, of course, is the captain. The second is the cook. The cook is one of the most important people onboard. He has the power to bring you smiles or tears and rain or sunshine. In normal life, dissatisfaction with your meal means you can just go somewhere else or order a takeout at your favourite food place. Do you not like the food onboard? Your only other choices available are bread or noodles.
Not everyone can be a good cook. During my years at sea, and the time I have spent onboard several ships, I have experienced my fair share of good and bad cooks. Sure, some cooks are bad due to a genuine lack of skill, but many fail simply due to a poor work ethic. I believe that the quality of a cook usually depends on his attitude. If his heart is set on providing good food to the seafarer, then the taste will surely follow.
I once had a cook who paid careful attention to everyone during mealtimes. If he saw that someone was unhappy, he would immediately try to remedy the issue. Was there something they did not like? Was there another type of meal they would have preferred instead? If, for whatever reason, someone had any dietary restrictions, he would be sure to accommodate them as well, always preparing alternative meals. Who could complain about a cook like this? (Of course, we all gained weight substantially during this experience.)
Being at sea, far away from the people you love and the places that you stay, it is extremely easy to get homesick. Good cooks can whip up the seamen’s local delicacies, bringing them a little taste of home where there was none.
There are a couple of other things that he must do as well. The key principles of good hygiene do not only apply to himself but also to his working area. It is not only the level of tastiness that is important, but also the nutritional balance presented in the meals that he provides. Therefore, it is crucial that he be a nutritionist as well, for the sake of the people that he serves. Lastly, having good management skills would definitely come in handy, so that he can manage the provisions within the budget provided.
With all that in mind, Uniteam Training is providing Cook Upskilling training to encourage our existing cooks to upgrade their technical skills.
It is a five-day course, during which the cooks are trained by an experienced trainer on a wide range of subjects including: safe behaviour in the galley, personal hygiene, food safety, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) methodology, menu preparation, as well as the practical cooking of international meals including some local specialties of different nationalities. Also included are training in a working knowledge of table service, stock control, waste management, and understanding of MARPOL requirements.
We are confident that with everything they learn from this course, combined with a winning attitude, our cooks will be able to make everyone onboard happy and raise their morale greatly. Get ready everyone to exercise more frequently to deal with your impending weight gain. Cheers!
Tin Maung Tun, Training Director, Uniteam Training