RAF Boulmer News

At the end of October, RAF Boulmer sent a team of caterers, managed by Corporal Malone to compete in Exercise Joint Caterer (EX JC). This is an inter-service, blue riband competition and is similar to national and international culinary events.

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Exercise Joint Caterer

At the end of October, RAF Boulmer sent a team of caterers, managed by Corporal Malone to compete in Exercise Joint Caterer (EX JC). This is an inter-service, blue riband competition and is similar to national and international culinary events.

The purposes of the competition are to:

  • Develop caterer’s culinary skills, nurture pride in professional achievement, build team spirit and develop imagination, innovation, and adaptability to excel in operations.
  • Provide a platform to heighten awareness among other Service arms, especially Commanders, of the catering skill sets they can exploit on operations.
  • Enhance industry perception of military catering skills and resources to enhance the reputation of military food services.
  • Re-assure Service families and opinion formers about the priority afforded to nutrition and welfare on operations.

Selected competitors were requested to further research and fine tune their class and were supported by their mentor, Cpl Rowley, to practice in preparation for the event where they created a range of delicious dishes.

The team exceeded Cpl Rowley’s expectations by bringing home a range of awards due to their success and The Royal Air Force took home the overall winners of the competition.

Cpl Rowley said:

I was absolutely delighted that all three did so well especially after all the effort they individually and collectively put in, not only on the day but also in preparing and practicing for the event. It is important to note that they are all newcomers to competitions and to showcase their talent in the way they did stands them in good stead for future competitions. With these achievements this year, I'm sure they will do as well if not even better next year.

The team would like to thank all the support from the wider Station to make it possible to plan, prepare and compete.

The team:

AS1 Ellen Thomas

After Ellen’s recent success from her first competition at Deli-Fresh, she was eager to get involved in Exercise Joint Caterer in Junior Chef of the Year. For this, she was mentored by both Sergeant Malone and Corporal Rowley where they all sat together and designed menus which had to fit within the brief and guidelines set out by the Committee.

During the day, Ellen took it all in her stride and completed everything perfectly and within the time set. She was awarded the outstanding accolade of Armed Forces Junior Chef of the Year 2023 and Gold Medal, an award that is few and far between and one which will live with her for the rest of her service career. Her next goal is to continue to strive within the competition scene and push to be selected for the Combined Services Culinary Arts Team.

AS1 John Jones

John is an experienced competition competitor and was keen to compete in this year’s EX JC. He volunteered to compete in the Open Novelty Cake Class and after last minute dropouts due to A4 Taskings, John volunteered to backfill the Open Feathered Game class to ensure the RAF didn’t lose out on any points overall.

After all the hard work and extra hours, he was awarded a Silver Medal for both competitions, an excellent achievement of which he should be very proud of. Juggling two competitions is very hard to do and having less than one week’s notice for the Open feathered Game class to achieve a silver medal is exceptional.

AS1 Rowan Robinson

A Chef with great previous experience pre-Service life, working in Angela Hartnett’s Michelin Star restaurant in the pastry section and a pre-qualified Chef, she was eager to showcase her skills at EX JC. She volunteered for the Open Hot Dessert class; a class feared by many. Rowan took all this within her stride and took little mentorship in the menu planning. Her dish was excellently balanced, and the seasonality was flawless.

During the competition she showcased a lot of skills and was awarded a silver medal and Best in Class for her dish, a great accolade for her first ever catering competition.

Corporal Steve Rowley (Pictured Left)

As the most experienced competition chef of the Catering Flt, there was no one better to pick as the person to lead all the run throughs. His exceptional knowledge and breadth of skill has seen these young chefs mature and flourish to fruition of what they have achieved and has aided the RAF in winning the overall Combined Service winning team. He worked over and above to make sure that the team succeeded, and this was very much appreciated by all the management team and his subordinates. This will be Steve’s last ever EX JC and he will be a miss to the Service and Trade Group 19.

Corporal Connor Mackie

Newly posted into RAF Boulmer, Connor is a member of the Combined Services Culinary Arts Team (CSCAT). Exercise Joint Caterer is crucial for the CSCAT team to scout out up-and-coming members of the team from across all three Services. They have an upcoming Culinary World Cup where Connor is pivotal member of the CSCAT Team. CSCAT are crème de la crème for any promising chef wanting to compete at these competitions. They inspire the next generation of Service chefs to learn from and become some of the best chefs in the Armed Forces.

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