Waking up to the sound of the sea breeze and taking in the mesmerising view of the blue ocean is one of the best moments of the day for seafarers. Several Goans who are passionate about travel, cooking and adventure are seizing opportunities as chefs aboard cruise vessels; saving money on food, electricity and rent; and enjoying amenities provided by the industry whose demand for employees is growing in both scope and size every year.
If you have passion for cooking exquisite meals and travelling, applying for a position as a chef aboard a cruise ship is exactly what you need. Working onboard a cruise ship adds a lot of value to one’s resume and promises ‘a ship load’ of memories.
As a chef working in an esteemed cruise liner, you would find many similarities to shore-based jobs in starred hotels and restaurants. The most important is mastering the art of preparing menus and banquets, organising ingredients and stock and cooking with the finest quality produce.
Like any other job where one has to leave the comforts of home, it is common among employees to feel homesick in the first couple of months, especially those who are new to the industry. But the feeling soon dissipates when one encounters a multi-cultural crew onboard, many of who end by being close friends.
Since work hours can be so demanding companies typically sign contracts with cruise ship chefs that last between four and eight months and give them a few months off before the contract is renewed. This ensures one has time off as required by maritime law and one can spend quality time with one’s family. Other perks include no payment of bills, travel opportunities, scope for growth in one’s career and international work environment.
If you think a career as a chef in the cruise line industry is for you, there is only one obstacle in your way. All cruise liners look for chefs who have a degree from an accredited culinary school. One such school in Goa is the American College of Culinary and Language Arts. Situated in Margao, ACCLA is a culinary academy which specialises in professional culinary education and training, specialising in the field of cruise line culinary programmes.
A career as a chef in a cruise line industry is an incredible opportunity that will not only pay you to share your passion for catering and hospitality but will compensate your travel across continents, enable you to discover new cultures, traditions, places and people, make unbreakable bonds with your work mates and promises memories you will cherish for a lifetime.
(Writer is a student at College of Culinary & Language Arts (ACCLA), Margao)