Salad for Two Thousand
With two thousand guests on board the “Rhapsody of the Seas”, executive chef, Kelly Cochrane had to be super organized to provide ten thousand meals a day with a different menu every one of those days we were at sea. Kelly hails from Canada, so it was fun to tour the galley with him on this luxury liner on which we were travelling around Austalia and New Zealand recently. Limited to set recipes provided by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Kelly has to order all his provisions 4 months in advance and hope that everything lasts despite the waste some guests cause and the fluctuation of the Australian and American dollars. He also hopes his 4 sous chefs and 45 cooks stay healthy since they are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no relief workers. (When you are miles out in the middle of the ocean for 2 days straight, where would you find a part-time cook?) Although all the meats, etc. come from United States, Kelly has managed to introduce a couple of local ingredients on this cruise….kangaroo and crocodile. I found them both quite delicious, as were all the meals on board, especially the rolls and bread. The latter were made fresh every day as were all the pastries. An onboard butcher shop provided fresh cuts of beef daily. It is no mean feat preparing so many meals for guests from 30 different countries, all with different tastes, but the ship was rated #1 in its line in 2010, in part because of the good food, the insurance of strict food safety rules and great service, especially from staff like our wonderful waiter, Cleo.
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