Offshore cooking jobs provide some of the best opportunities to break into the offshore drilling industry. Regardless of whether your ambition is to become a Chef, or to look for an opportunity to get on the drilling crew, there are plenty of ways to make a career and move up the ladder once you have your foot in the door, and cooking offshore is a great way to go about it.
Cooks on an oil rig are typically part of the catering department, which includes the Camp Boss and Chef, Bakers, Stewards, Galley Hands, Utility Hands and Housekeepers. On smaller rigs, some of these roles may be combined; for example, the Steward could be the day cook as well as in charge of managing the kitchen and the housekeeping crew. On larger oil rigs, you’ll find multiple positions for many of these jobs.
Most offshore drilling and oil service companies contract out the entire catering department. This means that your best shot at getting hired to work on a oil platform is to hire on directly with the catering companies. Some of the better and well known food service companies that cater offshore include Sodexo, Trinity Catering, Delta Catering, Taylor’s International, and Sonoco, to name a few of the US Based catering companies.
Sodexo is international, and employs people on oil rigs in 80 countries around the world. Worldwide, they employ over 350,000 people. Working for Sodexo provides an incredible opportunity for the ambitious, namely, the opportunity to work all over the world. If you enjoy traveling, then Sodexo is a great company to consider working for.
In Canada, Reliance Offshore is the company to work for, and they have a lot of openings, and will have even more in the future as the offshore fields in the waters off of Newfoundland begin coming online and producing oil. They are unique among offshore catering companies in that they recruit for a variety of offshore positions, not just for the catering department; they also hire deckhands, riggers, welders, motormen, electricians, and crane operators, among others.
All of these companies have online application forms, and all of them have openings. As one example, Delta Catering, a 34 year old offshore catering company, is currently hiring experienced Chefs, Sous Chefs, & Line Cooks, and offers competitive pay, credit union, health and dental insurance, and a 401 k plan. They are also accepting applications for housekeeping staff.
If you don’t have cooking experience, you can still get on as a Galley Hand, and learn the trade on the job. If you are determined and persistent, and apply with all of the above, you are almost certain to find work. If you are able to, you should strongly consider making a trip to Louisiana and applying to the catering companies based in Lafayette in person – call first, but applying in person is really the way to go – you could start work the next day.