Episode 3

Wednesday 10th December at 8:00pm

This four-part series profiles the men and women responsible for feeding the 120,000 British troops stationed overseas. From battlefield to banquet hall, the combat chefs are charged with the task of making hearty meals every day, whatever the weather and whatever the situation. This week, Maj Harry
Lomas is furious when he finds that his chefs have been cutting corners in the kitchen.

Keeping the British Army on its feet at home and abroad are the highly trained chefs of the Royal Logistic Corps. This versatile team serves everything from basic scoff in combat situations to haute cuisine at prestigious ceremonial events. Responsible for every army meal served up in London is renowned perfectionist Maj Harry Lomas.

With a meagre budget of £1.75 to feed each soldier, chefs in the London District certainly have their work cut out for them. In order for the army’s busiest catering unit to keep within budget, staff must adhere to the standard issue army cookbook. Its recipes are specially formulated to produce top-notch grub using fresh ingredients. Most importantly, there should be no waste.

Maj Lomas sets very high standards for the meals prepared under his watch. Every morsel must be up to scratch, whether it is being served to dignitaries at a state function or to soldiers in the barracks. However, it has come to Maj Lomas’s attention that his chefs have been lacing the troops’ lunches and dinners with processed ingredients. One culprit is LCpl Gladstone Nelson, who has not been using the prescribed tomato soup recipe. This improvisation is totally unacceptable, so the major decides it is time to send in the cavalry. With the help of his management team, he begins carrying out impromptu kitchen inspections.

During an inspection of packed lunches, Maj Lomas discovers to his dismay that some of the sandwiches have been filled with Spam and processed cheese. This is certainly not adequate sustenance for strapping servicemen, so Harry announces that he is going to “get round the regiments and kick some arse”.

At London’s Wellington Barracks, Maj Lomas dons his whites and prepares to show his chefs how it should be done. It is the first time in 20 years that the major has got his hands dirty in the kitchen, but he has not lost his touch. Today, the unit is charged with feeding over a thousand hungry punters from the Territorial Army. As many fresh ingredients as possible are included in the fare. Harry also uses the opportunity to give LCpl Nelson a master class in how to cook tomato soup army-style.

Elsewhere, Harry deploys food officer Mark Nottingham to the Household Cavalry in Windsor. As Nottingham gives the kitchen the once-over, head chef LSgt Stebbing is not impressed. “It’s my kitchen –get out,” he says. Despite the chef’s objections, Mark sets about trying to prove that fresh is best when it comes toarmy catering. But LSgt Stebbing is not convinced, claiming that without extra hands in the kitchen, cooking everything from scratch is impossible. However, Harry remains undeterred at this setback and turns his attention to whipping his chefs’ attitudes into shape.

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