Food

Taste Of Deployment: Trainee Military Chefs Get Ready For Frontline Catering

Trainee RAF chefs are learning how to prepare meals for hundreds of personnel on operations.

The next generation of military chefs have started a vital part of their training at RAF Wittering.

Trainee Royal Air Force chefs are getting their first taste of how to prepare meals for hundreds of personnel out on operations with 3 Mobile Catering Squadron (3MCS).

Aircraftman Tom Couch, a trainee chef who is currently acting as the head chef says his team have "worked really well": "So far so good," he says.

"Nobody's died yet of the food so I think it's all looking good.

"My teams worked really well today. We started work at nine o'clock, just after breakfast, and I think we've knocked up quite a lot", he added.

3 Mobile Catering Squadron Get A Taste Of Frontline Catering 230119 BFBS

The team from 3 Mobile Catering Squadron made a variety of dishes, such as pizza, curry, pie and fruit crumble, while also taking into account other dietary requirements which included providing vegetarian dishes in the form of a pizza.

According to Warrant Officer Daz Rose, who is overseeing the training session, only 2% of people they cater for require a vegetarian or vegan dish alternative.

WO Rose says the team have been "fantastic" during the second phase of their deployed skills course:

"They've survived, they've built, they're cooking, they're feeding and are in really good spirit."

3 Mobile Catering Squadron Get A Taste Of Frontline Catering 230119 BFBS

The team are cooking for personnel at RAF Wittering as they get to grips with the equipment and working in cold conditions.

"This is a small kitchen, we'd love to feed about 100 people from this kitchen if it was out on a base," WO Rose said.

"The biggest one we've done in recent times would probably be the Olympic Games which we went down to support with a 4,000-man kitchen.

"Same equipment, same green canvas, same field burners and such, it just multiplies up," he added.

3 Mobile Catering Squadron Get A Taste Of Frontline Catering 230119 BFBS

But as well as cooking for personnel on the base during the session, they also had to prepare for a meal for a special guest.

Luckily for the team, it would seem they impressed Station Commander, Group Captain Tony Keeling.

"They're doing brilliantly. It's a challenging environment for them because they've never done this before - they're cooking in the field, they're living in the field.

"It's a really good opportunity for us to bring to life what field operations will be like."

Gp Capt Keeling added: "3MCS Squadron go all around the world.

"Last year they were out on operations supporting Shader, supporting Boloxy and also enabling Saif Sareea, a really big exercise in Oman.

"So these guys next year [or] this year couple face exactly these conditions or worse, so they've got to be prepared for it."

"We've got a nice curry, steak pie, vegetarian pizza, the meat feast pizza as well and a really nice fruit crumble to finish it all off with."