Heston Blumenthal sinks on Royal Navy sub

Heston Blumenthal at Taste Of London Festival,...

Heston Blumethal (Image via Wikipedia)

This is a heads-up for anyone interested in the Royal Navy, and especially those interested in what goes on below the depths and dietary matters.

Heston Blumenthal goes onboard HMS Turbulent, a nuclear-powered Royal Navy attack submarine, where he plans to shake up the crew’s diet. His first menu of blueberries, mackerel and dark chocolate – foods said to enhance concentration – does not go down well, and amid budgetary pressures he is forced to consider a radical new idea that would mean a revolution in the way Navy chefs prepare meals.

It’s not the first time a lovie chef has tried to overhaul military catering. Whilst you often hear complaints from serving and ex-servicemen about corned beef and the suchlike, at the same time I doubt very much whether Jack was ever going to be too keen on mackerel and blueberries. Theres variety, but then there’s frippery. Think of WHO you’re cooking for. What do servicemen want and need? Nutritious, healthy, but enjoyable and not toooo boring. Food is one of the last bastions of human morale, after all.

However the idea that he comes up with – I have heard rumours about this – is so simple its a wonder they didn’t come up with it before. During the war Royal Navy submarines struggled in the catering department. Some of the smaller subs had such a small crew there was no room for a dedicated chef, and little room for food stowage. Even on a larger, modern sub cooking for hundreds of men must be a problem. And as we all know, it must be boring eating the same plain food all the time.

Heston’s Mission Impossible onboard HMS Turbulent is on Channel 5 tonight at 9pm.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Heston Blumenthal sinks on Royal Navy sub

  1. John Erickson

    So – would I be considered totally evil if I recommended a diet high in cabbage, beans, and burritos? Or is the RN shopping for an alternative energy source for their subs – natural “gas”? ;)
    Sorry, life isn’t going to well right now, which tends to bring out the sick humour. I’ll stop now. :)
    Though I would love to see Gordon Ramsey go head-to-head with an old WW2 tin-can cook. I’ve met a couple – disparage their work, and they use you to swab out the guns – head-first! :D

  2. James Daly

    From what I’ve gathered you have to leave behind your sense of smell before boaring a sub, so ‘waste products’ shouldnt be too much of a problem! ;)

  3. John Erickson

    Aw, c’mon James, with these modern-day luxury submarines? Refrigerators, showers, air-conditioning – what a bunch of whiny wimps. Now, stick 50 of ya into a London bus (single level, please), close the windows, run the interior temperature up to about 25-30c, AND vent the bus’s engine into the interior. Throw in a few dozen gallons of rank sea water, and voila! Now THAT’S a sub experience! :D
    Seriously, I’ve been aboard the U-505 in Chicago in both summer and winter (it’s kept outside). Even with good ventilation (provided from outside) and reasonably clean fellow patrons, she could get quite … ripe on a summer day. I cannot even conceive of doing that in peacetime, much less with other people shooting at you! God love the submariners – I’m grateful beyond words that there are people out there INSANE enough to do this for a living!

  4. John Erickson

    Unrelated, but I just saw a news ticker mention an explosion during live-fire drills at Fort Bragg, NC. 8 Marines and 2 Navy. From the minor wounds (cuts and shrapnel), either somebody dropped a live one while loading, or somebody got some REALLY bad co-ordinates!

  5. x

    I eat kippers with lime marmalade; a bad habit I picked up in the Isle of Man.

    Heston should be sent to Whaley. The food in the ratings’ mess hall has gone steadily down hill ever since they brought in civi’ caters. Not inedible, but on occasion far from terrific.

    Though during my last few visits to HMS Excellent I was entitled to eat, sorry dine, in the Wardroom I never did so I cannot comment……..

    (PS I also think it was the thin end of the wedge when Spar started running shoreside NAAFI shops.)

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