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Armed Forces Caterer of the Year Award: POCS Cat Taylor - Royal Navy

9th Apr 2024 - 11:00

As the sole catering services Senior Rating in HMS Trent, POCS Taylor has delivered the highest standard of defence engagement (DE) activity in 13 events across four continents and 14 countries within a single year, says her commanding officer Commander Tim Langford, HMS Trent.

“Leading her small team she has maintained an exceptional standard of catering without support and despite the myriad of material and supply challenges posed by operating off West Africa.

“Deployed on Operation Interlock at short notice, and with minimal time to prepare, her ability to adapt has been remarkable. With no available uplift in workforce, and challenged to feed a ship’s company swollen by 40% due to arrival of augmentees, she and her team continued to deliver a varied and healthy choice of meal options to personnel.

“DE events were delivered flawlessly, each showcasing an imaginative menu of canapés and refreshments adapted to the nuances of each country visited. From Cape Verde to Lagos, Nigeria visiting dignitaries were quick to praise the exceptional standard of food at each event.

“Her impact has been felt far beyond delivery of engagement events. She is sympathetic to the impact on personnel away from home for nine months every year, and is a fierce advocate for the impact high quality food can have on the morale component.

“As a result, she works hard to motivate her personnel to strive for outstanding levels of performance. Feedback from visitors, guests and senior commanders consistently supports a view that the food served in Trent is some of the best they’ve ever experienced in the fleet.

“Menus are innovative, choices exceptionally presented, and the team’s passion for catering is clearly evident. She has inculcated a sense of pride among her team, which is a testament to her leadership and unwavering work ethic. Indeed, the successes of her and the team are even more impressive when considered alongside the fact that they have spent over two months without an oven due to defects.

“Every assurance visit to Trent has been marked by glowing reviews of both her and the department she leads. Her knowledge of catering services and her account were assessed as ‘exceptional’ during the Fleet Logistics Inspection and FOST training, and she is wholly deserving of formal recognition.”

This year, for the first time, the Armed Forces Caterer of the Year Award featured three women as finalists. The three short-listed service personnel were Sgt Tracey Smith from the Royal Air Force, POCS Cat Taylor from the Royal Navy, and Pte Sachita Tamang from the Army.

The Armed Forces Caterer of the Year Award is not open for nomination; instead it is decided by senior military catering personnel after units have been encouraged to identify and nominate a military caterer who has made an ‘outstanding contribution’ to morale through the delivery of catering services in 2023.

PSC Alliance