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Royal Navy chef welcomes opportunity to cook in variety of roles

Royal Navy Chef Heidi Sermulins worked on board HMS Protector
4 August 2023
From cooking in the presence of penguins to cooking behind one of the world’s most famous front doors, it has been a varied Royal Navy career for Chef Heidi Sermulins.

She has spent the past year working at Chequers (the Prime Minister’s country residence near Aylesbury), a world away from her previous roles as a chef on ice patrol ship HMS Protector and before that, frigate HMS Northumberland.

On the ships she cooked for up to 200 sailors three times a day serving nutritious food to please the masses and keep them sustained.

And she prepped, cooked and served food in all sea states and, while on HMS Protector, sailing around the Antarctic peninsula.

But for guests and residents at Chequers, the dining varied from charity dinners to Members of Parliament dining during meetings.

AB Sermulins has had many memorable moments in her career with the navy and earlier this month she got to experience another by cooking at No.10 Downing Street.

As part of her draft at Chequers, she was invited to cook for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and two guests at the famous London address.

“My experience at 10 Downing Street was fantastic,” AB Sermulins said.

“We were tasked with cooking brunch and the Downing Street staff initially suggested menu ideas of things that the Prime Minister may want.

“We then formulated a menu which included homemade pastries, plates of fresh fruit, homemade granola, smoked salmon and scrambled egg with homemade sourdough toast.”

I loved seeing behind the scenes of one of the country’s most famous and prestigious buildings, and cooking for the Prime Minster at Downing Street is an honour in itself

Chef Heidi Sermulins

She added: “I was really excited for the day, it had been a dream of mine to visit Downing Street one day, let alone cook there, and seeing the front door for the first time really was special to me.

“We were given some time to take photos outside the front before being shown inside and taken to the kitchen and dining hall to start our prep work. For me, cooking inside Downing Street was fascinating.

“I loved seeing behind the scenes of one of the country’s most famous and prestigious buildings, and cooking for the Prime Minster at Downing Street is an honour in itself.”

During her draft at Chequers, AB Sermulins works alongside three civilian chefs. She said she loved preparing and cooking fine-dining dishes, adding: “It definitely makes a change from the mass cooking of ship’s scran that I’m used to.

“I am very grateful for the experiences my draft at Chequers has given me. I have learnt many new cooking techniques that will help me going forward in my career as a LCS in the Royal Navy.”

 

 

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