MARITIME catering management provider MCTC has announced a new annual celebration in honour of ships’ cooks.

MCTC will host the inaugural Cooks Day celebration on 30 May this year, inviting the maritime industry to recognise and thank cooks for the valuable role they play at sea.

MCTC Group CEO Christian Ioannou said ships’ cooks serve meals that are not only wholesome and nutritious, but which also support seafarers’ physical and mental wellbeing.

He noted the significance of preparing food for culturally diverse onboard environments, which reminds crewmembers of home.

“Life aboard a vessel is very challenging,” Mr Ioannou said.

“When away from their loved ones, mariners often take comfort from the daily routine of eating alongside their colleagues.

He said mealtimes are crucial for engendering a community spirit among seafarers who spend months away from families and friends.

“Mealtimes in the galley – the heartbeat of any vessel – draw people together for a communal activity where crewmembers can relax, chat, share stories or discuss the challenges of life at sea.

“Eating with others, particularly during religious or festive holidays, can also evoke memories of a special event or family occasion.”

MCTC has invited shipping companies to pay tribute to their cooks ahead of this year’s celebrations by encouraging crews to support the initiative; and sharing photos from mealtimes and stories of how cooks have supported them.

The group also suggested recording video messages for ships’ cooks, thanking them for their work.

On 30 May, the MCTC team will provide ingredients and a step-by-step guide for crews to bake cakes as an expression of gratitude for their cooks.