HMAS Leeuwin’s galley was a pressure cooker during their recent visit to Tonga with the chefs and stewards asked to prepare a breakfast fit for a king.
Leeuwin was in Nuku’alofa to support the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), at the Coronation of His Majesty King Tupou VI on 4 July.
The Governor-General hosted a Breakfast aboard Leeuwin for dignitaries from across the globe. Guests included His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Tonga, Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala, three members of the Hungarian Royal Family, the President of Fiji and Chief of the Australian Defence Force, Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin.
Leeuwin’s Maritime Logistics department was tasked with the responsibility of planning and executing the high profile event under the guidance of Lieutenant Wayne McColl.
Leading Seaman Maritime Logisitics - Chef Keely Slis devised a mouth-watering menu with the assistance of Able Seaman Maritime Logisitics - Chef Chloe Jackson and Seaman Maritime Logisitics - Chef Brodie Melody.
“Dishes including freshly baked spicy raisin and hazelnut loaf toasted with berry compote, stuffed field mushrooms served with crispy prosciutto and smoked salmon served on a toasted baguette with cream cheese and dill,” Leading Seaman Slis said.
“Although the preparations involved a lot of hard work, it was an honour to prepare dishes for the Governor-General and Tongan Royalty.
"I could not have done it without my amazing team who all share my incredible passion for cooking.”
All guests were highly impressed that a naval vessel with limited cooking facilities could provide such a menu with all dishes being prepared from scratch, with numerous compliments being passed onto the galley staff.
Leeuwin is currently deployed on a three month south-west Pacific deployment. The ship is now in Fiji, and has conducted joint training with the Republic of Fiji Navy, concentrating on hydrography and navigation skills as well as damage control.
The crew will spend close to a month surveying waters around Fiji, including Rotuma Island with the Fijian Navy.
The information gathered by his ship’s company will be delivered to the Republic of Fiji Hydrographic Service as well as the Australian Hydrographic Service in Wollongong for analysis.