International catering management specialist MCTC has launched an online ‘taster’ course for maritime culinary crew who cannot travel to Manila to take the company’s more in-depth training programme because of Covid-19.

The ‘Cooks Upgrading Course’ gives participants a flavour of how to store food and prepare delicious, nutritious meals that help improve seafarers’ diet so they feel happy, healthy and productive while working amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Topics include safety and hygiene practices, galley organisation, basics of cooking and victualling (shopping for ingredients and meal planning). The online course can be done from anywhere in the world, giving culinary crew facing travel restrictions the chance to develop their knowledge and expertise virtually.

MCTC’s more extensive Catering Competency Development Programme, which focuses on increasing standards in the galley, is still running in Manila, The Philippines, albeit with slightly fewer participants to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines on social distancing. Participants can take the more in-depth programme without having to do the shorter course.

“We continue to support ship owners and ship managers that are struggling with onboard issues such as hygiene practices, the lack of healthy, nutritional and varied diets and poor galley management and budgeting,” Christian Ioannou, Managing Director of MCTC, said about the new short course.

“With so much concern about seafarers’ welfare, particularly in a pandemic where their health is the top priority, MCTC has developed the ‘Cooks Upgrading Course’. It is designed for every culinary crewmember who intends to upgrade their skills on everything from safety and hygiene to cooking methods for different cuts of meat, ordering and storing provisions and waste management.”

Exploring processes and practices that support seafarers’ mental and physical wellbeing is one reason for culinary crew to take the short course. Another is to help ship owners and managers reduce their overheads. As Mr Ioannou explains, cooks learn how to optimise costs and reduce wastage on vessels, saving their employer thousands of Euros each year.

“One of the areas we cover on this course is victualling, which involves stock and cost control, how to utilise available ingredients, budgeting, ordering and receiving provisions and proper storage procedures,” he said. “Culinary crew who train with us understand how to run their onboard galley in an efficient and cost-effective manner, without compromising the quality of the delicious and nutritious meals they prepare for their colleagues.”

For more details about the ‘Cooks Upgrading Course’, please email