Galley Career Advice

Yacht Galley Careers Advice

Role Responsibilities, Information & Qualifications

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Thinking Of Working In The Yacht Galley?

The position of Chef on board a yacht can be one of the most demanding and most rewarding all at the same time. Depending on the size of the vessel you may be responsible for cooking for crew or for guests, or under some circumstances, both. Keeping everyone well fed elevates moods and can determine the success of a guest/owner’s trip.

Positions, and number of Chefs in the galley depends on the yacht size and range from Galley Hand, Crew Chef, Sous Chef and Head Chef to Chef de Partie and Pastry Chef. With department sizes ranging from one person to 10.

What's the daily routine of working in the Yacht Galley?

When entering into the industry, a strong background in high-end restaurants and formal training is welcomed, as well as a desire to produce the highest quality dishes with local, fresh produce. All of these traits can be presented to clients through sample menu plans and food photos of your work.

Roles and responsibilities within the galley can vary, primarily you will be responsible for keeping guests and crew well fed with a varied diet, taking into consideration food intolerances and preferences. As well as daily maintenance and cleaning of the galley, fridges and stores.

More senior Chef positions will also be responsible for managing accounts and budgets, provisions, orders, maintenance schedules and planning and rota’s for others within the team.

What skills would be an advantage to applicants?

A formal training as a Chef is preferred, either as an apprentice in high end restaurants or through an established training college. As well as all the common yachting qualifications required by all crew members and a willingness to get stuck in and work hard it is mandatory to hold a Food Hygiene Level II and recommended that you hold a Ships Cook Certificate – for more information on this please visit our blog page.

Career Progression and Opportunities

Career progression can be gained through moving into roles with more responsibility, such as Crew Chef to Sous Chef or Sous Chef to Head Chef after substantial experience in each role.

Otherwise, Chefs could prefer to progress in the galley by stepping up on to larger yachts, sometimes taking a step back in title but allowing the opportunity to progress into more senior roles in the future on board larger yachts. For example, a Head Chef on a 60/70m might chose to become Second Chef on a 110m motor yacht before progressing to Head Chef on board.

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What qualifications do you need for each deck job role?

Skills & Experience

As Head of Department, you could be managing a team of anywhere between 2 to 10 chefs. In this role you will oversee all aspects of the galley, from provisioning, menu planning, supervising cleaning, maintenance and HACCP procedures as well as building rotas and work schedules.

You may also be expected to liaise directly with guests, discussing menu plans and preferences and working very closely with the Chief Steward/Stewardess with wine and food pairings, service times and menu preparation and provisioning.

The Head Chef is required to keep on top of accounts and work closely with the Purser/Captain in order to adhere to budgets.

Qualifications

Some of the key qualifications required to become a chef on a yacht include:

  • STCW
  • ENG1
  • Food and Hygiene Level II or III
  • Ships Cook Certificate (Dependent on flag state and number of crew on board)
  • Formal training (Preferred but not mandatory for all roles)

Skills & Experience

This is an excellent way for an accomplished shore-based Chef to take their first steps into a galley, taking a Sous Chef position allows you to learn from an accomplished yacht Head Chef.

You will be responsible for cooking for the crew, as well as assisting the Head Chef with guest food and plating. This is a collaborative role on board most yachts and once you become confident and competent you will be given more responsibility to assist with provisioning, menu planning and plating etc, for guests.

As Sous Chef you will most likely be expected to step up into the Head Chefs role in their absence.

Qualifications

Some of the key qualifications required to become a chef on a yacht include:

  • STCW
  • ENG1
  • Food and Hygiene Level II or III
  • Ships Cook Certificate (Dependent on flag state and number of crew on board)
  • Formal training (Preferred but not mandatory for all roles)

Skills & Experience

A Crew Chef can also be seen as an entry level role for shore based Chefs looking to enter the industry and learn how the galley works. The role can see you working in a small team with a Head Chef, or in a larger team under a Sous Chef and Head Chef or in even larger teams.

As Crew Chef you will be responsible for cooking a wide variety of hearty, healthy food for crew taking into consideration a range of food preferences and intolerances. On board some yachts this will require breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks and treats, others will only require cooked meals for lunch and dinner.

Qualifications

Some of the key qualifications required to become a chef on a yacht include:

  • STCW
  • ENG1
  • Food and Hygiene Level II or III
  • Ships Cook Certificate (Dependent on flag state and number of crew on board)
  • Formal training (Preferred but not mandatory for all roles)

Skills & Experience

A Sole Chef is a role is available on yachts between 30 and 55 metres. In this role you are in charge of all aspects of the galley; cooking for guests and crew, accounts, provisioning, maintenance, cleaning and menu planning.

Working closely with the interior team is vital in this role, liaising with the service team to ensure wine and food pairings, menu approval and guest satisfaction. You will also be responsible for liaising directly with the guests to discuss food preferences and menus.

You may be joined in the galley by a Stew/Cook who can assist as and when required with food prep, plating, cleaning and maintenance.

Qualifications

Some of the key qualifications required to become a chef on a yacht include:

  • STCW
  • ENG1
  • Food and Hygiene Level II or III
  • Ships Cook Certificate (Dependent on flag state and number of crew on board)
  • Formal training (Preferred but not mandatory for all roles)

Skills & Experience

This role is predominantly for candidates with little shore-based restaurant experience and formal training with a keen desire to become a chef.

As Galley Hand, you will be responsible for the daily upkeep and cleaning of the galley, fridges and storerooms, as well as washing dishes and assisting with food preparation and plating.

In order to undertake such a role, you must still hold all the relevant documents and qualifications as stated below.

Qualifications

Some of the key qualifications required to become a chef on a yacht include:

  • STCW
  • ENG1
  • Food and Hygiene Level II or III
  • Ships Cook Certificate (Dependent on flag state and number of crew on board)
  • Formal training (Preferred but not mandatory for all roles)

Skills & Experience

This role is prominent on yachts up to 30 metres, where there tends to be a more relaxed atmosphere on board. Here you’ll be responsible for maintaining the interior of the yacht (housekeeping and service) as well as cooking for crew and guests. You must be comfortable provisioning and menu planning, adhering to budgets and working to tight time constraints.

On yachts over 30 metres, a Stew/Cook might be a dual role with their time spent in both the galley and the interior. Assisting with cooking and cleaning as well as housekeeping and service. To work as a Stew/Cook you aren’t required to hold the same formal training or restaurant experience as a Sous Chef, Sole Chef or Head Chef. Instead, being an enthusiastic home cook who has taken some short culinary courses is sufficient.

Qualifications

Some of the key qualifications required to become a chef on a yacht include:

  • STCW
  • ENG1
  • Food and Hygiene Level II or III
  • Ships Cook Certificate (Dependent on flag state and number of crew on board)
  • Formal training (Preferred but not mandatory for all roles)

How to get into a role working in the Galley:

Speak to our experienced Galley consultant, Kelly!

Kelly grew up around the water, add that to her passion for travel and she knew yachting was the industry for her. In 2011, after graduating from University with a degree in French and Media Studies Kelly pursued a career in yachting and found herself on board her first vessel. Throughout her yachting career Kelly progressed from Junior Stew to Chief Stew on vessels ranging from 55m – 88m and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Each one of our consultants currently has a wealth of seagoing experience in their own area of responsibility.  We, therefore, understand the roles, conditions and unique lifestyles of those who serve onboard large yach

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