Series Finale: Episode 4/4

Tuesday 16th December at 8:00pm on five

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. In the final instalment, Major Lomas leads his best chefs into culinary battle at a high-profile cooking competition.

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.

This week, Maj Lomas picks the cream of the crop from his London team and puts them through a rigorous training regime in preparation for the Combined Services Culinary Challenge (CSCC) at Sandown Park in Surrey. This annual event is the climax of the Army chefs’ calendar – a chance for them to show off their gourmet skills and showcase the latest techniques. With competition coming from handpicked teams across the British armed forces, the standards will be very high.

One part of the contest sees the teams given two and a half hours to prepare two main courses and two puddings for 20 people using dried rations and just £5-worth of fresh ingredients. This challenge is designed to represent conditions on the frontline, where military cooks often use whatever local ingredients they can find in order to supplement standard ration-pack fare.

The dishes are judged by a panel of top Army chefs who will be looking out for far more than just taste and presentation. The teams at the CSCC are also judged on how efficiently they have used their rations, how well the chefs have worked as a unit and the levels of hygeine they have maintained – particularly important in combat situations.

Nothing less than the top prize in every element of the contest will do for Maj Lomas and his protégés. Will his young master chefs manage to hold their nerve under close scrutiny from the best in the business?

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