Sunday | June 26, 2016
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Feeding a cruise ship

I always thought cruising was for old folks, but I thoroughly enjoyed our recent fall colors cruise in October along the East Coast. There are a variety of young and old people, families, wheelchairs and canes, so nobody felt out of place. If you want to be active, you can go to the exercise room or swim, or if you want to relax, there is a library or many spots around the deck to read.

Being a foodie, I was curious about what it takes to feed 2,400 passengers and 1,200 crew members. Of the 1,200 crew, 600 work in the food and beverage department. On any given day, 18,000 meals are prepared. This includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and more snacks.

Our cruise had four complimentary restaurants and seven specialty ones, which included a French, Italian, teppanyaki, Brazilian, a steakhouse, sushi bar, and a Chinese restaurant.

The bakery is in operation 24 hours, using 350 pounds of dark chocolate and 150 pounds of white chocolate daily.

Food is the heart of a cruise and traveleres should plan to gain a couple of pounds while on one for a week or more.

The ship’s weekly shopping list includes the following:

2,200 pounds of cereal

1,650 pounds pasta

24,250 pounds fresh fruit

11,000 pounds veal

33 gallons ice cream

8,800 pounds potatoes

7,700 pounds flour

2,750 pounds butter

2,900 pounds cheese

2,900 pounds seafood

2,200 pounds sugar

7,165 pounds fish

11,000 lobster

13,200 pounds beef

990 pounds coffee

106 gallons milk

5,500 pounds rice

3,000 dozen or 36,000 eggs

150 types of wine

Here are some recipes from a couple of the popular cruise ships:

Steam till cooked:

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, cubed

Cool to room temperature in a large bowl.

Mix in:

7 tablespoons grated Swiss cheese

Season with salt and black pepper.

Mix together:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

Butter a gratin dish with garlic butter. Place cooked potatoes in dish till 3/4 full.

Place in saucepan and bring to boil:

5 1/3 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

Simmer until garlic softens.

Pour hot cream over potatoes, cover with foil. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil, top with:

6 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Continue baking until cheese is melted and cream turns slightly browned.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare eight 4-inch oven-proof soufflé dish. Butter the bottom and insides of the dishes well. Coat the butter surface with sugar.

Cream together without incorporating too much air:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

10 egg yolks

Split and scoop out the seeds of:

2 vanilla beans, add to and bring to boil:

5 cups milk

Slowly add the hot milk into the egg mixture until it is well combined. Return the mixture to a moderate heat and continue to cook until well thickened, do not boil the custard or it will curdle.

Whisk until stiff, but not dry:

10 egg whites

Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture.

Fill the soufflé cups to 1/2 inch from the top. Place in the oven carefully and bake 25 minutes until the soufflés have doubled in size, browned and firmed slightly. Disturb as little as possible while baking, especially in the first 15 minutes.

Grand Marnier Sauce:

Cream together:

1/2 cup sugar

6 egg yolks

Bring to boil and slowly add into egg mixture:

21/2 cups milk


1/4 cup Grand Marnier

2 tablespoons cognac

Return to moderate heat and cook approximately 10 minutes until it thickens enough to coat a spoon well. Do not allow the sauce to boil.

The soufflé has to be served immediately once cooked. Dust the soufflés with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm with the warm sauce on the side. When eating with the sauce, split the top of the soufflé and pour a little sauce directly into the center.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Preheat waffle iron.

In a medium bowl, stir together:

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Combine in a 2 cup measuring cup:

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup milk

6 tablespoons canola oil

Whisk in with a fork:

1 egg yolk

In a small bowl, beat with an electric mixer until almost soft peaks:

1 egg white

Gradually sprinkle in while continuing to whip until thick and glossy:

1 tablespoon sugar

Stir in:

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour milk mixture into the dry ingredients, whisk until blended. Fold in egg white using spatula.

Pour batter onto the hot waffle iron in the recommended amount for the iron, usually about 1/2 cup batter. Close the lid, cool until golden brown. A good indication that it is getting close is that the steam will stop coming out of the iron. Keep finished waffles in the warm oven directly on the rack. Do not stack, or they will become soggy.

Please feel free to e-mail me at if you have a question. Bon appetit until next week.


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