Meet the Master Chef

04 May - 06 May 2019

11:00 - 17:00

Totally Tudor - Meet the Master Chef

Ever wondered what Tudor sailors ate? Or how a ship’s cook fed a huge crew on the high seas?

Come to The Mary Rose this half term to see its fiery new programme of Totally Tudor activities and meet the Tudor chefs working on a replica kitchen of King Henry VIII’s favourite warship.

From 4th-6th May, step into a busy naval kitchen and watch the ship’s chef sweat over the cauldrons, conjuring up a host of dinners for the 500 crew. This Tudor Master Chef will be firing up a feast at The Mary Rose's purpose-built authentic replica of the ship’s galley (the first of its kind) every two hours, demonstrating:

  • Cooking a 350-litre beef broth in a duplicate Mary Rose cauldron.
  • Chopping and boiling beef rations in muslin bags for the crew.
  • Dangle-spit roast venison and preparing a pot roast for officers in front of the fire.
  • Making a casserole for officers in a bain-marie of the crew’s food.
  • Mixing up bread and baking it the brick oven.
  • Demonstrating Tudor cooking gadgets like skimmers, scales and a bread trough.


    The galley on the Mary Rose was quite different to our kitchens at home. Onboard were two large, brick ovens, each with a huge copper cauldron above in which meat, fish or broth was cooked.

    Sailors diets weren’t as bad as we might think. The crew probably didn’t get their 5-a-day but would have had a daily ration of dried peas – delicious! Each man got about a kilo of meat every day, but because there were no fridges or freezers in Tudor times, meat and fish was salted and packed into barrels to last a long time, so long in fact, that barrels of bones were uncovered from the wreck.

    Although the crew ate dry biscuits made of water, flour and salt, they would have soaked them in the broth prepared in the large cauldrons. They ate from wooden bowls or pewter for the important officers, using spoons, knives and their hands! The crew would have washed this down with a gallon of beer a day - nearly four litres - but don’t worry, it was much weaker than today’s pints and safer to drink than water, especially as it contained essential calories and vitamin B.

    As well as the special activities, visitors over the half term period can enjoy all that the Mary Rose offers as home to the largest and most important collection of Tudor artefacts anywhere in the world.