It’s old news now that one of the provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) was the introduction of the Ships’ Cook Certificate – a mandatory requirement for UK-registered vessels (the certificate was introduced by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency), that operate more than 60 miles offshore, with 10 or more crew on board. The aim, in brief, is to ensure the person on board cooking for the crew (the certificate is not focused on guest cookery) can cater to a range of dietary, nutritional and cultural requirements.
We need no reminding that the MLC is just one of many maritime conventions that impacts the superyacht industry without this sector being the focus of – or, in some cases, even considered in – the regulatory update. As such, the Ships’ Cook Certificate, and the requirement (among others) of taking the Marine Cookery Assessment, and getting the associated certificate, once more caused the superyacht industry to throw their arms up in frustration.
Efrem Leigh, founder of chef recruitment agency YachtChefs.com, isn’t a strong supporter of the requirement (though he understands compliance is mandatory), and the course upon which the Marine Cookery Assessment is based (he argues it’s based on the City & Guilds Level 2 syllabus of mainly classic French cookery and Leve 3 pastry) is flawed in the context of our industry. “Maybe it would have been better if the superyacht industry introduced hygiene inspectors to cover all flag states for both private and commercial yachts. They could issue compliance or [certificates] that last five years, and arrive on any yacht unannounced, and stay for the whole day watching how the chefs work in and manage the galley.”
"In the years ahead, those who have it will have their choice of roles and not be limited." - Justine Murphy, CEO, mymuybueno Private Chefs
On the other side of the fence is Justine Murphy, CEO of mymuybueno Private Chefs. While she admits the Ships’ Cook Certificate “has been a bone of contention for some time”, she’s convinced it is only a good thing. Moreover, those chefs who complain about it are simply wasting time. “In the years ahead, those who have it will have their choice of roles and not be limited,” she explains. “It would be a great shame for a chef to not be able to apply for his or her dream job because they did not have the one document required. This is why I am advising chefs to whom it is applicable, and those who wish to be in the industry for the next few years, to absolutely get it done.”
Find a full article on the Ships’ Cook Certificate, what it entails and how it’s affecting the industry, in Issue 180 of The Superyacht Report – subscribe here.
Additional information on the Ships’ Cook Certificate, including a summary of exactly what is and what is not required, will appear in Issue 83 of The Crew Report – click here to receive your complimentary subscription.
Image: Bluei Prod