Army chefs go in to battle

A splash of pride and sprinkling of rivalry was on the menu for Army chefs when they competed in a culinary competition.

The challenge was to cook and serve a two-course meal for four diners in just 90-minutes, whilst also impressing judge Mike Robinson.
 
Mike is one of the UK’s most respected game chefs. He is the owner of three restaurants specialising in wild game and has made dozens of TV appearances and written numerous successful cookbooks.
 
The two-man teams representing 103 Battalion REME based in the East of England and London and 101 Battalion REME based in West of England and Wales were required to produce a main course that included a haunch of venison provided by Mike from his own estate. It had to have a potato and seasonal vegetable accompaniment.
 
The dessert had to be British with seasonal fruits containing at least two ingredients chosen from apples, blackberries, figs, grapes, pears, plums, quince and raspberries.  
 
As the chefs watched the clock, they were closely observed by Mike who was judging them on their organisation, teamwork, presentation and most importantly the flavour and quality of the dishes they cooked.
 
Held at Keynsham Army Reserve Centre, Mike also found time to give a master class in preparing venison haunch.
 
He said: “It's been a great day, the guys have been amazing, and I’ve been thoroughly impressed by their skill and dedication. They have produced some great tasting food that was of a real high standard and I would have happily paid the money to eat it in a gastropub or restaurant.”
 
Although the competition was keenly fought, Sgt Alex Sabin-Staines and Private John Benton from 101 Battalion REME were named overall winners.