Halloween at sea tops chefs' operational effort

Published on LCDR Fiona Southwood (author), ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez (photographer)

Topic(s): Operations, Operation MANITOU, HMAS Newcastle (F06)

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Alex Mullen cooks a Halloween dinner for Ship's Company onboard HMAS Newcastle in the Middle East region.  (photo: ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez)
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Alex Mullen cooks a Halloween dinner for Ship's Company onboard HMAS Newcastle in the Middle East region.
HMAS Newcastle may have been on operations but the chefs on board have worked tirelessly throughout the deployment with the morale and welfare of the ship’s company in mind.
 
Despite whole ship evolution requirements, and a high operational tempo on Operation MANITOU, the chefs recently presented a treat for Halloween.
 
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Chef Alexandra Mullen put together a themed menu and showcased some hidden talent in carving pumpkins for the event.
 
She said the whole team rallied to present an array of Halloween inspired delicacies.
 
“The line was decorated and the lights turned off to treat the crew to a special Halloween meal which included ‘Egyptian Mummy Ribs,’ ‘Hannibal Lector Fingers’ and ‘Green Hair with eyeballs’,” Able Seaman Mullen said.
 
The meal gave the crew something to smile about during a high tempo period with not much sleep.
 
For those awake, the night was topped off with a supernatural horror film shown throughout the ship on the television system. 
 
Commanding Officer, Commander Mark Sirois said the standard of the food onboard had been “amazing”.
 
“Even during extended periods of working in arduous conditions due to heat and limited space challenges, with no complaints, lots of laughs, and the constant production of high-quality meals, the chefs really do set the mood of the ship.”
 
The team kept the crew well fed - baking fresh bread each day, ensuring a variety of salads at lunch, and making tempting desserts.
 
Those with dietary requirements are also considered with meals delivered to meet everyone’s needs.
 
Commander Sirois also highlighted the work of the entire Maritime Logistics department in supporting official receptions hosted in Kochi, Bahrain, Aqaba, and Antsiranana.
 
“All events have received the highest praise from visiting dignitaries and guests on the delicacy and presentation of the food, and the superior level of stewardship,” he said.
 
The ship’s company are counting down to their return to Sydney in early December, but one thing is certain - most won’t be eating like this when they get home.

Newcastle’s deployment to the Middle East is the 65th rotation of a major fleet unit to the region, she will be replaced on station by HMAS Warramunga.