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Galley logistics. Need a formula for stocking the right amount of food.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Q: 15 people, 40 days at sea, no resupplying. How do you order just the right amount of food?

 

I have a good idea what keeps at sea and what dosen't. Space/refrigeration are the first things I look at. But so far I have been ordering WAAAYYY too much food (scared of running out). It's good to be on the safe side, but it's a little embarissing to have a lot left over and not know what to do with it.

 

Are there any yatch/boat cooks out there that have a methode for supplying a boat?

 

CDF

post #2 of 13

bonjour cdf,

 i was a yacht chef for many years, but with smaller crews and less days at sea(2-3 week max)...is this a research vessel? nan robb( at CT under shipscook) may be able to help out more as she would do long stints on research vessels out of the PNW....only advice i can give you is DON'T RUN OUT OF FOOD...YOU WILL BE HUNG FROM THE YARDARM... THERE WILL BE A MUTINY! ..what i did was i planned out every single meal and then created an order guide from that..you can do a weekly rotation, which is easier on you and your space consideration...think of menus that you can morph into the next menu..i.e. after a pot roast dinner, make a stew, after roast chicken or turkey, make tettrazini or enchiladas...come up with multiple menus that you are using the same ingredients, i.e. mexican, italian, chilis... there are staples and some root veggies that will last a long time...there is shelf stable milk and 1/2 and 1/2 as well as some really good jarred sauces....food is so very important anytime, but when you are at sea, it becomes the one thing that connects you all. mealtime is a very social time and everyone looks forward to it, so try to make it as special as you can, as your space  and budget allows....one more thing...don't forget the chocolate!!! sweets are huge.....so make cakes, crumbles, cobblers, muffins...even if you HAVE to use canned fruit, trust me, it will be appreciated. when i was at sea, halfway through the trip i would have a 'care package' day...everyone got a stocking with something special in it........hope this helps...will send more as i think of it...you've got some homework to do, but its all in the planning...you can never plan too much in my book....

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, very insightfull about the research vessel.

 

Yes, I've been doing my homework.  IMO, planning each meal is not practical on a ling trip; Things get lost at the bottom of the freezer, change my mind half way through cooking etc. I'm looking for a methode where I can punch some stuff into a calculator and quickly come up with totals.  I'm thinking about doing it like this:

 

Devide order into breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Say for dinner the average portion size of meat is 400 grammes and say there is 5 meats to choose from on the order. So, 400G X 15PPL = 6KG of dinner meat per day, 6KG X 40days = 240 KG of dinner meat, Devided by 5 types of dinner meats = 48 KG of each dinner meat to be ordered.

 

That's just the idea, of corse I add dary, patisserie, and hygene to the order list, and have an X day supply of shelf stable goods just to be sure.

 

  But will that work?  I'd probably add 25% to the order to be on the safe side, "weigh out" each meal and toss the leftovers to avoid showing up back at port with lots of ummy expencive food no one knows what to do with.  Yeah, you are right, if the formula dosen't work and we run out of food I'm litterally a dead man.

 

Any insight to this puzzle will be greatly apercated as the future of my career relys on being able to order accuratly.


Edited by Coup-de-Feu - 10/28/10 at 7:10pm
post #4 of 13

morning chef,

i have to go into town today for most of the day( we live in the boonies, so town is a big deal), but when i get back, i will try and help you get organized. in the meantime, i have emailed a shipscook who has done your position for years, and knows her stuff. if you can't or won't write up a menu plan, at least write up an outline...anything!...example..how many meals will you serve bacon, prime rib, chicken quarters, ribs, roast beast etc. how much will you need for each meal?.there are some general rules of thumb that i can briefly touch on...for chicken allow about 1/2 # per person, if you are serving 2 meats, allow 1/2 # total, fish 1/2#, stew or chili 1/3#...you will need to find out what the pack sizes of the cases are...is bacon a 12# or 15# case, chicken quarters a 20 or 40# case, etc.. 25% is a huge margin to throw on top....10% is better, but should and could be lower....don't throw the food away, are you nuts? its food...its money! think the owners would much rather see a food leftover than have it tossed...of course, you probably wouldn't tell them you tossed it anyway, which is worse imo.. i'm not all that savvy in working in kg and kilos etc, but will brush up on it...its really not all that hard, you just have to be so totally organized,and try to account for every eventuality...it will all be good, you must do some planning and then know you have the flexibility to change your meal plan any time you like. if you are the chef, you should pack the freezers according to your meal plan as best you can.if you are the chef, you can pack your freezers as you see fit.. i am guessing by the panic in your post that this is all to happen soon......there is a book,"food for fifty', that might help, if you have the time...just curious though...when you interviewed for the job, didn't  your purchasing experience come up? hope this helps a bit...later

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #5 of 13

cdf,

if you p.m.me your private email address i will pass it along to nan. and will give you her email as well she is onboard to help you however

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #6 of 13

logged on and working on this one--

Nan

post #7 of 13

Good info Joey.

