Point Sur chef visible part of vessel's crew.
Lici Beveridge and Lici Beveridge, Engagement Editor 4:30 p.m. CDT April 4, 2015
Every crew member on board a research vessel plays an important role, many behind the scenes.
But one role that is more visible than others is the cook.
The galley is the place where scientists can take a break from work, have a meal or snack, and unwind.
Alex Forsythe of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a chef who spends his time on board various vessels as part of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium chef pool that works one month on, one month off.
He also served as chef on the Point Sur research vessel that recently was purchased by the University of Southern Mississippi.
He prepared meals for the Point Sur’s crew and visitors during its journey from Monterey, California, to Gulfport, including a few days in March when a group from Southern Miss journeyed through the Panama Canal aboard the vessel.
Forsythe, who started his culinary career in 1997, said food has been part of his life for quite some time since his grandfather had been in the restaurant business.
So Forsythe sees cooking for a large group as a fun way to challenge himself.
“It’s a demanding job,” he said “You have to have a lot of energy.”
Forsythe said whether he is cooking for scientists conducting research at sea or working as a private chef on a yacht, what he prepares can make a difference.
“It really is all about the food at that level,” he said. “Food is a focal point. What they remember is the food and the weather. I really try to make sure they are taken care of.”
He said he has been a chef with LUMCON since 2005, and has prepared meals for scientists from all over the world.
Forsythe won an award for the best grub in fleet, and is known for his healthy salads and meals featuring surf and turf.
“(Being a chef) comes with a nurturing side of things,” he said. “We do a lot to take care of our people.”
He said he often waits until close to scheduled meal times to see what he can whip up at the last minute.
“Being on time is important with science groups,” Forsythe said. “They’re on a 24-hour run cycle. Punctuality is important.”
Monty Graham, University of Southern Mississippi Department of Marine Science chairman, said serving good meals in the vessel’s galley can make researchers more comfortable in close quarters.
“A good research vessel always feels bigger than it really is,” said Graham, who also is interim director of Southern Miss’ Gulf Coast Research Lab. “You do want to take care of people — feeding people, treating them well when it comes to eating.”
Side of salmon (fillets can be substituted)
3 cups sugar
4 orange peels/citrus
3 anise stars
2 cinnamon sticks
3 tea bags or 9 ounces loose leaf tea
- Soak salmon for 10 minutes in salted water (two parts water to one part salt). Pat dry and rest on a rack. Mix together remaining ingredients. If using tea bags, break them open and mix in tea leaves only. Spread mixture across the base of a sheet pan.
- Place the rack with the salmon over the mixture in the pan. Build a foil dome or use a domed wok that will allow circulation of the smoke around the fish. Secure smartly around the pan and turn on ventilation.
- Cook salmon on high heat for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 1/4 heat for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Arrange on serving platter and drizzle decoratively with honey-wasabi drizzle.
1/2 cup sour cream
3 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons wasabi powder or paste, mix to taste
Combine ingredients in a squirt-top bottle for “drizzling with panache.”
Hot Cross Buns
2 cups King Arthur flour (or substitute light spelt or almond flour)
1 cup warm milk
1 yeast packet
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4 teaspoons macadamia nut oil
2 medium eggs
Zest of 2 oranges
2 cups Wholesome Sweeteners powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (scant)
4 teaspoons Wholesome Sweeteners honey
1/2 teaspoon cloves, allspice and cinnamon
1/4 cup currants or raisins
Pinch of sea salt
- In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In another bowl, stir together milk, oil and eggs. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir together then add orange zest and currants.
- Knead dough until it is smoothly satin and elastic — no more than 10 minutes. Transfer to parchment paper and let rise. Divide into eight equal portions.
- Using a sharp knife score the buns in a cross. Let rise for 30 minutes on top of a toaster or warm area with a loose towel over the top. Bake at 360 degrees for 16 minutes or until golden brown.
- To make a glaze, use 2 cups of powdered sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract. Combine in a pan, stirring, add a few drops of water at a time as needed, and cook until glaze reaches a soft stage. Glaze buns with icing over the crosses, and zest a little more orange on top.
2 cups loose leaf baby spinach
2 cups Bibb lettuce or micro greens
1/4 cup mozzarella pearls
1/4 cup mimolette cheese slivers
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded baby kale
1 cup fresh corn
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup hemp seed
1/4 cup fresh basil julienne
1 cup fresh baby bell peppers
1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1/2 cup hearts of palm sliced lengthwise
- Wash and spin greens until dry. Season with salt and pepper. Loosely toss all ingredients in a bowl and serve immediately.
- For plating, use lettuce as a base and place each item with a delicate touch, showcasing the fresh ingredients.
6-ounce ribeye steak
2 teaspoons fresh tamarind pod or paste
2 teaspoons Montréal steak seasoning
2 teaspoons toasted and crushed coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon Smart Balance high-temperature cooking oil oil
1 cup Bonewerks Culinarte reduced stock
2 teaspoons tamarind paste or 5 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 cup Armagnac or whiskey
1/4 Lurpak butter
- Pat dry ribeye and let rest on marble or meat-safe area for 30 minutes.
- Toast coriander seeds in a pan until a light popping occurs. Crush approximately six seeds. Smear with butter, seasoning and tamarind paste. In a very hot, seasoned cast-iron pan, sear each side for 1 minute.
- Garnish with fried sage or parsley. This can be finished to medium or well in the oven at 400 degrees for 4-8 minutes.
- Apply demi glace after searing.
2 cups mayonnaise
4 anchovy fillets, minced
2 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoon fresh chives
1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar
- Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Use within three days.
The Snake River Kobe Delmontico was our specialty meal of the trip, which showcased Snake River Kobe beef teamed with Panamanian fresh tamarind. This was teamed with sweet corn and grilled asparagus. We hope to cater the best in Southern hospitality and delicious cuisine while boasting we are always on time. Varied international and well-balanced cuisine is my passion as a chef. I love telling the stories of my adventures at sea. Delve further into Point Sur cuisine on Facebook. My book, which is in the works, is called “Streamlined Cuisine,” and revisits past, present and future food.