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Royal Navy Chefs culinary college collaboration

4 April 2019
Chefs and stewards from the Royal Navy teamed up with students from Havant & South Downs College to prepare, cook and serve a four-course charity meal in aid of the Rowan’s Hospice who work closely in conjunction with the college to support cancer patients and their families.

The occasion was originally the idea of the Commander of HM Naval Base Portsmouth’s Waterfront Logistics Support Group, Pete Vinney, who tasked Warrant Officer Paul Jones to organize the event.

WO1 Jones said: “I don’t think there is anybody who hasn’t been personally affected by cancer, so it’s a really worthwhile charity and it’s really good for our chefs that are experienced in our line of work in the military to get a chance to come and engage with the younger people.”

Diners payed only £30 a head for the highest quality of cuisine, on the menu were: carpaccio of smoked lamb loin with pickled cucumber, crispy shallot rings & quail’s egg; cider cured trout with crab sauce and pan seared duck breast, potato puree, beetroot three ways, brussels, baby turnips & beetroot jus all served with a complementary glass of prosecco.

It’s great to be working with Havant & South Downs College, getting them aware of what we do at sea.

Leading Royal Navy Chef Steven Hill

Iain Baillie, the college culinary programme co-ordinator said: “At the college, we pride ourselves on our connection with industry.

One of those spines is guest chefs, so it’s great to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Royal Navy and do it for a fundraising lunch for something that is really quite close to our hearts.

“The Royal Navy is an area the students rarely think about because they have never had the opportunity to work with them.

“I think they think it’s a bit scary, they’re only 16. To get the personnel in and to work alongside the students will really help with that.”

College student James Cardy found the day to be a great learning experience. He said: “It’s good working with the Navy. It’s very interesting seeing how they work, it’s a great opportunity to learn from other people, other than our usual lecturers, who have been doing it at sea for a long time.

“I learned how to do candied beetroot with all the different layers, and I’ve never seen that before.”

Head chef on the day, Leading Royal Navy Chef Steven Hill said: “It’s great to be working with South Downs College, getting them aware of what we do at sea. Not many people know the quality of food we are able to do in the Royal Navy so it’s great to show them what quality we can produce.”

Thanks to the donation of food being provided by Vestey Foods and the college itself, all monies raised by the event were given to the charity and Commodore Matt Clark was thrilled to present the CEO of Rowans Hospice, Ruth White with a check for £1600.

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