Victory for the silent (silver) service in culinary competition

Four teams of Chefs and Stewards from northern region recently donned their chef's whites and took part in the Royal Navy's version of Master Chef.

The "Cook and Serve" competition took place in Hermitage Academy on Thursday, June 8 and this year the four Royal Navy teams were joined by a team of Hermitage Academy students who are preparing to enter the hospitality industry after completion of their exams.

Each team, consisting of two chefs and a steward, were given just 80 minutes and a budget of £40 to prepare, cook and serve a delicious three course meal for two people.

A panel of judges were assessing the teams throughout, looking closely at their expertise in creativity, workmanship, presentation and hospitality.

The Chefs had a nerve-wracking eighty minutes of slicing, dicing and whisking and then it was time to step up to the pass and serve their menus.

The stewards then stepped into the spotlight and were assessed on how the meals were presented to the judges.

This competition was a lot of fun and was a great opportunity to practice cooking under pressure under the watchful eye of judges.

Leading Chef Sheedy

After careful consideration the judges agreed that the best of class winners were HMS Artful whose team consisted of Leading Chef Sheedy, Chef Benton and Leading Steward Parr.

The inventive chefs cooked up a menu consisting of a scrumptious starter of ceviche of sea bream served with an avocado puree and grapefruit summer salad. This was followed by a mouth-watering main course of a rack of spring lamb with a pea and wild garlic puree, seasonal vegetables, wild garlic oil and a lamb jus.

The meal was finished off with a delicious dessert of raspberry soufflé served with a fresh raspberry coulis.

Leading Chef Sheedy said: "This competition was a lot of fun and was a great opportunity to practice cooking under pressure under the watchful eye of judges".

The Hermitage Academy team also gave an excellent account of themselves, achieving a Team Award and ably matching their naval counterparts.

"I would like to thank Mr Geoff Urie and his team at Hermitage Academy for facilitating our event. It was a fantastic opportunity to work in a competitive environment and also to cook alongside the catering students from Hermitage Academy, some of whom are preparing to enter the hospitality industry and are already at an exceptional standard," said Captain Turner, the Faslane Flotilla's Captain Support.

"We are also extremely grateful to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Vesty Foods for their help and sponsorship of the event,"

Commodore Perks OBE, Commander Faslane Flotilla presented certificates and medals to the winning teams.

The winning team will help to form the Royal Navy team competing against the other two services in Joint Caterer which will take place in Shrivenham in October.