Bronze for HMS Triumph in culinary battle

A team from the Trafalgar-class submarine, HMS Triumph, entered the high pressure arena of competition cooking to take part in the Devonport Flotilla Culinary Challenge held at HMS Raleigh, in Cornwall.

The three person team, made up of two chefs and one steward representing the submarine, went into battle in the kitchen alongside teams from four other ships and submarines.    

HMS Triumph was represented by Steward John Nixon, Chef Tyrone Mulcahy and Chef Marc Wimsett, who were awarded bronze certificates by the judges. 

Each team was given just 90 minutes to prepare and serve a three course meal for four covers. The teams were given freedom to design their own menu but were limited to just £10 per head. All ingredients used had to be available from the core range used throughout the Fleet.

HMS Triumph’s team produced a mouth-watering menu of pan roasted cod served with avocado puree, roasted cherry tomatoes and chorizo crisps, drizzled with honey and lemon dressing as their starter.   

The main course consisted of poached and roasted ballotine of chicken, wrapped in bacon and mushroom farce, served on a bed of sweet potato mash, roasted root vegetables and parsley puree finished with a mustard sauce. 

For dessert the team produced a HMS Triumph interpretation of rich chocolate torte served with raspberry coulis.

While the chefs concentrated on preparing and cooking the meal, the stewards were judged on their front of house skills in preparing the table and serving the meal.  

Chef Mulchay said: “We entered the competition after only practising once, so it was a bit short notice for us. It was fun though and interesting and the first time we’ve done anything like this. 

"It was more ‘precision based’ rather than the mass catering on board when we are feeding the submarine crew. You can only get better at something like this so I’d definitely do it again.”

The competition was based loosely on the annual Armed Forces culinary challenge, known as Exercise Joint Caterer, and was organised by the Devonport Flotilla staff using the extensive facilities available at the Defence Maritime Logistics School.

The competition was judged by former and current Royal Navy chefs and stewards who are employed at HMS Raleigh.