Armed Forces chefs will be putting more plants on plates after attending a vegan cookery masterclass

British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force chef instructors honed their plant-based culinary skills in Humane Society International/UK’s Forward Food training

Humane Society International / United Kingdom

Jessica Webb/HSI

LONDONMilitary chef instructors from across the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force and Civil Service have been learning how to create plant-based, flavour-filled, planet-friendly dishes thanks to the latest vegan culinary training workshop held by animal protection organisation Humane Society International/UK.

In this the second Forward Food training by HSI/UK for the UK Defence Food Services Training Wing at Worthy Down, Winchester, chef instructors took part in a masterclass on creating plant-based canapés, having previously received training in designing nutritious vegan main courses and how to market those menu items. The session also covered the fundamentals of making appetising and flavoursome plant-based dishes, which typically have a lower environmental footprint than meat and dairy options.

The day’s cooking sessions were mentored by HSI/UK’s Forward Food chef and renowned food writer Jenny Chandler, who ran interactive demonstrations on depth of flavour and food texture. Ministry of Defence chef instructors then took to the kitchen to put what they’d learnt into practice and whipped up creative vegan canapés including: devilled potatoes; carrot “salmon” lox; smoky squash and black bean fritters; mini roast cauliflower and cashew cheela pancakes served with mango chutney; and cucumber cups with a spiced peanut dip and crispy chickpeas.

Rich Hardy, senior farmed animal campaigns manager at Humane Society International/UK, said: “It’s really encouraging to be working with the Armed Forces, responsible for serving millions of meals every week to tri-service personnel, and that they are willing to equip chefs with the skills to meet the rising demand for plant-based options. This is the second Forward Food training HSI/UK has delivered for the UK Defence Food Services Training Wing, and the chef instructors here have now truly mastered the art of creating exciting and flavourful vegan dishes! Putting more plants on plates helps reduce demand for factory farming, which is vital both in the race to meet climate targets, and to stop the suffering of millions of animals.”

Warrant Officer Class 2 Kerry Bale, Catering Development Warrant Officer at the UK Defence Food Services Training Wing, said: “Diets of choice are growing in popularity; with an increasing demand towards nutritious plant-based foods, the chef instructors must enhance their skills in order to present the offer to service personnel. The training we have received was excellent and plays an important role in helping us to remain current.” 

More than 300 chefs have been trained through HSI’s Forward Food programme in the UK since its launch in 2017. By supporting chefs and catering managers to gain skills and confidence in delivering a variety of high-quality plant-based menu items, HSI/UK is improving the availability of vegan options across the country and helping people make compassionate culinary choices.


Media contact: Sally Ivens, senior media and communications manager, HSI/UK:     

Forward Food is an initiative of Humane Society International, with the aim to encourage and enable the catering industry to shift the focus of menus away from meals centred on animal products and put more plant-based food on plates. Find out more at 

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