Galley Wars at Fleet Week earns ship chefs top trophy

MS DJ Fields, PO1 John Cross and PO2 Pierre Forget hold their Galley Wars award.

MS DJ Fields, PO1 John Cross and PO2 Pierre Forget hold their Galley Wars award.

SLt Matthew Mooney, HMCS Ottawa ~

Just before the September long weekend HMCS Ottawa set sail for Los Angeles Fleet Week. Under the guidance of the new Commanding Officer, Commander Alex Barlow, ship and crew sailed down the west coast to southern California.

Accompanied by Sea Training Pacific staff, the crew participated in at-sea readiness trials in preparation for their follow-on mission of Operation Caribbe.

Upon arrival in the “City of Angels”, the ship was greeted by USS Iowa, one of America’s last battleships. Iowa welcomed Ottawa by firing a two-gun salute and flying Bravo Zulu as the frigate passed by.

Fleet Week was comprised of a series of events that brought the men and women of Canada’s navy together with the sailors and marines of the United States. From football games to formal evenings, there was something for everyone.

One highlight of the week was “Galley Wars.”

Galley Wars pitted chefs from all services against each other in a battle of barbequed burgers. Teams were assembled by the United States Coast Guard, Navy, and Marines, who faced off against the Royal Canadian Navy. Each crew was tasked with creating a specialized burger, two sides, and a dessert. The finest creations were prepped on board their respective ship, with the final cooking process and assembly conducted in one site, under the critical eye of celebrity judges. The distinguished Robert Irvine, a Food Network Chef; Mei Lin, Winner of Top Chef; and Steve Samson, a highly distinguished LA restaurant owner were ready to provide feedback on the creations.

The Canadian team came armed with a menu they were sure would impress the judges. PO1 John Cross, PO2 Pierre Forget, and MS DJ Fields worked together to craft a winning burger. The Canadian chefs used 60 percent bison and 40 per cent lamb that was double ground and stuffed with homemade jalapeno bacon jam.

They made their own brioche bun and topped their culinary creation with homemade Louisiana ketchup and poutine cheese.

Accompanying the burger was a mixed bitter green salad with fresh shredded Applewood cheddar cheese topped with homemade caper vinaigrette. For dessert, they made a fresh doughnut topped with Callebaut Chocolate, a pinch of sea truffle salt, and a sprinkle of rendered bacon reduction. Topping it off, they drizzled caramel topping. This was all washed down with a healthy portion of Canada’s finest Moose Milk.

Once the menus were announced, it became clear the Canadian chefs were the ones to beat.

Once all the burgers were tasted, and fingers licked, the chefs of HMCS Ottawa were declared Galley War winners. They were followed by the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Coast Guard. For their outstanding performance, the judges awarded the chefs the coveted Galley Wars cutting board to commemorate their victory.

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  1. Bill Pratt says:

    Makes me proud to hear of our Canadian cooks competing and winning at International culinary competitions. BZ

    Chef Bill Pratt CCC MMM
    (C1CK Ret’d)
    Chef Inspired Group of Restaurants

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