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Chef's advice on galley distribution

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

We are designing a galley on our trawler-to-yacht conversion and would like it to be a chef-friendly place to work and would love some input on the distribution.

We calculate the chef would be cooking for maximum up to 26 guests but not a-la-carte. The crew would be around 10 people at most.

A drawing of what we came up with can be found at our web blog (see public profile), tags: galley.

If you have yacht experience, any other comment on how to make life of a chef easier in terms of working efficiency, provisioning, etc. would be greatly welcomed.


post #2 of 9
The layout looks reasonable to me, though I have not had the pleasure of cooking on a ship. As long as your chef doesn't have to take too many steps doing production, the kitchen should be efficient.
Just my opinion though....
PS: Do you need a chef as well? I might be interested.
post #3 of 9

This looks like a very interesting and exciting project. I wish you the best with it.

I am a degreed naval architect and marine engineer (Webb Institute); most of my experience is with military and commercial platforms larger than yours, but I have worked on a few in that size range. I am an avid sailor and live aboard my Hallberg-Rassy. Finally, I am a devoted foodie and no one has died from my cooking yet.

I read your two "galley" posts and scanned some of the rest of your blog. A great deal depends on how often you anticipate being able to massively reprovision. If you are truly planning expeditions (provisioning every 3 to 4 weeks with some minor fill in limited by availability even when you are in ports) you will need more dry storage and more freezer space with less cooler space. It is a small thing, but you will want a vacuum sealer -- it greatly reduces freezer losses due to freezer burn.

I suggest you rethink the fryer. You probably can't use it at sea and it will be a hazard even at anchor if filled when a storm blows in.

I don't like the induction cooker. I would worry about reliability in a marine environment. If you are doing high-latitude expeditions consider a diesel cooker (same fuel source as your other fuel consumers) from Wallas or Dickinson. If you will frequently be at mid-latitudes or tropical locations consider propane. In any case you will want as much ventilation as can be fit.

For trash, be sure you understand the Marpol regulations in the context of your planned cruising grounds. I'd suggest fitting a commercial-grade trash compactor and a garbage macerator. The identified space is not nearly large enough for even two weeks with the number of people you referred to, particularly if your passengers are not experienced long-distance voyagers. The stern platform is not an appropriate place to store garbage; there is too much chance of losing some of it overboard and the plastic bags are a clear violation of international and most national laws.

Even with desalinators, water conservation is good practice, particularly since you are limited in what you can ask of paying customers. Spring-loaded knee or foot water valves should be provided for the sinks.

Again for the number of people you are discussing, some of your stores may be palletized. I suggest you touch base with chandlers (preferably in areas you plan to cruise). You may benefit from having your stern platform sized so a pallet can be dropped onto it from a shore-side or (preferably) ship's crane.

Dishwashers are often placed near sinks, but that may not be best in a galley. In my view, storage for china, the dishwasher, and a clear workspace for plating and final preparation should be collocated. The sink becomes part of the prep space. A recessed sink with drop in boards becomes an extension of the work space when needed.

Stabilizers or not, sometimes the sea can be unkind, and keeping bellies full (at least for the crew) is important. The galley staff are often the unsung heroes in those conditions. Sturdy eyebolts should be fitted in front of major work areas and protective retaining belts provided. A protective rail must be in front of any hot surface.

Again, this is an exciting project and I wish you well with it.
post #4 of 9

galley layout

I was just cooking bacon (thing to do after shovelling
30 feet of snow) and sitting down to the laptop and
came across your post about the galley layout. I think
having storage on separate levels is a pain but often
due to design the only way. Most marine cooks prefer
same level as while cooking at sea quick, easy access
storage for prep cooking is essential as you never
know when the weather will change, or the skipper
decides to turn, or a swell takes you by surprise.

Going with Giga or Eluctrolux is a great idea as while
travelling it is essential to be able to get parts. I
just spent two months in the arctic and on the trip
down the coast I lost use of the convection oven--a
most important component as it does so much more than
a conventional marine range oven. On another ship I
used an old electrolux marine range where the temp
controls and wiring where shot....after a week of
experimenting I had to basically change tack no pun
intended)on how to cook for 15.