Coup-de-feu,

What is your departure date. How much freezer space to you have, how much chill? Are you going into warm weather?

Nan

 

another question, what are the guests ages, seniors or younger guys and gals who may be doing a lot of swimming and other activities and can eat a lot. Depending on that, you might want to tweak portion sizes? Any children to arrange treats for? You also might want to check with person doing the booking and see if they are asking about serious food allergies,  special diets, etc.?

 

Fair Seas,

Nan


Edited by shipscook - 10/30/10 at 5:21am
post #8 of 13

NOT a chef's cook, me.  And I defer to the experts.

 

But on general principles:

 

You've got to figure out your percent waste from trimming and cooking as well.  When DJ says 250gm per person, she means trimmed out.  Also, portions of some proteins are larger than others.  Put those things together and:  A 5 kg rib roast will not come close to feeding 20 hungry people; but 5 kg of dressed fish fillets will -- and with plenty left over. 

 

It's not all weight either.  A chicken breast that's been pounded out to the point it fills the plate, "schnitzeled" and served with a fried egg as garnish, is more satisfyng than one baked and covered with barbecue sauce.  I'm not saying, better -- just more filling.

 

I suppose it's already included in your thinking, but when you're thinking about what to cook and portion sizes, employees and guests eat different things in different amounts and are entitled to different sorts of consideration.  I'm not just talking about allergies -- which obviously you, like any decent person, must accomodate.  Rather "lifestyle choices."  For instance a vegan passenger gets vegan mains, while a vegan employee might end up making many a meal from garnishes. 

 

You're nukkin futz not to menu plan.  Room for improvisation is one thing.  Disorganization is another.  Tight quarters is all about planning and organization.  To be otherwise is to be miserable.

 

BDL

What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #9 of 13

good morning chef,

 how's it going?  you didn't jump ship did ya? have you been working on your menu planning? any questions we can answer,nan & i are here to help if you need it.

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks you guys. 

 

I never know when I will be leaving or where I will be going. The space availabul and gally set up are also unknown untill i arive on scene. I can have a week to prepare or 2 dyas only. My bags are packed and waiting, my knives are sharp.

 

Tipically I'll cook for 10 or 20 scientists, they are too easy to please and I half to ease drop to figure what they want to eat and how they want it. There is a hand full of deck hands that eat as much as three or four peopple. so far I'm fuguring that quality is not so much important as quantity and varity.

 

I tried tyhe menu planning thing. I really don't see it working over a 40 day voyage. it gives a good idea of what to order and such, but it takes a long time and is not really used otherwise.  I'm always a day or two ahead of my self, but I work flexabul.

 

I know there are chefs that can place an order just once and have the ship stocked in a day, then return with nearly empty stores. I want to be that good.

 

CDF

post #11 of 13

glad you got back to us, I am working the political duty today. Later,

Nan

post #12 of 13

humor me  cdf, that the menu planning was a good and necessary exercise..it becomes easier and second rote the more you do it and the more organized you become.... trust me, it is by no accident that those chefs you want to aspire to, can provision once and come back empty...they did and still do alot of planning...you may not think you will use your meal plans, but to know you have one, should make you sleep a little sounder...there is a ton of flexibility and room for changing and accomodating your whims, but its nice to you know you are covered... also, consider this....if for some reason, you become injured or sick at sea, at least with some sort of meal plan, another cook can more easily step in, knowing what's on hand with a menu outline..... you owe this to your crew, the guests, your bosses, your profession, and yourself....

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply
post #13 of 13

There is a world of difference between a, say, two week "meal plan" and a two week "menu"; the first is a plan as to WHAT you will serve and the second is specific directions as to HOW you will prepare the meals.

 

Take a look at http://www.mealsforyou.com/cgi-bin/customize?meals_main.html as an example.

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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