Navy cooks put their skills to test
AWAY from the world's oceans Royal Navy chefs and stewards will be entering a high pressure arena of a different kind.
The teams from Devonport-based ships and submarines will be testing their skills during the annual Armed Forces culinary challenge, Exercise Joint Caterer.
The sailors will be part of the Royal Navy team competing against their counterparts in the Army and the RAF during the event held at the Sandown Park Racecourse in Surrey. They have been practising for the competition, under the watchful eyes of the instructors, at the Defence Maritime Logistics School based at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint.
Steward Jozel Pompey, from Plymstock, is currently serving on HMS Somerset. The 34-year-old will be taking part in the Open Steward Skills category of the competition. She will have 45 minutes to set the table and produce a flambé dish for three people. Std Pompey will be serving Steak Diane.
She said: "After my two weeks of vigorous practice at HMS Raleigh and my experience working on board ship, I'm definitely looking forward to making my instructor proud by walking away with the gold medal."
Chef Thomas Andrews, who is based on board the submarine HMS Talent, is entered in the Junior Chef of the Year category and has just an hour to prepare and cook a two course meal for two people.
The 19-year-old joined Royal Navy in January 2010 and had his first experience of competition cooking at last year's contest.
He said: "Last year I was awarded two certificates of merit and so I'm hoping I can step up to at least a bronze medal this time. Overall I'm just happy to be given the chance to compete."
Each service has one day to show off its culinary expertise. Royal Navy Chefs and Stewards will have their chance to impress the judges, VIPs and sponsors on Wednesday October 24.