Image of Pancake flipping onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth
Traditionally Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, is the last day of feasting before the religious festival of Lent begins, and for the hungry sailors onboard this ship the feast of pancakes was a welcome treat! With state of the art equipment, the Royal Navy chefs who will sail with the ship have been eagerly getting to grips with the newest galley in the fleet by cooking up three meals per day for her 680 crew members. 
To mark the festival, six of the most junior chefs onboard were asked to create their own pancake recipes and go head-to-head for the title of star pancake-maker. To add some extra spice to the competition the young chefs were lucky enough to be visited by Scottish favourite Tony Singh MBE to cast the deciding vote on the best tasting recipe and provide some handy tips. 
The galley of a ship is a familiar environment to Tony who has served up dishes on board the Royal Yacht Britannia and he became an honorary member of the ships company when he was presented with his very own HMS Queen Elizabeth apron. Speaking before the baking began, Tony said, “It’s a privilege to be here in this state of the art-galley while you embark on your careers as the future chefs of this amazing warship. Serving on board the UKs biggest and most complex warship is an incredible way to start your career in the kitchen and the best advice I can give you talented chefs is to remember that less is more.” 
With all their creative culinary knowledge on show, the young chefs turned the simple pancake into an edible work of art and made judging a winner a difficult task for the panel. Along with Tony, making the difficult decisions were Cdr Fiona Percival, head of the Logistics Department, WO1 William Shepherd, Logistics Departmental Coordinator, and Galley Chief, CPO Duncan Knibbs.
After much tasting (and re-tasting), first prize of a signed cookbook went to AB Chef Nicholas Cassidy for his excellent stack of pancakes served with chocolate and hazelnut ice-cream and orange star anise syrup.
AB Chef Nicholas Cassidy said, “Having the opportunity to show off our culinary skills and our brand new galley to a TV celebrity chef has been exciting. The pressure is really on when we’re cooking up the meals for the ship’s company but it was nothing compared to making sure my pancakes were just right for a top chef.” 
To end an entertaining and rewarding experience for the junior chefs, Tony rolled up his sleeves and rustled up a few of his own pancakes for some pancake flipping fun with the competitors.
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Stephanie Davis
Programme Communications Manager

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