Blogpost: Coral Princess Galley Tour :: Cruising Gluten Free
Imagine it’s 6 pm and you have 2000 people to feed. Now imagine one of those people has a food allergy, or intolerance. Or maybe a dozen of those people have a food intolerance. That person(s) order gets reviewed first by a Head Waiter and then, by a Chef who has the training to order any changes that are necessary. The special meal(s) get prepared separately, yet they manage to serve them at the same time as meals for the other 1900 plus people who are dining at the same time.
For those who might not know me yet, I am gluten intolerant. I was aboard the Coral Princess for 18 Days and they managed all of my meals almost perfectly. I did not feel like the odd person out, which is often what happens to me when dining out, especially in banquet type situations. It’s awkward when you’re at a Wedding or other Event and your meal arrives well before, or well after everyone else’s. Arrrgh…sorry, pet peeve
Now, as you look through these pictures and statistics from a Galley Tour aboard the Coral Princess Ship, keep in mind that the crew were able to manage all of my special meals for 18 Days while serving a crowd of almost 2000 people at the same time.
I don’t know how the Crew managed it when they had so many passengers to care for, but manage it they did and quite well I might add. I would not hesitate to cruise with them again. In fact I can’t wait to do it again. One of the best vacations ever. Princess Cruises proved to me that traveling and vacationing doesn’t have to be a fearful or stressful experience.
No heartburn, no headaches, no mouth sores, no nausea, no gut issues whatsoever! I wasn’t sure it was even possible these days for me to go so long without suffering from at least one those complaints. I still shake my head at the wonder of it 😮
This Galley Tour came after a Culinary Demonstration in the ship’s Universe Lounge. It was a fun demonstration. A bit hokey and obviously scripted, as Executive Chef Thomas was heavy with the pepper shaker and the Maitre d’Hotel Daniele was liberal with the booze as he added it to the dishes they were creating. Still, it made us laugh and I was getting excited knowing that we would to tour the Ship’s Galley after the Demo. Sign of a true foodie?
Before our first cruise, I had no idea about that much of the food they serve aboard Princess Ships is made from scratch. The fact that they don’t use many processed foods is one of the reasons why their menu items are easily adapted to make them gluten free. In fact, a good part of what they serve, is real food that is naturally gluten free…woot.
The Coral has ten Bakers aboard who bake fresh bread from scratch daily.
- Average amount of flour used daily = 600 lbs
- Average amount of special grain flour used daily = 300 lbs
During the day there are 10 Pastry Cooks while at night there are 3 who work steadily to prepare sweets and pastries. In the Coffee Pantry it takes a team of 3 to keep the coffee and espresso machines working during meal times.
- Average number of assorted pastries prepared daily = 5000
- Average amount of ice cream prepared daily = 150 quarts
- Average number of pies and cakes served daily = 220
Oh and the Shopping List for a single cruise usually consists of between 110 to 115 tons of food that gets delivered to the ship. Whoa!
From these pictures, you don’t really get a sense of how big this place is. This commercial kitchen…oops I mean galley is humongous! So big in fact, it has its own escalator. We’re heading down to the lower level now.
There are 14 members of the galley team who work to prepare fresh vegetables, pastas and soups.
- Average amount of potatoes cooked daily = 1200 lbs
- Average amount of vegetables cooked daily = 1200 lbs
- Average amount of soups made daily = 300 litres
In the fruit and cheese pantry, 6 members of the galley crew, in addition to 6 cooks, wash, slice and prepare assorted cheeses, a variety of crackers and fresh fruit to serve daily.
- Average amount of butter used daily = 175 lbs
- Average amount of fresh fruits served daily = 3700 lbs
One Chef Butcher and six Assistant Butchers de-bone, cut and portion beef and poultry before sending it to the galley team of Grill, Sauce and Roast Cooks to prepare.
- Average amount of poultry and game cooked daily = 930 lbs
- Average amount of beef cooked daily = 975 lbs
- Average amount of pork cooked daily = 385 lbs
- Average amount of veal cooked daily = 250 lbs
- Average amount of lamb cooked daily = 120 lbs
This area is the Gardemanger (Cold Kitchen). It’s the French name for an area where all cold menu items are prepped. 15 cooks work in this area preparing salads, dressings (from scratch), cold appetizers, fresh fruit and vegetables
- Average number of salads served daily = 2000 portions
- Average amount of prawns used daily = 195 lbs
- Average amount of mayonnaise used daily = 8 gallons
- Average number of sandwiches served daily = 1000
Who gets to clean up after they finish serving the meals? A total of 52 people work continuously throughout the Ship’s galleys pre-washing, sorting and feeding a constant stream of china, glasses, silver, pots and pans into the dish-washing machines.
- Average number of dishes washed daily = 18,000
- Average number of glasses washed daily = 4,500
In the scullery, 10 workers scrub and polish all the oversized pots, sauté and braising pans.
Is that all? Well, not quite. After the passengers are finished their meals, then it’s time to feed the Coral Princess Cruises family of over 800 crew members.
I hope you enjoyed this Coral Princess Galley Tour. There is a lot more about the Cruising experience that I want to share with you. Please check back later this week, or sign up for email updates so you don’t miss a single post.
Here is a behind the scenes look at the Sapphire Princess witten by another Vancouver food blogger.
To see a text listing of Laureen’s gluten free recipes, click here
For dairy, egg, nut and gluten free flour substitutions, click here
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