There was an opportunity for guests to have a behind the scenes visit to the Britannia Restaurant Galley on Saturday morning. Mr L opted to watch the Crystal Palace vs Manchester City football via satellite link in the Golden Lion Pub whilst Mrs L joined the galley tour queue.
It was a fascinating tour. The Britannia Restaurant galley is the biggest and busiest of all the QM2 galleys. It is floor to ceiling stainless steel and spotless.
We entered through the scullery area and then into what is called the ‘garde manger’, otherwise known as the cold larder where all the cold appetisers, salads, cheeses etc are prepared ready for serving. These dishes are prepared and stored on ‘jack racks’ which are wheeled into tall larder fridges.
The ‘hot press’ area is where hot dishes are prepared to order and kept hot until collection by the waiter. A final check for heat, quality and presentation before being whisked away and served to the guest.
The pastry section of the galley is where all the desserts, pastries, petit fours are made for the whole ship. There were some amazing cakes being prepared as well as hard sugar creations – the photos do not really do these magnificent creations justice.
For each Britannia Restaurant sitting (there are 2 each evening at 6.30 and again at 8.30) approx 1100 meals are served in an hour.
The Executive Chef for QM2 is a chap called Nicholas Oldroyd from Yorkshire who heads up a multinational Culinary Brigade. The team of 160 chefs are under the supervision of the Executive Chef, Executive Sous Chef, and 4 Chef de Cuisine – they all paraded through the restaurant at Saturday night’s dinner, an impressive sight.
Provisions are loaded at each major port of call and stored in storerooms located on Decks A, B and 1 where there are 21 refrigerated and frozen rooms for all food and beverage storage. We were given these interesting statistics – for a typical 7 day transatlantic crossing the following quantities of food are consumed:
Fresh fruit and veg. – 50 tons
Meat – 12 tons
Poultry – 8 tons
Fish and seafood – 13 tons
Cheese and dairy products – 2 tons
Sugar – 2 tons
Fresh milk – 5000 gallons/20,000 litres
Eggs – 32,400
Flour – 4 tons
Rice – 2 tons