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Royal Navy chefs cook up success at Exercise Joint Caterer

12 October 2018
Royal Navy chefs and stewards are celebrating success at the Armed Forces version of the BBC’s renowned cookery programme MasterChef.

There was gold medal success and a best in class award for the Naval Service Culinary Arts team (NSCAT) in the prestigious Parade de Chefs event at Exercise Joint Caterer, the annual tri-Service culinary challenge at the Defence Capability Centre, Shrivenham.

Chef Hannah Flanagan, from HMS Duncan won the Junior Chef of the Year award, while a team from the Commando Training Centre won gold and best in class in the Vestey Foodservice Defence Engagement Challenge.  

The NSCAT was also crowned as the team with the best ethos for the third successive year in the event against the Army and RAF.

First Officer Tim Hill, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Deputy Fleet Logistics Officer, is the person in charge of the Royal Navy’s presence at Joint Caterer.  

He said: “The skills and the talent we’ve got within the Naval Service is fantastic. I want the team to go back to inspire the younger trainees in their units.

“I hope also that the people they mix with at home will look at these individuals and think ‘I want to do that, I want to join the Royal Navy’.” 

“This event is not just recognised by the Armed Forces, but also by industry and the Worshipful Companies.”

Lieutenant Commander Ellen Laird, HMS Duncan’s Logistics Officer watched as Chef Flanagan won her class.

She said:  “A big well done to Hannah. I see the merit in our people competing here because they are bringing new skills back to the ship, which they will deliver on a world-wide stage when we deploy again.”

“I hope that the people they mix with at home will look at these individuals and think ‘I want to do that, I want to join the Royal Navy’.”

First Officer Tim Hill

The NSCAT also won best in class and silver medals in the Worshipful Company of Cooks team buffet event. 

The overall results went down to the wire with the NSCAT just two points off winning this year’s title.

Led by Petty Officer (PO) ‘Tug’ Wilson, who works for the Second Sealord and is a regular at the event, the Parade de Chefs team had six hours to produce a three-course meal for 84 people. 

The menu of skate wing with brown butter, scallop and sea vegetables, followed by glazed beef brisket, beef dripping mash, swish chard and carrot, and a dessert of apple tart tatin and vanilla ice cream, earned the team a massive 95 points and victory.
 
 “We produced a menu that we thought had gone smoothly and we had a decent debrief from the judges.  Everybody has learned a huge amount along the way.  I get a buzz out of it and enjoy it every year,” he said. 
 
The Parade team also consisted of Leading Chef (LChef) Stephen Dooley, Leading Chef Robert McCabe, Chef Ben Tebbit and Chef Andy Langstone.  

In the Sodexo Field Team Challenge, the NSCAT were represented by a team from 42 Commando (Cdo) who won a bronze medal, having cooked a two-course meal for 20 personnel using two boxes of 10-man operational ration packs and a list of extra ingredients directed by the Chairman of Judges.   

Chef Shaun Downs, who is about to join HMS Scott, took a silver medal in the Senior Open Fish event. Chef Jack Richardson, from HMS Kent, earned a judges’ commendation.

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