A galley steward, also sometimes referred to as a kitchen steward, works in the galley area of a ship. As part of the ship's crew, his main responsibilities usually include food preparation and ensuring overall galley cleanliness. Galley stewards typically work on military vessels and commercial cruise ships, and depending on the size of the ship, may work independently or under the supervision of a chief steward.
On a ship, the galley steward is normally expected to help with meal planning and food preparation. His duties can vary, but he is frequently in charge of overseeing the food inventory and the storage facilities, such as pantries and freezers. He usually arranges for periodic maintenance and deep cleaning of these areas as well. The steward also might assist the chef by baking or otherwise preparing food when requested, and in some cases, he may actually serve and clean up the meals.
Another main responsibility of a galley steward is cleaning the galley and maintaining the work areas. He usually takes care of the dishes, utensils, and any other cooking accessories, for instance. He might also sweep and wash the floors and walls, along with performing other necessary cleaning tasks. The steward usually handles waste removal, for example, by separating the trash from recyclables and properly disposing of the items.
A galley steward's additional tasks might include maintaining all of the kitchen equipment and cleaning supplies. In some cases, he might have to operate industrial-sized machinery, often requiring specialized skills or expertise. He is also usually expected to adhere to applicable health and safety regulations, along with meeting environmental standards and following workplace safety policies. He might have to attend certain meetings or training sessions as well, which could include life saving procedures and safety drills.
Working as a steward in the galley is physically demanding and normally entails long hours. On a larger ship, a steward might share his responsibilities with other crew members, including dish washers, garbage personnel, and additional cleaners or maintenance workers. To do his job effectively, he typically needs to have good communication skills, have physical strength and generally be in good health. The job often requires previous experience in the hospitality industry, such as in a hotel or restaurant, with a focus on cleaning and food preparation. Prior to starting a job as a galley steward, one might also have to obtain credentials, such as a Merchant Mariner's Document, to work on military vessels in certain countries.