One of the tests of a good chef is a person who can cook fish properly and produce good sauce. In many great restaurants young chefs are put onto one or other of those two applications for long enough periods until they get it absolutely right. A good sous chef is not always easy to come by and neither is one who can take the fruits of the sea and present to the customer seafood cooked to exactly the correct texture.
On ocean-going yachts there are two types of chef. There is the chef who just about understands which end of a can opener to use and then there is the chef who can prepare on his gravity controlled gas hob a fabulous fresh sea food dish with sauce and manage this all through a force 6 sea.
Many years ago in the Royal Navy a competition was held once a year to see which ship had the best set of chefs. The judge one year was an old sea Captain with nearly three decades of worldwide sailing under his belt. The winning ship was a small minesweeper with just one chef. The disgruntled twenty chefs of a large aircraft carrier wanted to know why their fabulous baron of beef cooked to perfection had not won the prize.
The old Captain told them that despite having the latest and best commercial kitchen equipment in the fleet and despite producing the best presented meal they had made the fatal mistake of removing the delicious beef from the huge steel oven and pouring the juices away!
The very latest and best kitchen equipment is found aboard all modern ships whether war ships or cruise liners. For professional crews who may be topside all shift in inclement weather, coming below decks to a warm galley to eat good piping hot food is an essential part of the day.
Modern kitchen equipment on large liners are designed by specialist companies which have to take into account everything from huge fast volumes of food sometimes being served in 24 hour restaurants, down to the complexities of things like ships-roll in heavy seas.
The latest biggest cruise liner recently launched has to cater for six and a half thousand passengers and three and a half thousand crew and entertainers. The commercial kitchen equipment is totally state of the art in the nine different restaurants.
It is a fact that people on a cruise eat more than they do at home. These modern cruise liners have to take on board phenomenal amounts of food and drink before a ten-day cruise. If the ship happens to have an itinerary which means calling at different places over a ten or fourteen day cruise then sometimes extra local victuals are bought on board. This may add a little to the variety but when profits are king the poor Purser has a huge responsibility in getting the stores quota just right with minimum wastage on these sea voyages.