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Frontline chefs parade their skills

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 21, 2012

Chris and James Tanner with competition winners, Leading Chef Paul Evans, second left,  Chef Sam Tucker and  Marine Chef Tom Hanson.   Left, AB Harriet Grant prepares part of the   meal for the competition

Chris and James Tanner with competition winners, Leading Chef Paul Evans, second left, Chef Sam Tucker and Marine Chef Tom Hanson. Left, AB Harriet Grant prepares part of the meal for the competition

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Royal Marines chefs have been showcasing their culinary skills in a national contest to add spice to frontline "fighting" rations.

The challenge for the Royal Marines was to show how they could use their imagination to enliven the standard ration pack to provide a two-course meal for 20.

Chefs were allowed additional, but limited, ingredients to create a tasty and nutritional meal deemed acceptable to service personnel.

Warrant Officer 2 Frankie Vaughan, head chef for 3 Commando Brigade, said: "Royal Marines chefs provide a high quality standard of food for their counterparts in a wide and challenging variety of conditions around the globe.

"The main effort is currently being employed in forward operating bases (FOBs) in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

"Royal Marines chefs, as well as providing FOB security and aiding with incoming casualties, have to produce good wholesome food three times a day for their colleagues who undertake arduous patrolling in one of the most hostile places in the world.

"On a six-month deployment food really does go hand in hand with levels of morale, so it is important that Royal Marines chefs maintain their core skills."

Special guests at the event were celebrated chefs and restaurant owners Chris and James Tanner, from Plymouth.

The competition was won by the chefs from 42 Commando, followed by colleagues from the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, 3rd Royal Marine barracks at Stonehouse, and 30 Commando.

They now go forward to represent the Royal Marines at Exercise Joint Caterer at Sandown Race Park, Surrey, on October 23-25.

Chris Tanner said: "We have the advantages of fresh produce and a wide range of ingredients at our fingertips when cooking in our restaurant kitchens.

"The Marines cook in the most basic conditions on the battlefield, sometimes under fire. Despite this they produce tasty nutritious food day in, day out from ration packs."

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