Thursday, November 19, 2009
Meet 23-year old LCpl Stevie Allan. He's a combat chef with an impressive array of awards to his name, including Scottish Junior Chef of the Year.
LCpl Allan has just arrived at the Forward Operating Base at Wishtan, Helmand, where he'll be working in a brand new, winterised cookhouse. The new kitchen has been named 'The Jordan Rossi Cookhouse', after Sapper Jordan Rossi who was tragically killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol nearby in May. It's a much-needed improvement, offering greater space and better appliances - essential for feeding over a hundred soldiers three times a day.
A trained soldier as well as a chef, he spent parts of his pre-deployment training as a member of an Infantry platoon, and is trained to handle the full range of Infantry weapons, from the pistol to the Grenade Machine Gun.
He said: "One minute you can be in the kitchen cooking, the next you can be in a Sangar firing at insurgents, or be sent to an isolated Patrol Base. You just never know."
When he gets home in April, LCpl Allan hopes to get a new car and take a well earned holiday, before having a crack at the notoriously difficult Commando Course in Devon. In the meantime, he's planning culinary feasts for the coming months. Tinned rations may be hard to glamorize, but he plans to put in a big effort for Christmas and, of course, Burns Night - complete with haggis!