The arrival at Fleet Base West of the Spanish Armada’s ESPS Cristóbal Colón to participate in Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 2017 has provided an ideal opportunity for the showcasing of two great Spanish loves - football and food.
A football match was arranged against a side from Australian base, HMAS Stirling and was followed up with a chef’s exchange from the galley onboard Cristóbal Colón and Rockingham Spanish restaurant Rustico Tapas & Bar.
The football played was both fast and skilled with Stirling getting away to an early lead with a goal from Seaman Acoustic Warfare Analyst - Submarines Taylor Evans and followed by another goal in the second half to Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Brodie Williamson after a free kick.
The game concluded with the Spanish team camped in Stirling’s half but not being able to convert the pressure to a goal.
Chief Petty Officer Physical Trainer Paul Williams who ran the line was impressed by the skill and effort of both sides.
“Considering our Spanish friends have come off a European winter and a long ocean transit, they never stopped pressuring our side. Our defence was first rate and needed to be to keep them out,” he said.
The action then moved to the galley of Cristóbal Colón where as part of the All Australian Chefs Exchange Program, Rockingham Chef Jarrad Powell and Apprentice chef Noah De Souza were joined and assisted by Australian sailors Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Chef Peter Kenyon and Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Chef - Submarines Matthew Cole.
Together with the Spanish galley crew, they cooked up Hervey Bay scallops with Ago Blanco and pork crumbs along with steamed mussels with tomato sauce and chorizo.
Rustico Tapas & Bar Chef Jarrad Powell said that the opportunity of coming aboard a Spanish ship and interacting with the crew was a rewarding experience.
“It’s great that the Royal Australian Navy could put together a chef’s exchange like this,” Mr Powell said.
“To work on a Spanish warship and to talk to the galley crew here about Spanish food was a fantastic experience."
Spanish sailor Seaman Francisco Martinez was fascinated by the similarities in the types of seafood that were available in both Spain and Australia.
“I found the cooking today interesting in that even though we are on the other side of the world we used similar ingredients but combined them in different ways to come up with different tastes.”
The exchange was completed with the hosting of Cristóbal Colón galley crew who cooked in the relative expanse of the kitchen at Rustico in Rockingham.