Military Food

I recently had cause to "enjoy" military catering. This civilianisation seems to have achieved the impossible, namely making some of the most useless army slop jockeys look like Gordon Ramsey.

This led me to ponder my personal experiences with food in the armed services and wonder how much has changed. So, who would like to list their best/ worst meal in The Mob? Who cooked it? Where? In what conditions? I suppose a bag of rolled oats with curry powder might be delicious if you're stuck up a mountain. And, as the munter ACC bloke says in that new TA advert "more pepper!"

My earliest memory of army food was in the RA Trg Rgt's Sergeant's Mess in Woolwich in probably the very early 1980's. My dad was good mates with one of the BSMs and we were invited for Sunday lunch. Everything looked extremely pukka: blokes in starched white jackets and big silver tureens full of really top notch scoff. The RSM wanders in and says to the chef (I'll never forget this) "What's good today, chef?"

Chef says "We've got pork, lamb and chicken, sah!"

RSM says, "Hmmm. I think I'll have the beef!"

Chef says, "Sah!" And goes off to get some. Raw unaldulterated power!

Fast forward a few years and I'm at RAF Hullavington for some reason. The food there was the mutt's nuts. All the crabs were turning up from Brize just to get brekkie, and even the RAG Regt. blokes were complimentary about the scoff. I remember it was basically an upmarket self-service brasserie type effort with smart military catering staff. Steak for breakfast one morning...this led me to the conclusion that RAF food is better than army food.

However, the best meal I ever had in a military context was at the ENDEX of Ex. POTENT GAUNTLET (Germany 1989). Having just had a massive pretend firefight with some scary Scottish Regt. (Black Watch?), we were then treated to a massive spread of bratties, eggs, hot baguettes, fresh orange juice, freshly brewed coffee and what I think were some sort of odd army-issue hash brown. Fcuking delicious. I almost joined the regulars. I genuinely thought that the RQMS was a genius for that one.

So, name and shame the best and worst army scoff.



The best 'service' scoff I've had was at Northwood in the mid-1980s when it was still a purely RN/RAF setup (I was the only Army person there, as a Lieutenant). Superb scoff, meal after meal. The other interesting thing being that lots of the Navy and Crab officers would slosh down three or four pints at lunchtime whilst I, being a sanctimonious little pr1ck at the time, wouldn't touch the stuff until after work - much to everyone's amusement.

The worst military scoff I've ever had was courtesy of the Italian Carabinieri on Telic. A yogurt and a plastic 'croissant simulator' for breakfast; followed by pasta with 'tomato flavour' sauce for lunch and dinner, with the occasional bit of chicken, meat or fish on the side (and by occasional, I mean one meal out of three). This was slightly ameliorated by spasmodic wine issues (1 x 25cl carton per person every now and again). After the Carabinieri got suicide bombed, the food got even worse, though by then we were regularly hard-targetting down town to get an Arabic carry out, or sending the CP team to 'refuel' at the local US airbase where there was a Burger King and a Pizza Hut. I still managed to lose 27 lbs during the course of my deployment (which alas I put back on straight afterwards).
Having recently returned from the sand pit I can only praise the standard of food turned out by the chefs. The camp I was in was run by the Dutch when I first moved in and until you have eaten Bread, cheese, ham and rice crispies three times and day you would not believe the volume and potency of my bowel movements. By the time I left 14 chefs were catering for 1200 Brits and Aussie troops in mid day temps of 50 plus inside the kitchens all the scran was turned out a couple of field cookers top stuff. Of course I would never mention this to any of them its just not done.
Going back a bit (1970s) - 0200 hrs, Suffield: just got back with a chieftain casualty, chef(?) opens up the kitchen for the three of us: "T" bone steak chips and onion rings. Not the most elaborate but certainly the best at the time.
Best scoff was the stuff I used to cook myself. I used to soak the chicken in my own homemade marinate. Everyone loved the taste, and I chuckled too. Comments ranged from tangy to bitter tasting.............

