Chefs are responsible for the whole range of Navy's catering requirements from cooking three to four meals a day for hungry ships’ companies, to catering for official functions including cocktail parties, formal dinners, buffets, morning and afternoon teas, and many high profile international and diplomatic functions. A chef is expected to cook for anyone from the most junior sailor, to Presidents and members of the Royal Family.
You could be preparing a cocktail party to be held by the Commanding Officer while in a foreign country or preparing a high carbohydrate meal for a new recruit involved in intense physical training. You will prepare meals at sea and ashore and may even cook 'in the field' on peacekeeping operations overseas.
Your career will start with initial and specialist training before posting to a shore based galley to practice your new skills. Further postings will see you serving at sea and ashore with further training and courses available to help with your career development and progression. Those that make the grade are able to sit for written examinations for the City and Guilds of London Institute.
You will work in galleys (kitchens) at sea and in shore establishments. You will work alongside fellow chefs who will be at various stages of their career. Your duties will include the preparation and cooking of regular meals for as few as 10 people to as many as 200. This means that you could be on watch anytime between 5am and 10pm on any day of the week or even be required to work through the night when at sea. As a shift worker your scheduled days off will sometimes occur on a normal working day rather than a weekend.
In addition, whilst serving on ship, you will take part in various functions as part of the ship’s communal effort. This can be as varied as carrying out damage control activities, being part of a boarding team, general seamanship activities, domestic cleanliness duties, storing, and ammunition handling – just to name a few.
Your hard work, experience, and training accomplishments as a Chef are rewarded by promotions in rank and salary. Following your initial training and consolidation, you can reasonably be expected to have attained a basic level of competence within 18 months of joining. This will be supplemented by a sea posting and then further training to prepare you for promotion to a supervisory role.
Advanced training will involve both generic leadership skills and development as a chef. Successful completion of these will qualify you for a promotion to Leading Hand whereby you will be responsible for supervising a team of chefs, either at sea or ashore.
Careers in the Navy are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.
While undertaking Basic Recruit Course you will be paid as a Recruit (see attached pay table). On completion of your Recruit Course you will be paid as an Ordinary Rate and your pay will continue to increase as your career progresses.
Upon successful enlistment into the Navy you’ll be posted to Devonport Navy base in Auckland. Here you will do 13 weeks of basic military training to find out if you’ve got what it takes to be in the Navy, and learn various subjects including:
Your specialist chef training will be undertaken at the Navy’s Catering School where you will learn and develop skills in modern and relevant catering skills. Following this initial training phase, you will complete on job training (OJT) and consolidate in one of the galleys in Devonport Naval Base. As you gain more experience, you will post to sea for up to 18 months to become part of a small team onboard a ship that providing catering support to the Ship’s Company.
Chefs receive comprehensive Navy training throughout their careers at a basic, supervisory and managerial level and receive qualifications in the following areas:
Your basic chef training is conducted using a joint training environment with Army validated by the award of City and Guilds of London Institute 7065/11 (Certificate in Food Preparation and Cooking) and Safe Food NZQA 167, 168 and 20666. Your advanced training, usually completed within 3 – 4 years of joining, is validated by the award of City and Guilds of London Institute 7065/12 (Certificate in Advanced Food Preparation and Cooking).
In addition to chef training you will also be trained in Advance Causality Care. Chefs are part of Ship’s Medical Emergency Team and respond to any medical incidences whether during a training exercise or for real.
As your career progresses, you will undertake further training to develop your generic leadership skills and specialist skills. The ability to manage people effectively and efficient is a key part of your development. This training will provide you with additional skills and expertise to assist with your career progression.
Up to the level of Petty Officer you will undertake on going specialist training in accordance with the City and Guilds of London Certificate. When you attain the rank of Chief Petty Officer and Warrant Officer you will solidify these skills and be granted the opportunity to conduct more administrative and HR duties.