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Naval chefs scoop medals at US military catering contest

6 April 2016
Two Naval Service chefs picked up medals at a prestigious United States military cooking competition.

Chief Petty Officer Chef Si Geldart and RFA Chef Marc Reed came away with one silver and two bronze medals at the 41st US Military Culinary Arts Competition at Fort Lee in Virginia.

Along with a team from the Army, the two helped form the Great Britain Culinary Arts team for the week-long contest which involved more than 280 competitors.

Chef Reed, of RFA Lyme Bay, won a silver medal for his static cold buffet platter, which featured a saddle of rabbit, fillet of venison, a pheasant dish and colcannon potato fancy with pearl barley risotto.

We didn’t have the luxury of being able to practise.

CPO Geldart

“We didn’t have the luxury of being able to practise,” said CPO Geldart, who is based at HMNB Portsmouth.

“We got into the kitchen on the Saturday and Marc had to present his cold buffet platter by 5am on the Monday for judging.”

The pair both competed on stage in the live theatre in front of a large crowd of spectators.

“I cooked a guinea fowl dish and Marc did his own take on the British classic of fish and chips, which involved salmon and quail scotch egg with a squid ink malt vinegar reduction.

“For our efforts we both walked away with a bronze medal which we were both over the moon with.”

The Army chefs also picked up a gold, two silvers and a bronze at the contest, which is the equivalent of the UK Armed Forces Joint Caterer competition, held every autumn at the Defence Academy at Shrivenham.

CPO Geldart also took part in a live demonstration with celebrity chef Rob Irvine, during which they cooked a scallop of chicken with a sweet and sour sauce.

Rob is a former Royal Navy chef who went on to fine fame on the American Food Network.

Following the medal ceremony, CPO Geldart and AB Reed crammed in a day’s sightseeing in Washington before returning to the UK.

The pair will compete in the Naval Service Culinary Arts Team at Exercise Joint Caterer in October.

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