Army chefs up their game in field test
- Credit: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC
Chefs from Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade have been wild cooking to prepare for operations in tough environments.
Exercise Eagles Game challenged the chefs to work with game shot by the Colchester Garrison Shoot. Held at Fingringhoe Ranges, the exercise simulated the early stages of a military operation, where the supply system may not be fully established and they may have to work with locally-sourced ingredients.
It also helped develop teamwork and leadership skills, with mixed teams of chefs from different units working together.
They were overseen by Geoff Acott, vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, as they cooked goose and spring onion pie, partridge curry and game casserole.
Sergeant AJ Huyser, of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, headed up one of the cooking teams.
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The 35-year-old South African said: “For many of our younger chefs it is their first time cooking with game and working with meat that has not already been butchered. Dealing with feathers and fur is a new experience and they need to learn different skills to prepare game.
“This is relevant to our operational role because there might not always be the logistic chain to deliver rations and our chefs might have to improvise to ensure soldiers are fed. What we’re doing today will give them the confidence and skills to think outside of the ration box and adapt.”
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Mr Acott, himself a former Army chef, said: “I’m here to give technical advice to help the chefs prepare game safely to cook. The basic skills of Army chefs are a lot better than when I started out and they have had more experience of working in the field.
“I’m impressed with how they’re adapting their skills and recipes to different ingredients.”