Hiring galley staff that can work at sea is a must--no
fancy *** chefs who are looking for adventure unless
ther are sincere and well once ill you have a back up

If serving banquet or family style please equip the
galley with a few small tweaks that will help in
this...proper serving pans, holding trays,tableware
that works(no shallow soup bowls!) ideas for serving
soups, salads witha bit of a difference...Is the
galley layout one that accomodates self serve?

Getting stores is always a problem--from budgeting to
actually getting them. For what you want to do, using
a chandler is probably not the way to go.
They charge on average an extra 20% and they often
know little about food, so you often get the wrong
product, not enough, or short shipped.....A cook who
has a background in culture (anthropology, sociology)
is a key as they are more inclined to be able to
assess local cultures food ways...a must.....also
language..... some other ideas..make sure
that the freezer is easily cleaned--temp gauge not too
close to interior light so compressor not always
running, freezing up,,,watch out with wooden shelving; smells, harder
to clean, hygeine problem, and gives off an odor and
passes it onto food a lot,

water filtration is a must....it's hard to see the
layout....let me keep looking…oh galley drainage, storage are very important as well…
One Lamb Down
One Lamb Down
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Dear 'Auspicious',

Thanks for the excellent feedback. I'll go over it during the next few days.

On a short note, we plan to make mostly 1-week trips. If we're going on a real long (3+ weeks) trip, we'll have a lot less people on board due to SOLAS regulations (max. 12 passengers + crew).

More later.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Dear Freddy,

Also great feedback ! Let me digest it all. Yes, 2 levels is not ideal but that's the way it is. BUT, that's why we have freezers and coolers under the counter for the daily stuff so you only have to go down once a day.

I can smell that bacon !!

post #7 of 9
I just read your Atlantic crossing story and see you stopped in Horta! That is one of my favorite places in the world. I don't recall the name, but if you keep walking west on the street where Peter's Cafe Sport is there is a restaurant that we called the "hot rock place." They give you 600 deg F (clearly not the US with OSHA and other regulatory bodies) flat stones on which you cook your own meal. Did you find that? It is truly wonderful. I think we ate there four times in six days. It was so very good.

freddychef's points are well-taken. I'm not sure I completely agree with him about chandlers -- you will want to supplement with provisions from the local economy, but staples are fine and can be had duty-free.

A thought I had in response to the two levels that I forget to address is providing a dumb-waiter between the lower and upper level. In addition to its convenience it is a safety benefit since galley staff are not carrying heavy loads up stairs at sea. I would put it in the "not necessary but highly desirable category."
post #8 of 9

galley layout

Yeah that was one sore point on my last ship as I was being bounced around the north atlantic but you deal with it. Clips, I was thinking of the old fork method I am always using for the stove while slopping around....some kind of clip system for the pots....I even went looking at a local auto store trying to fing long clamps of a sort.... Good luck with the refit and I hope all goes well..if ya need a galley slave let me know!!!! Time for a skate on a snowy day here in St. John's, Nl.....fred
One Lamb Down
One Lamb Down
post #9 of 9
No question -- pot holders are critical. Most of the ones I have seen are just too small to be adequate in a seaway, particularly if you are using a tall pot.

On which note, again little stuff, you should have a good set of pressure cookers (I like Kuhn Rikon, but there are lots of choices). Aside from the speed and economy benefits there is great value in having a lid that is positively latched in place if a pot comes off the cooker in a seaway.

Fred's idea of self-serve is good also, particularly for crew. You might want to be build in coffee urns somewhere with more thought to access for watchstanders than proximity to the kitchen. I'm not usually a big coffee drinker, but we sure go through a lot of the stuff offshore. Keeps your hands warm also!

There is something about the heavy china "Navy" style coffee mugs that is very salty. Whatever you choose for china, those mugs are always well received by crew and passenger alike.

Drifting off the galley question yet further, particularly on smaller ships the passengers feel good about association with the captain. Can you manage a captain's table for dining and rotate the passenger's through it? Also, megayachts often have a sofa, chairs, or lounge at the after end of the bridge sometimes separated by a railing so that passengers can feel part of the operation of the ship. Is there room in your arrangements for such a space?
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