Stirling chefs wow cooking comp judges

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), LSIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Location(s): RAAF Base Pearce, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling

Royal Australian Navy sailors, Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Kahlie Hinds and Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Matthew Lonie, put the finishing touches on their dishes during the Nestlé/Broadspectrum Cooking for the Masses competition at RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia. (photo: LSIS Richard Cordell)
Royal Australian Navy sailors, Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Kahlie Hinds and Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Matthew Lonie, put the finishing touches on their dishes during the Nestlé/Broadspectrum Cooking for the Masses competition at RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia.

A team of Navy chefs from HMAS Stirling has made it to the finals of a national cooking competition.

The Nestlé/Broadspectrum Cooking for the Masses competition is open to chefs from Broadspectrum, Compass and the Australian Defence Force.

Teams are required to submit an original recipe and, if their application is accepted, are required to create the dish which is then put to a panel of judges.

In making it to the finals, Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics – Chef Kahlie Hinds and ABML-C Matthew Lonie were required to pull out all the stops to impress the judges.

“The aim of the competition was to be able to make a menu using two Nestlé products for each dish, and be able to replicate that on mass scale,” LSML-C Hinds said.

“The semi-final was held at RAAF Pearce where we came up against two teams from Broadspectrum.

“For our entrée we created Tom Yum Chicken Roulade with Okara, and the main meal was Crispy Skin Salmon with Coconut Mash, Tatsoi and a green curry sauce.

“The next day we were informed by the judges that we’d made the finals at the William Angliss Institute in Melbourne.”

At the final, teams will be presented with a ‘mystery box’ where they will have to be at their creative best to make a menu to impress the judges.

Leading Seaman Hinds said her team’s success so far in the competition wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the support of her catering manager, CPOML-C Mark Evans.

“It’s a massive help to have the support of your boss to give constructive feedback and help you succeed,” she said.

“We couldn’t ask for a better manager than CPO Evans who’s allowed us to take time away from our everyday jobs to represent Navy.”

While posted to a shore billet, Navy chefs are able to gain valuable experience in developing their professional skills; these range from preparing dishes at the highest culinary level, to cooking quality dishes for large groups of people.

The finals of the Nestlé/Broadspectrum Cooking for the Masses competition will be held in Melbourne on August 23.