Love of cooking takes Peta sailing

Published on Mr Michael Brooke (author), ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Location(s): Bougainville Island

Seaman Maritime Logistics Chef Peta Large dices carrots preparing for dinner on HMAS Choules during Exercise SEA DAWN 2014.

The Maritime Logistics Chefs on HMAS Choules have a big task on their hands leading up to an exercise like Exercise Sea Dawn 2014. Making sure they maintain a high quality of food is essential in keeping moral high on such a busy ship. (photo: ABIS Richard Cordell)
Seaman Maritime Logistics Chef Peta Large dices carrots preparing for dinner on HMAS Choules during Exercise SEA DAWN 2014. The Maritime Logistics Chefs on HMAS Choules have a big task on their hands leading up to an exercise like Exercise Sea Dawn 2014. Making sure they maintain a high quality of food is essential in keeping moral high on such a busy ship.

Growing up in Gatton, Queensland, Peta Large has always had an interest in hospitality which led to her joining the Royal Australian Navy as a Maritime Logistics-Chef.
 
After completing Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus, she completed her category training including a Certificate III in Hospitality, where she was awarded the Overall Student of Merit Award.
 
Today Peta is an Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef aboard the amphibious transport ship, HMAS Choules, where she worked hard to prepare and serve tasty and nutritious meals to several hundred members of the Choule's ship's company and embarked military forces tasked to Operation RENDER SAFE.
 
RENDER SAFE is part of Australia’s enduring commitment to removing and the disposing explosive remnants of war in the South Pacific.
 
“I love the Navy as much as I love cooking,” she said.
 
Able Seaman Large attended Lockyer District School and worked in local fast food and a patisserie before joining the Navy, where she has taken part in exciting deployments including Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST, which earned her a Military Civic Action medal from the Philippines Government for assistance following Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013.
 
Choules' galley was certainly kept busy preparing around 1,500 meals a day to feed Clearance Diving Teams, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force members, explosive ordnance device operators from New Zealand, United States, Canada and Great Brittan’s Defence Forces, and hundreds of Australian Army members as well as Choules’ ship’s company.
 
Able Seaman Large said she had invented a recipe for success for coping with her busy schedule.
 
“I love my job and have been enjoying the challenge of a busy galley and the teamwork that exists among us as we cook up a storm for hundreds of people on board Choules."
 
The Australian Defence Force led RENDER SAFE features the combined contribution of several nations and was tasked with removing bombs, weapons and ammunition from the Second World War that remain in islands in and around Bougainville.