by Shaun Milne
IT WAS Napoleon who famously said that an army marches on its stomach – and that’s certainly proving the case for Scots troops out in Afghanistan.
Soldiers based with 1 Scots in Helmand Province have been celebrating after the arrival of their own ‘Combat Cook’ Lance Corporal Stevie Allan.
The 23 year old Fifer – who has just deployed to Forward Operating Base Wishtan in Helmand Province – is a former Scottish junior chef of the year.
And they are now lapping up his award winning grub including his trademark ‘Jock Pasties – filled with ham, beans and cheese.
Just hours after jumping off a helicopter into his field kitchen, Stevie said: “I’m delighted to be back with the lads. I cooked for B Company throughout our training in Kenya before we deployed, and then back in the UK.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends. It goes beyond that though – the lads mean everything to me, they are my second family.”
L/Cpl Allan, from Kirkcaldy, is with the Royal Logistic Corps, has even been equipped with a brand new winter cookhouse from which to work.
The new kitchen has been named ‘The Jordan Rossi Cookhouse’ after Sapper Jordan Rossi, who was tragically killed by an explosion while on patrol nearby in May 2009.
It is a much needed improvement, with Stevie and his fellow chefs benefiting from greater space and better appliances, vital to feed over a hundred soldiers three times a day.
And top of the agenda is preparations for their Christmas feast and in February, a Burns Supper in the dustbowl country.
L/Cpl Allan attended Balwearie High School, Kirkcaldy, and worked initially at Stuart of Buckhaven Butchers.
Known as ‘Combat Chef’ among 1 SCOTS, having spent parts of pre-deployment training as a member of an Infantry platoo he is trained to handle the full range of infantry weapons, from the pistol to the grenade machine gun.
Stevie said: “One minute you could be in the kitchen, cooking away, the next minute you could be in a Sangar firing at insurgents, or find yourself sent to an isolated patrol base – you just never know.”
Due home in April, Stevie hopes to get a well earned holiday before having a crack at the notoriously difficult Royal Marines Commando course in Lympstone, Devon.
His food is currently being enjoyed by soldiers from ‘B’ Company, The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, during their current six month deployment.