Mansfield Royal Navy chef ready to rustle up family favourite

A Royal Navy trainee chef from Mansfield has been learning how to rustle up a family favourite in the lead up to Pancake day (Tuesday 21 February) during his training at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall.

Able Rate (AB) Mark Penlington joined the Royal Navy last September and is now part way through his 26-week basics chefs course at the Defence Maritime Logistics School which is also based at HMS Raleigh. He was among a class of 12 trainee chefs who were taught the art of pancake making by their instructor, Leading Chef Clare Broadbent.

The 22-year-old is a former pupil of Joseph Whittaker school and was working as a chef prior to joining the Royal Navy. Mark said: “I joined the Royal Navy for a better career and to travel. Being in the Service has been really good so far and my ambition is to get promoted as high as I possibly can. I’d recommend the Navy to anyone. We are constantly learning and also have to maintain our fitness. This course has taught me how to cook in bulk and I’ve improved my dessert making. The trick with pancakes is getting a lot of air into the batter mix and the best pancake accompaniment has to be chocolate ice cream.”

Mark’s current course is teaching him how to cook tasty meals for hundreds of people as well as fine dining cuisine. He is also learning about food hygiene, health and safety, catering accountancy and stock control.

Leading Chef Broadbent said: “During training we teach the trainees the basic culinary skills and techniques they require for when they join their first ship or submarine. At sea we follow tradition and most ships will cook pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. It really contributes to the morale on board especially if the ship is deployed. Depending on the class of ship, the chefs could be making between 500 to 600 pancakes, so it’s important the trainees learn how to do this during their course.”

The Defence Maritime Logistics School is part of the tri-Service Defence College of Logistics and Personnel Administration. Within its facilities at HMS Raleigh the school offers a range of professional training to members of the Royal Navy, Royal Navy Reserve, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary Personnel.