Choules’ galley crew up to the task

Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), ABIS Chantell Bianchi (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Choules (L100)

Ship's company and embarked forces enjoy morning tea onboard HMAS Choules. (photo: ABIS Chantell Bianchi)
Ship's company and embarked forces enjoy morning tea onboard HMAS Choules.

The chefs onboard HMAS Choules (Commander Ashley Papp) have been busier than usual lately as the ship’s company and embarked forces are put through their paces in a major amphibious exercise off the coast of far north Queensland.

Chief Petty Officer Marine Logistics – Chef David Farrugia said his team of Navy and Army chefs were well up to the challenge of providing more than 1500 meals every day.

“Even though we have more than 400 officers, sailors and soldiers onboard this ship, the galley staff are at the top of their game,” he said.

“It comes down to sound time management skills and how the team plans and exercises conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific cooking tasks; this increases effectiveness and productivity in the galley.”

With so many people onboard, meal times have to be split into two sessions; one for ship’s company and the other for embarked forces. 

This means the duration of meal times is twice as long as other ships, leading to less of a lead in time to subsequent meals.

Despite this, CPO Farrugia and his team still manage to produce a number of choices on the menu each meal time.

“Although cooking for the masses day in, day out is a large mental challenge, a little bit of CPOML-C light elevator music playing in the background brings a smile to each cook’s face,” he said.

Choules is currently taking part in Exercise SEA LION 2013, which is the first major joint amphibious exercise for the year.

The exercise is being conducted between Townsville and the Cowley Beach Training Area, and is part of the ADF’s enhanced amphibious capability development.