Oceanic Catering recently opened its new catering and hospitality training facility in Manila. A division of V.Ships, the 1,300 square meter facility is located in the company’s new office building.

“We train V.Ships crew and Oceanic Catering crew for cruise and cargo ships,” Patrick Fourtanet, director of operations and business development, told Cruise Industry News. “And we are open to any client. Silversea Cruises, for example, has rented our facility from time to time to train their chefs.

“We also have an agreement with MSC Cruises to train 1,000 crew per year on the hotel side – galley and housekeeping mostly. Until now, MSC has not had many crew from the Philippines.”
Oceanic Catering has also developed what he called “healthy foods at sea” for seafarers, which he said has become very popular. He said that shipowners have expressed concerns over crew gaining weight from not eating right, too much fried foods, for example, and lack of exercise.

Fourtanet explained that Oceanic Catering’s training programs range from one-day to six-week courses for chefs, sous chefs, chefs de partie, assistant cooks, waiters, bartenders and servers, housekeeping and mess men.

“We have a fully functional training kitchen similar to a galley and with state-of-the-art equipment, such as glass chillers, prover cabinets and baking ovens,” he said. All the equipment is electric as it would be on a ship.

“We also have a 45-seat dining room with a bar, a cabin and a suite similar to what you will find on a five-star luxury ship.”

In addition are two class rooms with 16 work stations each.

The facility can typically accommodate some 80 students at any one time. While most students are from the Philippines, Fourtanet said there were students from Sri Lanka undergoing training at press time.

Most of the trainers are former V.Ships employees, including Michael Wiesner, who is also the operations manager. He was formerly executive chef aboard Silversea.

“Ours is one of the newest training facilities in Manila. We are very flexible and can accommodate any client and any number of students. And we can customize the training program according to their needs,” Fourtanet added.