Immediately after New Entry School (recruit training), all Navy Chefs enter the Cookery School for an eight-week introductory course where they learn the basics of Navy catering.
Before any theory or practical learning begins, students complete a Safe Food Course. During the following introductory course, trainee Chefs sit both theory and practical examinations that assess their ability to work to a plan, to work under pressure, and evaluate their skill level, cleanliness and practical ability in a galley (naval kitchen).
Image on right: A Chef trainee preparing a dish during a practical assessment.
When a rating has spent some time in the Navy, they return to the Cookery School for more advanced training. Indeed, Chefs undertake a number of courses during their Naval career that will prepare them to cater for a variety of different functions, from daily meals and morning and afternoon teas, to cocktail parties and formal dinners.
Training will also focus on developing the skills to manage teams of personnel, both in and out of the galley, as well as the skills to organise and manage functions.
Each year the Cookery School, along with a number of Chefs, becomes involved in catering competitions both within Defence and in industry. These competitions provide Chefs with the opportunity to display their culinary skills competitively; they are matched against their Army contemporaries as well as against chefs from other learning institutions.
Navy Chefs participating in catering competitions.
To become a Chef in today's Navy, applicants must be able to think independently, learn different methods and possess a good sense of humour.
Read a full job description for a Navy Chef.