ESS Chefs Feed 500 Charity Gala Guests On Board HMS Queen Elizabeth

21 December 2022

ESS was selected by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) to cater for 500 guests at its recent gala dinner held on board the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, at Portsmouth Naval Base.

The high-profile event will help to fund the vital work of the RNRMC which exists to support sailors, marines and their families for life. ESS enjoys a longstanding relationship with the organisation and has been recognised as a Platinum Partner.

The menu was developed by ESS chef Ryan Hopper, Royal Navy veteran and former Captain of the Combined Services Culinary Arts Team. 

Focusing on the sustainability of the menu, Ryan created a ‘No Waste Piccalilli’ and ‘Dustbin Ketchup’ from ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste. These were served as part of the starter.

Ryan was later auctioned off as a prize! He will now cook for ten guests who will have the opportunity to enjoy the three dishes he contributed to the charity’s Galley cookbook. Supported by ESS, Galley showcases the skill and talent of 20 chefs with a connection to the Royal Navy.

The chef brigade for the event was drawn from across the ESS business and included six apprentices at various stages in their training, demonstrating the company’s commitment to developing and investing in its teams.

Alicia Burnett, Corporate Partnerships and Events Manager at the RNRMC, said:

“We were thrilled to have ESS cater at our His Majesty's Wave Fundraising Ball on board the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier. The chefs showed dedication and the utmost professionalism, all while dealing with the constraints of cooking in the hangar of a working warship.

“Head chef Ryan Hopper's menu was a real luxury, and the guests thoroughly enjoyed every course. At such an event, it is important to provide the best service, and ESS absolutely delivered.”

Bob Gray, Managing Director – ESS Defence, Marine and Aerospace, commented:

“It was a privilege for us to cater for this fantastic event and to continue supporting the amazing work done by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC). What a fantastic experience for our chefs! I know they all relished the opportunity to be involved and I’m incredibly proud of the food they delivered on the night.”