Navy chefs put to the test in top restaurant

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ROYAL Navy chefs seized the opportunity of a lifetime to work in one of the most famous restaurants in the country.

The sailors from Portsmouth-based HMS St Albans visited the kitchens of Claridges in London.

Petty Officer Caterer ‘Bing’ Chandler arranged the visit after contacting head chef Dan Cox to request some time in their kitchens for the ship’s chefs.

Dan, a winner of the Roux Scholarship in 2009, responded with a yes, making for some very happy galley staff.

PO Chandler said: ‘It was phenomenal.

‘It’s an opportunity most chefs dream of and to be given the chance was amazing.’

On arrival the sailors were greeted by one of the chefs who took them on a tour behind the scenes of the world-famous hotel.

When they reached the kitchen they were introduced to the head chef and executive chef Simon Rogan – a legend within the world of cookery who is currently running seven different kitchens across the UK.

Once they were issued with aprons they were set to work straight away, split up 
into different sections working on starters, mains and snacks.

This rare opportunity gave the Royal Navy chefs an opportunity to see how a Michelin-starred restaurant works, the standards and the work rate compared to a warship.

The St Albans’ chefs watched and helped on the lunch service then jumped straight in to help with the preparation for the evening meal, departing in the small hours of the morning.

Leading Chef Russ Aitken said: ‘It was an amazing experience. The intricate detail on the plates is amazing.

‘It was an experience that won’t be forgotten.’