An interaction with Kenneth Johansen, Executive Chef, Mariner of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Cruises.
Talking to Restaurant India, Chef Johansen talks about how to keep food fresh in ships and how is the storage done.
Global food safety scenario
Concern for food safety has increased immensely over the years. The US Public Health Manual has been updated with many changes and increased sanitation procedures have been put in place too. Though, lately but Indian hospitality industry has also geared up for the food safety at their restaurant and hotel.
Food offered at cruises and keeping them fresh
The foods served on Royal Caribbean Ships are from all over the world. Each ship is customised to the region the ship is sailing in. For instance our ships sail in Asia and we enhance our menus with a selection of Asian cuisines including India, Chinese and Thai cuisines. We also have a large number of speciality restaurants onboard those are inspired by various countries. For instance, we have Giovanni's Table (Italian), Chops Grille (American Steak house), Izumi (Japanese Sushi Restaurant) and Rita's Cantina (Mexican).
The ship's galley is designed to provide the freshest possible food. In our provision area we have a butcher shop, a fish preparation galley and a galley where we clean and sanitise all produces before they are brought for preparation. The provision area is especially designed with cold holding at the correct temperatures for the best storage.
About supply chain
Once a menu has been designed, our shore side office will source for samples of the product we need, and they are brought onboard and tested. Once the perfect product has been found, it needs to be approved by our Corporate Chef at the head office located at Miami and then contracted with the supplier.
Kitchen designing for cruise
The galley on ship is really not designed as per the big hotels on land. Cruise ships are closely monitored by US Public Health which has very strict guidelines and the galleys onboard are designed to meet their requirements and standards.