Are There Only Scientists Onboard?

Pulling from the massive stores of baking supplies- over three tons (3,100 kilograms) of flour, sugars and shortening, plus 21,000 eggs- Baker Botabaro delivers dozens of treats daily. With operations on this research vessel continuing 24 hours a day, seven days a week in twelve-hour shifts, it’s always mealtime for someone, somewhere.

Albert's collection of ingredients spans from crusts, doughs, batters, and more as he caters to the diverse appetites of 117 hungry people onboard! In remote locations, far from home, birthdays are a big deal and Albert's name has become synonymous with celebration aboard the JOIDES. His birthday cakes have layers that mirror the strata of sediment and rock retrieved by the expedition beneath the waves. His birthday confections have attained legendary status, but they weren't always a piece of cake.

“The first time was very hard for me," he confides, “It is much easier now.”

Albert's journey to his current position began three years ago when he shifted from serving as a JOIDES steward to an assistant chef and then to its baker. He now works a 12-hour shift, from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., confecting pies, golden-crusted French baguettes, gluten-free bread and donuts—some cake, some yeast—oozing with chocolate, sugar, or Bavarian cream. He also crafts dumplings for hearty stews and bakes savory egg pies, rich in meats and vegetables. 

Albert is treasured not only by the crew but also by his fellow chefs. Camp Boss Ally Noble weighed in: 

"Albert is well respected by all and he's always happy. We call him "Mr. Chuckles" because he's never in a bad mood!" 

With Albert in the galley, the JOIDES crew is well-served.