Skip to main content

The Chief Cook is responsible for overseeing the general operation of the galley; utilizing Healthy Heart guidelines, approved recipes, instructions and progressive cooking techniques in the execution of the daily preparation sheet and maintenance of sanitary standards within the Galley.

The Chief Cook shall:

  • Ensure that the approved menu is strictly adhered to and prepared IAW the approved recipes, unless the Chief Steward authorizes specific changes or substitutions.
  • Inspect all galley equipment daily to ensure safe operation, rigid sanitation and proper maintenance standards are adhered to.
  • Be responsible for serving line set-up, and will assist in training all serving line and dining areas food service personnel.
  • Responsible for learning the location of, and being familiar with the use of, all fire-fighting and damage control equipment in galley areas.


  • Ensure that every precaution is taken to prevent contamination of food, including proper thawing techniques, and inspection of all food before preparation and serving.
  • Ensure that all subsistence items, supplies, and equipment in the galley is maintained in a neat and orderly manner.


The Chief Cook shall:

  • Ensure that the “Breakout” of provisions necessary for the production of all meals is correctly inventoried and recorded and that leftovers and unused products are correctly stored and labeled.
  • The Chief Cook is responsible for requisitioning and preparing all meals and managing provisions once they are delivered to the galley, including ordering and returning unused food items to the bulk storeroom.

The Chief Cook is responsible for:

  • The immediate supervision and job performance of personnel involved in food preparation, production and presentation of meals, to include ensuring that dining areas, salad bar, dessert bar, beverages, and condiments are set prior to the beginning of each meal and ensuring sanitation standards and personal hygiene are maintained at all times.
  • Everything in this Position Description is considered to be an essential function of this position. Performs all other duties as assigned.

SIU mariners work a rotation of four months on with two months off. Typically all mariners have a private room and bathroom. Pay consists of monthly base wage, regular OT, weekend OT, Holiday OT, and Vacation pay. Benefit package is provided for the mariner and dependents which includes training and advancement at no cost.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements: Must be a United States citizen of at least 18 years of age and possess and maintain:

  1. U.S. Passport.
  2. Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
  3. United States Coast Guard (USCG) Merchant Mariners Credential
  4. Copy of your DD-214

Position Specific Requirements:

  • MMC endorsed as: Ordinary Seaman, Wiper or Stewards Department (FH)
  • USCG Medical Certificate (w/o limitations/restrictions on Food Handling)
  • Must have at least one of the following specialized experience. (Specialized experience is defined as possessing the following):
  • Two years (24 months) of completed employment as a Line Cook or higher position. Successful completion of an Advanced Culinary Course AND either OR Hotel Restaurant Management Serve Safe course.
  • Previous U.S. military experience in Culinary (Pay grade E-6 or above with at least one Culinary tour of not less than 24 months in a Lead Foodservice Production Capacity. The U.S. military service must have been within five years. The candidate may exceed this five year requirement if continuously employed in a food service capacity.
  • Current US. Armed Forces Food Safety/Sanitation Supervisor Course
  • Annual 4-hour Sanitation course.
  • OR A current Certification as a Chef De Cuisine or higher from the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
  • OR Graduate of an accredited culinary academy/school and have completed Serve-Safe Management level.
  • OR OR Previous merchant marine experience (documented)in culinary with at least 24 months cumulative sailing experience as a Chief Cook and successful completion.
  • NOTE: Documented Experience must be on official letter head, form, or evaluation from current or previous employer that describes experience related to these duties. Document must include company name, applicant’s name, and name with signature of company/agency official.You will have to attend our school to be evaluated by our Culinary Staff and to be trained in accordance with USCG requirements to sail. This Program is 15 weeks long, tuition free, and room and board are provided.You are required to take an SIU Physical and Drug Test prior to attending school. You can make that appointment at a SIU Hall nearest your location.
    If you have a Culinary Degree you will need to include that in your application packet.Application ProcessThe school is a VA approved facility

        1. Complete a Career Application at My MaritimeCareer
        2. Apply for or renew necessary credentials:
        3. TWIC
        4. Passport
        5. MMC
        6. Follow up with your recruiter to schedule your SIU Physical, Drug Test, Benzene, and Functional Capacity exam through an SIU Union Hall.
        7. Follow up with your recruiter to schedule your training, or call the Admissions office at 1-800-732-2739

    Please Note:

    Fees to apply for or renew credentials are the responsibility of the applicant. The fee for SIU’s Physical is $320 and will be provided through an SIU Union Hall. Transportation to and from school is at the applicant’s cost. Seafarers International Union will pick up and drop off from Baltimore Washington International (BWI) airport only. Room, board, and training is provided by the school.