Creating a well-equipped kitchen is a challenge in itself; add a temperamental sea, limited resources, and thousands of on-board passengers into the equation, and the challenge triples.
The galley must function with the utmost efficiency in order to provide the vast amounts of food required onboard a cruise or passenger ship. But how can this be made possible with restricted amounts of water, finite fresh produce, and most importantly, limited space?
Marine catering technology has come leaps and bounds, from self-cooking stations to clever food storage solutions, the marine catering market is vaster than ever. Creating a well-equipped galley is vital, particularly as guests are longing for the kind of speciality, gourmet experience you could expect from a land-based hotel.
So, what do you need to create a well-equipped galley?
"Individual à la carte menus instead of the big battle at the cold buffet, healthy food that is not fattening, opening times of bars and restaurants of 20 hours and more - this is where we are seeing the trend on cruise ships," Mikael Eliasson, Director International Key Account Marine at Rational
Accounting for the crew’s and guests’ safety on any marine vessel is always the priority. Ahead of efficiency and flexibility, equipment must minimize risks in the galley and ensure the crew are protected against any kitchen or marine-related hazards, especially when the sea is acting more foe than friend. To certify the crew’s safety Rational has incorporated special stands, along with slip-proof features and a secure bracket, to prevent trays and grids from moving around at sea.
Second to safety, space-saving is probably the most important aspect when it comes to equipping a galley. On a cruise ship with at least 5,000 passengers you can expect to find up to twelve distinct dining venues and as many as 20 bars, each being supplied with food throughout the day. Rational’s solution to serve this high demand is the SelfCookingCenter, allowing for fast production, reliable quality, and high flexibility in the galley. At the petite size of 55.5cm deep and 65.5cm wide, the SelfCookingCenter XS maximizes space in the galley – a must for cruise ships, expedition vessels, and other passenger ships.
Just like efficiency, convenience is key; in such a small space, too many chefs really can spoil the broth. To solve this issue, Rational has enabled kitchen staff to access the SelfCookingCenter XS via PC, tablet, or even smartphone using ConnectedCooking. On a large ship where having numerous eateries is commonplace, allowing the crew to access marine technology from afar is revolutionary and maximizes convenience.
When it comes to equipment and wares in a marine galley, less is more. Due to the space restrictions and strict safety standards, over-cluttering the galley with unnecessary equipment is a huge faux pas. Unlike a land-based kitchen where you’ll likely find all sorts of equipment from industrial coffee machines to ice cream makers, the galley must minimize its equipment to only the essentials. Another kitchen mainstay you won’t find onboard a marine galley is the microwave. It may be a staple for many of us working the 9-5, but on a cruise ship microwaves pose massive fire hazards so are a definite no-no.
“The creation of a perfect galley is dependent on the amount of guests, menu and type of serving. A good flow from storage to serving without cross contamination is essential. It is also of the utmost importance that the areas are easy to clean. A good working environment is created with the right choice of materials, lighting and trying to minimize noise levels. In order to achieve this we need a close cooperation with the end users during the entire process. After all, everything is in the eye of the beholder.” – Mikael Eliasson, Vice President of Sales, Loipart
Of all the pieces of galley equipment, metal trays are one of the most important to maintain the ship’s rigorous hygiene standards. When stocking up on food at port, produce is transferred from wooden palettes to metal trays, which can be easily cleaned and prevent contamination onboard.
Netherlands-based leading flatware supplier, Sola has recently launched what they consider to be an essential for any marine dining venue. The newly-announced Signature Collection combines versatility with contemporary design. Comprised of sustainable 18-10 stainless steel, the Signature Collection enables ship’s guests lifelong dining pleasure.