Chef Travelling the World with the Navy

Able Chef Paul Allen
Able Chef Paul Allen

11 August 2016

Taumarunui man Paul Allen is seeing the world as a chef with the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Able Chef (AC) Allen, a former Taumarunui High School student, joined the Navy nearly eight years ago, hoping to travel and build a career, and has not been disappointed.

He has been to Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, the Auckland Islands, Turkey (for Anzac Day), and has just finished a five-week stint in Hawaii for Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise, which has just finished. The exercise is held every second year and this year it involved 26 nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel.

AC Allen, 27, worked aboard Australia’s newest and largest warship, HMAS Canberra, during the exercise. The ship was home to 1000 personnel – 400 crew and a further 600 troops – all requiring three meals a day.

“The highlight of the exercise has been the opportunity to come on a vessel this size and cook for this number of people,” AC Allen says. “We use 60 kilograms of bacon a day for breakfast, 120kg of potatoes for lunch or dinner, and 100kg of steaks. We also make soft-serve daily, ranging from vanilla to Snickers flavours,” he said.

“It was a great opportunity to learn from the Australian chefs.”

RNZN Maritime Component Commander, Commodore (CDRE) Jim Gilmour, who was stationed on the flagship USS America as commander of the 13-ship amphibious taskforce, said that is what RIMPAC is all about.

“RIMPAC helps participants foster and sustain the co-operative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans,” he said.

“About 70 per cent of the world is water, 80 per cent of the world’s population lives on or near a coast, and 90 per cent of international commerce moves by sea. Capable maritime forces help ensure stability and prosperity around the world, and RIMPAC helps participating nations develop these capabilities.

“Our role is to protect our interests at sea.”

For further information please contact Defence Public Affairs: 021 487 980

This page was last reviewed on 14 August 2016.