The receipe is:

1 Bowl of sugar puffs and full fat milk
1 pint or more of lager
1 pint or more of cider

Eat sugar puffs, drink booze and pisss all over cooking chicken at every chance you get! Sit back and watch whilst 'mate' eats chicken. Chuckle to ones self!


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Why do you drop your keks for a piss?

Can't you just unzip like the rest of us Men?

(or perhaps you usually sit down for a piss? :twisted: :lol: )

The expression on your face is pricelesS BTW.


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I believe you Gunny.

Honestly I do.

Really - you have to believe that I believe you.

I mean to say - why would I consider otherwise.

Surely you don't think I am saying this just to keep your 'pecker' up.

:wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :D


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Gunny Highway said:
OOooooooooo, cheeky! :wink:
Its your cheeks on show parade after all :roll:
My best smeal ever was after 5 weeks compo on BATUS. ENDEX was called and we had the usual sit around for 12 hours until you're allowed to drive back to Camp.

While chewing the fat with the QM he casually asked if I wanted a steak. I replied 'of course' thinking to call the old barstewards bluff. He just smiled, went to his cool box , pulled out 2 of the largest steaks ever seen along with some onions and fried them there and then.

It turned out he had popped back into to Crowfoot on 9/11, found everyone watching TV, realised he could do fcuk all to help the spams and then robbed the kitchen stores blind. He even went as far to go back a second time to get more, this time with a 4 tonner.

Turned out everyone in Ech had been eating like kings fo 2 weeks.

Best QM we ever had.
chickenpunk said:
The best 'service' scoff I've had was at Northwood in the mid-1980s when it was still a purely RN/RAF setup (I was the only Army person there, as a Lieutenant). Superb scoff, meal after meal.
Sadly its gone downhill since then.


Best was on a familiarisation to RMCTC at U no where , fud coming out of our ears, quality goes to any Raf camp apart from a 4 month at kelly's garden where the half gurkha/half chinky crab wokka chef burnt my hoop from the insde for 4 months. The best ration issue had to be for 3 days in Baruki when 42 were in town and it was 1 & 1/2 days scran per man, no name, no pack drill. I nt he same sh*thole only 6 months previous the 1 R Hamsters managed to burn everything to the point that wagtail thought he was a greek god (as in burnt offerings). downhill from Munster chaps!
Best Army scoff ever was at Catterick Garrison. Mid 90's. We lived on the resettlement overflow accom along with a few other odds 'n' sods including 40 Sqn RCT and had a civvi Chef, oh he was the best. I had Fillet Steak, Mushrooms, Asparagus Spears and Chips for a week, I also enjoyed the full monty fry up on a weekend served on a platter whenever i wanted it,.

Even Army slop jockeys would have been envious.


Double post, not my drunken fault honest!!!!!!!
Worst food I've ever eaten, anywhere including school has to be Lydd and Hythe closely followed by Okehampton. Flush twice, it gets to the cookhouse quicker! Never been more true.
Okehampton is goping. The best is a toss up between Kosovo (waterloo lines), Afganistan and BATUS as TS although even as battlegroup it's still damn good. I have to big up 26 engr regt chefs. When given the budget those boys can produce outstanding scoff.
I agree that Lydd is the worst food I've ever had the misfortune to eat and that's when there was actually enough to go round.

Best was Bosnia. Our chef pulled out all the stops and we fed like kings. Credit where it's due, slops can do their jobs and do them well - sometimes!


The Monkeys Sgts Mess at Chichester. Was there on a Provo Sgts course years ago, just before the course was moved to MCTC. Fcuk, it was dross. All of it. When the Monkeys complained to the Mess President, the Mess Manageress complained about them.

Remember one night having Super Noodles for Dinner with some Stroganof as the chef had forgot to make the rice. His excuse was that he had made it, but that someone had stolen it. Honestly. They sent the barman round to the local shop for some rice and he came back with a shed load of Super Noodles? I always thought Rice started with an 'R'.

The old biddy of a Mess Manageress stood there glowering and actively defended her man against the comments made by the regulars. None of us course wallahs said a f*cking word, we were just gobsmacked by the whole thing.

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