My kitchen is quite small. And when I say ‘small’ I mean that if it belonged to a guy he’d be buying a monster truck to compensate… if you catch my drift.
I’ve always said it’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it that counts. Of course, I’ve usually been lying. But when it comes to my kitchen, which is essentially a cupboard with a gas burner, it’s the truth. Regardless of its compact size it’s served me well and I’ve prepared some extravagant and elaborate meals in it. It’s fed my family for the past ten years, catered cocktail parties for 40 and even managed to produce a seven course degustation dinner for seven guests even with the restrictions of only two feet of bench space. Did I mention I could juggle plates?
So when we enter Voyager of the Seas massive commercial kitchen on a private back of house tour with executive head chef Patrick McCabe, Raffles is a touch surprised. “Mama, this is bigger than our kitchen” he kindly points out to me. No shit, Sherlock.
This colossal kitchen boasts a staff of 204 that prepare around 17,000 meals a day for the ships 3000 plus guests… with impressively little wastage. And yes, I have noticed that it’s a touch bigger than our kitchen. In fact, I’d say it’s about the same size as our local park. Do I envy them their space? Sure. Do I envy them the task? Not a bit.
The sheer amount of food we see being prepared is breathtaking. But I do love that Raffles is offered the opportunity to see the work that goes into making dining on board a delight. We see all the food we’ll eat at the lunchtime buffet in the ships Windjammer Cafe being prepared first hand. He’s impressed by the sheer scale and loves seeing “all the big boys” working away busily amidst the steam and clattering of pots.
There’s pastry being stretched and kneaded. Cake being mixed. Salads being dressed. Chocolate Brownies being sliced. There’s something happening everywhere we look. But no matter how much is going on, Raffles pays rapt attention, actively seeking out those brownies at lunchtime.
The tour has given my little man a respect for all the effort that goes into the food we eat when we’re not at home, so much so that he orders his dad to finish his meal because “Daddy, lots and lots of guys worked really hard to make your lunch, so you can’t waste it, ok?”
That’s my boy.