Kinloss’ army caterers cook up a storm at Fort George

Winners - Kinloss Catering
LCpl Prakash Rai, Sgt Robbie Reynolds, and Cpl Suraj Gurung, with (rear) 39’s Regimental Catering Warrant Officer (RCWO) WO2 Kevin Geddes.

KINLOSS BARRACKS TROOPS enjoy some of the best food served up in the British Army – and that is now official as a team from the base came top in a national competition this week.

Fort George was the venue for the annual ‘Scotland’s Field Catering’ competition, where teams of Army cooks were out to showcase their skills in a competitive environment.

It was the team from Moray who emerged as clear winners, with the team skippered by Sgt Robbie Reynolds pulling a good Gordon Ramsey impression as he led Cpl Suraj Gurung and LCpl Prakash Rai into the production of a two-course meal for 20 soldiers produced entirely from the contents of standard, 10-man ration packs.

The 39 Engineer Regiment trio leaned heavily on Nepalese roots, producing traditional flavours from the standard ration packs in their beef momo main course, followed by chocolate torte with expresso sauce as a dessert.

“I’ve been in the Army for 16 years and the other two have 11 years each – so I think the fact we are old helped,” Sgt Reynolds said, adding: “We are absolutely thrilled about winning – I could not have asked for more from the team and we really enjoyed the whole experience.”

Each of the teams taking part had just two and a half hours to prepare their meal – but even before they could take to the pans they had to complete a ‘military skills’ phase that would’ve left Master Chef contestants quivering. That consisted of a six-mile run through Ardersier while carrying 15kg back-packs.

While the Kinloss team finished second in that section, they were clear winners in the cooking section and that made them overall champions with the right to represent Scotland at the UK-wide Army Catering competition in October.

Commenting on the competition, organiser WO2 Muir Philip said: “For as long as we have an Army, we will need Army Chefs.

“The competition tests the chefs to improvise meals with the bare minimum of supplies, meaning that creativity is important. 39 Engineer Regiment from Kinloss ran out worthy winners and will represent Scotland in the national finals in October.”

For their defeated opponents – Leuchars Station, 3 Scots, 3 Rifles and 2 Scots, there will be another day in another year!