June 25th 2019

Mentoring Junior Chefs into a National Competition


Staff Sergeant Jim St Claire-Jones in Antarctica

A Head Chef has spoken about the pride he feels after helping junior soldiers earn prizes at a national catering competition.

Staff Sergeant Jim St Claire-Jones is part of 167 Catering Support Regiment’s Technical Training Team and in his civilian career works as a Regional Head Chef, one of his key duties is mentoring and training junior soldiers and earlier this year two of them won commendations at the Salon Culinaire Birmingham, the UK’s most prestigious chef contest. 

Birmingham show2

One of the dishes at the competition in Birmingham

Jim explained: “Both competitors practiced and worked tirelessly. For them to finish as well as they did gives me an immense sense of pride. They have both developed rapidly and I hope that this is the first of many awards to come for them both.” 

As well as mentoring junior soldiers Jim has also had a lot of operational experience within the Army Reserve.

He said: “I’ve been very lucky and have travelled extensively. I’ve been to America, France, Holland, Cyprus, Gibraltar and Macedonia. In 2012 I spent 16 weeks in Antarctica where I managed to reach the South Pole. I have also cooked for her Majesty the Queen and The Princess Royal on several occasions.” 

These experiences have not only helped Jim in the Army and given him experiences to encourage and inspire junior soldiers, he has also found these experiences have had a positive benefit on his civilian career. 


Jim at the South Pole

Jim concluded: “The reintegration into the civilian working environment upon return can be difficult but the skills you develop in the Reserves such as discipline, teamwork and cohesion can really help drive and enrich your civilian career.

“I would thoroughly recommend it to others as it offers so much. The one thing that stands out most for me is the amazing people you work alongside and become lifelong friends with. There is a real family atmosphere in the Regiment and I would recommend anyone to join. You don’t even have to be a chef because we will train you.” 

167 Catering Support Regiment are currently recruiting to find out more about joining call 01159573321 or 07973626191; or email  

“Both competitors practiced and worked tirelessly. For them to finish as well as they did gives me an immense sense of pride."