Food

Military's top chefs cooking up a battle in the kitchen

Armed Forces version of MasterChef identifies best culinary talents.

Chefs from across the Armed Forces have taken part in a two-day competition to identify the best talents in military kitchens. 

Exercise Joint Caterer was held at Birmingham's NEC and brought together military chefs from the three services. 

As well as individual trials which saw chefs pitted against each other, the pride of the military hinged on which of the three services would be crowned the overall winner. 

Sergeant Mustafa Ben-Moussa competed in the Inter Services Senior Chef of the Year contest, finishing third (picture: BFBS).

The competition took place at the Public Sector Food Expo 2022, an event for catering and food stakeholders from Britain's public sector. Those exhibiting included the Prison Service, schools and colleges, and the Armed Forces. 

On the final day, all eyes focused on one of the more prestigious event contests, the individual Inter-Services Senior Chef of the Year, a 90-minute MasterChef-style battle between five professional military chefs. 

The kitchen showdown was won by 39-year-old Corporal Christopher Curtis of the RAF, a Chef Instructor at the Food Service Training Wing in Worthy Down. 

After collecting his winner's plaque from the judges, he told Forces News that he had his sights set on even more remarkable achievements and thanked those who had supported him in preparing for this challenge.

Royal Navy chefs celebrate winning Exercise Joint Caterer 2022.

"National Chef of the Year will be the next level up for me now," he said.

There was tension and excitement from both the competing chefs and those watching on as the overall winning branch of the military was announced – this year, that honour went to the Royal Navy. 

Speaking of that victory, Commander Steve Harman, Fleet Logistics Officer, said: "I never cease to be amazed by the quality of food our catering services ratings provide, especially considering the unique challenges of cooking in warships and submarines.

"The team's recent success at Joint Caterer is a clear reflection of the awesome talent which we are fortunate to have within the branch," he added.