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A look into the GCCL Galley Department - upcoming event by SAPKO-C.E. Ltd.

A look into the GCCL Galley Department

You are a chef with experience behind you or you are aspiring of become one. Then you might have considered working on a cruise ship. If that’s the case then in this article we’ll give you an example of what it’s like to work as a chef on a ship. For our example, we will use one of the biggest names in the cruise industries Grand Circle Cruise Line. 

When you become a chef on a GCCL ship you will start work in the Galley department. This term refers to the department on the ship that handles all aspects of the food preparation. Work in the GCCL galley is a bit different from normal restaurant jobs. There are two shifts - the night shift and the day shift. The night shift is in charge of the pre-preparation of the food. All of the cutting, peeling. dicing is done by them. Night shift workers finish just before breakfast. This is when the day shift takes over and starts preparing all of the meals for hungry passengers. The only common thing between the ship’s galley and the normal restaurant kitchen is the hectic environment. 


What IS GCCL looking for in their galley personnel?

Image result for grand circle cruise line

When you become a galley personnel member in GCCL you start to represent the company. You need to have an eye for quality and excellence. The company holds a high standard for its work and you should have the same high standards when it comes to your duties. 

The other thing you need is a hands-on mentality. Work on board can be pretty hard and sometimes hours will be long but you can be sure GCCL will reward you for that. The company gives out the monthly Employee of the year award and you can even become Employee of the year. If you show exceptional skills you can also get promoted. All cooks in GCCL have the chance to be sent to their own culinary school for 3 weeks to acquire new skills. Before they get promoted they will go through the training course that is done on board. The culinary school will help them in acquiring the new skills needed for the new position. You will be pleased to hear that eight out of ten managers in the company are promoted from within. 

Communicational skills are vital if you want to become a galley worker. A ship’s kitchen staff consists of people from all over the world. Communication is what keeps the kitchen working perfectly. Your English skills will also need to be very good. This is the main communication language on board GCCL ships. When you have a proper command of it you will be able to easily communicate and collaborate with the rest of the team.

In terms of previous experience needed for the GCCL galley, you will need at least two years of experience in 4 or 5-star restaurants and hotels. If you’ve already worked in the galley and have some experience on ships you will have an advantage. In case you don’t have enough experience on the position you can take a Junior Cook role and work your way up in the GCCL kitchen. 

The main requirements you need to fulfill are to have a Culinary Diploma and your EU passport. Serbian candidates can work on board with a Visa. If you are going on to work on an ocean cruise ship you’ll also need STCW certificate and international passport. 


The positions and hierarchy in the GCCL galley.

Every GCCL galley has a certain hierarchy. Everyone in the ship’s kitchen has a certain place in the hierarchy. Your place in the hierarchy defines your roles and responsibilities. If you show exceptional skills you can move up and be promoted. 

Let’s start with the highest position in the galley. 


The GCCL Executive Chef.

Image result for executive chef

Every team has a leader. In the GCCL galley that’s the Executive Chef. He is the person who is in charge of the entire kitchen operation. This is not only the best and most experienced chef, this is also the person who is in charge of leading and evaluating the rest of the kitchen personnel. Everything goes through the executive chef. From the stocking and storage of the kitchen to safety regulations that need to be met. Let’s take a look at those responsibilities.

Stocking the ship is an art form of its own. The space you have to load up food is limited so you will need to make the most of it. The executive chef is the one who makes sure that space is utilized in the most efficient way possible. As the manager, he needs to know exactly how much supplies will be needed to execute the menu. During the cruise, he will need to monitor and oversee that the inventory is being kept and organized in the best way possible. Of course, other kitchen personnel such as the cooks, sous chef, and kitchen stewards aid him in that task

Safety and health is also a big responsibility for the executive chef. The hygiene on the ships needs to meet Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). Those are a set of rules that if followed correctly will prevent the contamination of the food. 

The executive chef also inspects the food that his team is cooking. He ensures that the food is prepared according to the standards of the company. All meals that leave the kitchen must taste good and must have excellent presentation. This ensures the great dining experience of the passengers. 

The executive chef is also the person who represents the kitchen in front of the customers. He takes part in events and meets the passengers in person. This is important since passengers enjoy when someone is actively communicating with them and taking their feedback. 


The GCCL Executive Sous Chef, Sous Chef, and Jr. Sous Chef.

senior sous chef on board ocean / river cruise ships

The sous chef is the person who stands directly below the executive chef. Their main task is to help the executive chef perform their duties. The sous chef is the person who takes over the duties of the executive chef when they are on leave. This ensures that galley can function 24 hours a day without the need for one person to monitor and oversee it non-stop. 

Whether you’ll be an executive, junior or a sous chef in the galley depends on the experience and skills you have. People will less experience, especially the ones who have not worked on board will start as a junior and then move their way up.



Cook on board cruise river ships

The GCCL Cooks and Jr. Cooks The cooks are the main driving force in the kitchen. They are the people who prepare the food that is on the menu cycle. Cooks need to live up to the standards set in place by the Executive and Sous Chefs. Chefs in the GCCL kitchen are separated by the type of meals they must prepare. For example, the cooks in the hot galley are responsible for the main meals while the ones in cold galley take care of any salads and appetizers. Aside from cooking delicious meals cooks also need to take care of their stations. Their workplaces must be kept clean and tidy. This ensures that safety and health are kept up to a high standard. 

If you become a chef you will become apart of a team that must work together to provide a perfect dining experience. In this team, you will meet professionals from all over the world and learn new skills from them. This will help you further develop your expertise in the kitchen which will allow you to advance in your professional development in the kitchen. If you don’t have enough experience to become a cook straight away you can become a junior cook and move your way up. 


The GCCL Pastry chef.

pastry chef on board river / ocean passenger ships

In Grand Circle Cruise Line the person who takes care of everything sweet is called a Pastry chef. Similarly to other companies in the sector, the Pastry Chefs working for GCCL are responsible for the creation of the desserts that are served to passengers at the end of their meals. As a pastry chef, you will not only make sure that the sweets you craft taste great, but you will also need to ensure that they look magnificent and eye-catching. 

Just like any other person in the galley the pastry chef is also in charge of keeping his own workplace tidy and clean at all times. His work is also overseen by the executive chef to ensure that quality levels are met. 

If you want to move from cooking desserts to cooking meals you can start as a Junior cook. You will receive the needed training and from there you move all the way up to executive chef provided you have the needed skills and experience.


The GCCL Chief Baker and Baker.

Baker on board ocean / river passenger ships

The baker is the person who is in charge of all the baked goods that come out of the galley. Bakers have the most important role when it’s time for breakfast since most of the breakfast food is comprised of baked goods. This position is related to the pastry chef since dessert-making involves a lot of baking. 

When you gather enough experience on the position you can be promoted to the chief Baker position. Just like pastry chefs bakers can also become cooks by first becoming junior cooks and receiving proper training. 


The GCCL Kitchen Steward.

kitchen steward on board ocean / river cruise ships

Last but not least we have the kitchen steward. This is the person who provides support duty in the kitchen. This is a great position for anyone who possesses the motivation needed to become a cook but lacks experience and skills. Kitchen Stewards start by doing general work in the kitchen but can quickly become chefs. The company can provide the needed training for motivated candidates who want to further develop their career. 


Are you ready to join the GCCL kitchen?

GCCL has a place for every chef who likes to work hard and keeps a high standard of quality. If you feel you are that person then you should definitely check out the current open positions in the Galley department and apply. This way you will have the opportunity to become one of the many professionals who make GCCL the great company that it is today.


Click here to see all available positions.

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