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Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2015 - 2016
Christmas and New Year Cruise - Part 9
  Map Embarcation at Southampton and the initial day at sea Lisbon Cadiz for Seville - Spain La Palma Madeira - Portugal Gran Canaria Tenerife Lanzarote - missed because of gales Two days at sea - Galley Tour, Veranda for Dinner and Disembarcation at Southampton

Galley Tour - Morning of Monday 4th January

The Galley tours are rare and have to be set up very carefully because of hygiene and Health and Safety implications. This time they were clearly prepared for large numbers and everybody was gathered in the Restaurant and given an introductory talk by the Executive Chef before we were led through in groups. During the initial talk we were introduced to the various senior chefs and their staff who filled the double staircase – in total there are 110 chefs and another 60 support staff. There was also a most impressive and carefully prepared background paper distributed. I have checked with the Executive Chef and will try to scan it and make it available as a PDF.

The first stop was beside the giant dishwasher which takes everything through on a conveyor belt and delivering it two minutes later clean and sterile at 170 degrees Fahrenheit so it dries almost instantly. We were shown the machines providing all the drinks, including the all important Espresso Coffee machine! We saw the starters being prepared and plated on mass before being held chilled ready for serving. Each dish has an example prepared by the executive chef to be copied - it was difficult to tell one from another. Apparently the demand for all the options is quite predictable, for example first sitting orders are predominantly fish and second sitting has far more carnivores. The demand is continuously monitored and adjusted from a command station as the meal progresses. Much of the food is cooked to order and each 'to order' dish has a station where up to 8 plates are readied simultaneously. There are separate galleys for each of the restaurants and the Britannia Galley is on two levels. At the end of the bottom level of the Britannia Galley is a separate area for the Verandah Restaurant.

The galley tour itself took about 15 minutes with plenty of opportunities for questions and to speak to the chefs in individual areas. The galley is a model of cleanliness and efficiency and everything is extremely professional, organised and under total control - a complete contrast to the impression the TV impresarios try to give - but one has to be professional to deliver 850 4 course dinners plus all the extras twice an evening every day of the year to Cunard standards, yet in parallel cook to Michelin standards individual meals on demand for the Verandah Restaurant.

The following pictures include pictures on earlier tours to give an overall impression of the activities. The Chefs and the Verandah section pictures are new this year.

Dining in the Verandah Restaurant - 5th January 2016

We decided to dine again in the Verandah on our last night at Sea and have some of our favourite dishes from the normal menu rather than the fixed Degustation Menu we covered earlier. The pictures following include a couple taken on previous cruises to show more of the selections available. Details of the dishes appear if you hover over them (on a computer) or click/tap them.

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Content revised: 15th January, 2016