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Naval chefs and stewards do battle in the kitchen

17 October 2016
Naval Service chefs and stewards cooked up a storm in their bid to win the Inter-Service crown.

More than 50 personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary competed at Exercise Joint Caterer at the Defence Capability Centre at Shrivenham.

The competition, which takes place over three days, is aimed at developing culinary skills as well as building team spirit.

The Naval Service Culinary Arts Team (NASCAT) won the trophy for the first time in 14 years in 2014 but this year narrowly lost out to the Army.

Our team was relatively young this year, many of whom were competing for the first time, but they’ve been excellent and you can’t ask for any more.

Chief Petty Officer Si Geldart

NASCAT still picked up 82 awards – seven golds, 21 silvers, 41 bronze, two certificates of merit, ten best in class and the Team Ethos Trophy.

The blue riband event, the Parade de Chef, saw the NSCAT team receive the best marks for 11 years – close to 100 per cent – despite a fire alarm which halted proceedings for ten minutes close to lunch time.

The NSCAT Parade menu featured a starter of compression of rabbit, a main course of beef, potato, carrots and mushrooms and a dessert of chocolate, cherry and pistachio cake.

Personnel competed in a range of classes, including in the live theatre where they had the added pressure of completing a dish to a set time in front of hundreds of spectators.

The Open Field Team Challenge – held in a car park – saw three personnel from HMS Ocean produce a two-course meal for 20 covers, while in the display salon, decorative cakes, sculptured lard carvings and buffet platters were on show.

Awards are given according to creativity, workmanship, composition and presentation – including taste.

Team captain Chief Petty Officer Si Geldart said: “Our team was relatively young this year, many of whom were competing for the first time, but they’ve been excellent and you can’t ask for any more.”

Team director First Officer Pat Prunty said: “I look forward to building on these strengths and further developing the skills of individuals and team performances.”

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