‘On-trend’ HMAS Stirling chefs execute cutting edge ideas for Navy people in Western Australia, preparing food across the spectrum of activities than the service undertakes across the state.
Running an efficient catering operation with very different demands involves integrating new trends into the menu and learning to be the most productive because every dollar counts.
Petty Officer Maritime Logistics – Chef David Boyles said that each ship’s galley was a hive of ideas and continuous improvement activities ranging from cooking competitions to creating delicious, innovative fusions and dishes in a variety of forms.
“We have stood-up a bakers-watch that start work in the early hours of the morning to train our chefs to bake many different bread types both ashore and at sea,” Petty Officer Boyles said.
“Weekly training enables us to experiment in the preparation and cooking of various foodstuffs, focus on improving short falls and taking our cooking to a higher level.
“It is important that we understand the food products we order so we conduct field days where we visit cheese factories, mushroom farms, butchers and suppliers to gain knowledge of our products and the best way to use them.
“Our capabilities are widespread - from knocking up some cheese and tomato ‘sangers’ for the divers training around Careening Bay through to fine-dining for VIPs.
“We recently moved to a contract that involves direct involvement with the companies that produces the products, rather than having a ‘middleman’ giving us cheaper rations and more variety of products,” Petty Officer Boyles said.
The preparation of food for shipmates, who look forward to mealtimes, keep morale high and health optimised in varying conditions to fight and win at sea.