Armed Forces chefs attend vegan cookery workshop so they can offer a ‘healthier and more sustainable diet’

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  24th February 2023

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Armed Forces chef instructors from the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force attended a plant-based culinary masterclass held by Humane Society International/UK, Veganuary and Plant Futures


Armed Forces chef instructors have taken part in a plant-based culinary masterclass to learn about how to reduce animal food consumption.

Personnel from across the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force and Civil Service attended the training workshop held by Humane Society International/UK (HSI/UK) Veganuary and Plant Futures.

The event, held last month at Worthy Down, Winchester, covered the fundamentals of making flavoursome dishes without the meat and dairy ingredients which typically have a higher environmental footprint than plant-based options.

HSI/UK’s Forward Food chef and renowned food writer Jenny Chandler mentored the sessions.

She drew on her experience of cooking on ships and in remote locations to advise attendees on how to create healthy vegan meals when limited by space and equipment in kitchens in the field or on naval ships at sea.

Among the dishes overseen by Jenny were oyster mushroom tacos with corn salsa, soba noodles in a rich umami broth topped with crunchy fresh vegetables, and creamy chickpea and butternut squash curry served with flatbreads and onion bhajis.

Armed Forces creating plant-based food

In a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, HSI/UK’s Forward Food programme manager Charlie Huson described delivering the workshop as a ‘pleasure’.

She said that chef instructors were ‘keen to learn how to create tasty, healthy plant-based dishes and are now well-placed to pass on this knowledge to their students’.

“With more and more people reducing their consumption of animal products, HSI/UK’s Forward Food programme is equipping chefs with the skills to meet the rising demand for plant-based options,” Charlie added.

“By supporting organisations like the Ministry of Defence – which serves millions of meals to military personnel every week – to put more plants on plates, we can help reduce demand for factory farming and combat climate change.”

Oyster mushroom tacos were amongst the dishes on the menu during the sessions.

Oyster mushroom tacos were amongst the dishes on the menu during the sessions.

‘Healthier and more sustainable’

Meanwhile, Major Javed Johl RLC, Food Services Training Wing, added: “As diets of choice increase in popularity among the UK public, the Armed Forces must reflect this in our offer to service personnel.

“Upskilling our Chef Instructors at the Food Services Training Wing is the first step to achieving this. In collaboration with HSI/UK, we have laid the foundations of introducing a healthier and more sustainable diet across the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.”

Indy Kaur of Plant Futures said the integration of plant-based foods and new cooking techniques across all culinary discipline marks an ‘important moment in food’.

“Highlighting the importance plant-based foods play in delivering diversified protein sources, healthy and wholesome nutrition and providing good hearty meals,” Indy added.

“A momentous occasion as we acknowledge this first of its kind workshop and continuing our conversations. With thanks to the MOD and Veg Network for their enthusiasm and drive to make this event happen along with HSI/UK and Veganuary, a good team effort all round.”

All images courtesy of HSI/UK

Are you keen to introduce people to plant-based dishes? Get inspired by our  21 vegan seitan recipe ideas even meat-eaters will love

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

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