Big appetites at police college
It’s not just an army that marches on it’s stomach if the Royal Police College kitchen is anything to go by.
Three times a day, up to 450 staff, cops and recruits form a thin blue line and file into the mess hall to fuel up for their crime fighting, studying and physical training.
Meals include pulled pork, Vietnamese beef open sandwiches and a salad bar offers three cold meats, four salad choices and fresh fruit.
The healthy fare is a far cry from the pies, hot dogs and chips that used to be dished up when kitchen manager Angela Wong first worked at the college.
‘‘When I started here 27 years ago the recruit’s palate was limited to meat and veges for both lunch and dinner and they always had pudding.
‘‘There’s been a dramatic change in our food because our recruits are a lot more ethnically diverse and the food has to reflect that.’’
Now all food was halal certified and the most popular menu items were butter chicken and pulled pork, she said.
The day starts at 6am for the kitchen staff who work in three shifts and a ‘‘monster machine’’ does the dishes so the recruits don’t have to.
With 40 loaves of bread and 200 litres of milk used daily, planning was key when it came to ordering food, Wong said. ’’It’s a well oiled machine ... as long as the lunch lines flow smoothly it goes well.’’
Those out on the beat don’t miss out on their meals, with packed lunches sent out with them.
Sandra McGill started cooking at the college three years ago and said she had perfected her welcome speech.
‘‘I tell them we’re famous for our food so you have to be careful, some people come and put on 20kg.’’
Detective Inspector Craig Scott said the food was healthier than when he was a recruit in the 1980s.
‘‘I think I put on 8kgs in five months when I trained here,’’ Scott said.
‘‘I used to dread Fridays, it was a smorgasbord with fish bites, chips and cut up sausages. Now I like the pulled pork.’’