CWT Traveler

September 2018


How a chef can cost a million dollars

Gordon Ramsey may be one of the world’s richest chefs, making well over a hundred million dollars, but even a non-celebrity chef with no Michelin Stars can be worth as much. How? As with most things, it’s location, location, location.

The chef needs to be working on an offshore oil rig, typically situated far into the ocean. As with most remote locations, there is often a complex process involved in bringing in people (and food). A rig is like a mini-city in the middle of the water. Think island, but elevated and minus the sand and palm trees. Like New York, it’s mostly steel and concrete, and it never sleeps.

These mechanical islands can be as big as two football fields, weigh more than 300 Boeing 747 jets, go as high as 40 stories, and as deep as one and a half miles underwater. They’re staffed with 50 to 200 people or more, working 12-hour shifts. Each job function has two sets of crew, and the crews rotate every three to four weeks.

The CWT Energy, Resources & Marine special division has served companies in the oil, gas, raw materials, mining, offshore, shipping and alternative energies sector for decades and has the necessary expertise to meet the specific requirements of the industry. This also includes getting crews safely from A to B all over the world and under unique climatic conditions.

Unlike regular city commutes, transporting a chef from home to rig often takes at least four steps, if not more, involving a car, a plane, a shuttle and a chopper. Getting the entire crew through the first leg of the journey and onto the plane, when and where they need to be, is absolutely critical. If the chef misses his flight, the whole crew cannot be rotated. That could cause work on the rig to be halted or delayed, potentially costing up to a million dollars a day.

Granted, the current chef stays on until the replacement crew arrives. But, after almost a month marooned in open water, buffeted by harsh elements, feeding a large crew every three hours for 24 hours x 28 days, one simply cannot guarantee the chef’s state of mind—nor the quality of the cooking. Kitchen nightmares anyone?!

Blog author: Danièle Gadbois, Vice President, Global Business Development, Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Photo by Zukiman Mohamad from Pexels

Our Partner

CWT Traveler

Our monthly online newsletter CWT Traveler delivers the latest information and offers from the business travel industry.