Galley to kitchen in a flash

Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), LSIS Peter Thompson (photographer)

Location(s): Albany, WA

Guest chefs from Albany restaurant Due South, Martin Morgan and Nic Lancaster (2nd and 3rd from left) join the team of Maritime Logistics - Chefs aboard HMAS Arunta. (photo: LSIS Peter Thompson)
Guest chefs from Albany restaurant Due South, Martin Morgan and Nic Lancaster (2nd and 3rd from left) join the team of Maritime Logistics - Chefs aboard HMAS Arunta.

The timing of the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event provided an ideal break for Navy chefs to interact with the local Albany business community as part of the Australian Chefs Exchange Program.
 
A chef swap was organised between HMAS Arunta and the prestigious Due South restaurant sited at the Albany Entertainment Centre.
 
With both Arunta and Due South Restaurant boasting waterfront views, the Arunta chefs donned their whites and chefs' toques and exchanged Arunta’s galley for the restaurant kitchen.
 
Cooking up a storm, Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Todd Alison prepared and served Port Jackson shark with balsamic dressing for a customer.
 
“I was impressed with the how the chefs use local ingredients and prepare most of their meals from scratch including milling their own wheat,” said Able Seaman Alison.
 
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Ryan Zahra spent his time imagining what soldiers would have been served aboard the vessels of the orignial convoys.
 
“Nutrition would have been a challenge. Scurvy was common among soldiers similarly deprived of fruit and veggies foods for extended periods. They would have lived on cured and salted meats and dried grains,” said Able Seaman Zahra.
 
Chef Nic Lancaster from Due South Restaurant prepared a selection of aged meats, similar to what the soldiers would have eaten while steaming towards Egypt a century ago. The food was served to guests at an official reception onboard Arunta.
 
“The chef swap has been an amazing experience. The confined spaces and moving working conditions made me appreciate how talented the Navy chefs are to serve four square meals for over one hundred and fifty people every single day,” he said.
 
Kenny McHardy from the Due South Restaurant said that working with the Navy chefs on Arunta was an uplifting experience because of their immediate and professional response to which rubbed off on his kitchen staff to continue to lift their high standards.
 
The chef exchange program strengthened the relationships with the Albany business community and ensured the Navy chefs with an ‘appetite’ for continued self-improvement in culinary skills left Albany satisfied.