by Guest Blogger
September 27, 2005
A friend of my parents works for Greenpeace and was able to get me a position as a volunteer assistant cook onboard the Arctic Sunrise for the month-long tour from Halifax to Miami. I came on the ship knowing little about the organization and expected to be the assistant to a grumpy old Navy cook. But as soon as I arrived onboard, I met Charles (the chef) and everyone was talking about a four-course meal he had made the night before featuring seared scallops and creme bruelee. So right away I was excited about working under him.
The thing that impresses me most about Charles’s cooking style is that he refuses to cut corners. If there’s bread to be had, he’ll get up in the middle of the night to bake it rather than buying loaves at port. When it’s time to make soup, there’s no store-bought broth to be found. He insists on cooking from scratch with everything he makes, and you can tell how much effort goes into each meal the moment you take your first bite.
I’ve been on the ship for two weeks now and have learned a lot; not just about French culinary techniques, but also about Greenpeace and the amazing work that they do. And thanks to an unexpected recommendation from Charles, I signed a contract today to extend my tour for another month. So I’ll be the assistant cook onboard for the transit from Miami to Cape Town, South Africa. In just two short weeks my life has changed more than I ever would have imagined a month ago.