Hartpury College students cook up a storm alongside Royal Marines Commando Chef


Students from Hartpury College’s Level 3 Uniformed Protective Services put their cooking skills to the test during an engaging Royal Marines Commando cooking experience on Tuesday (17 January).

The demonstration was intended to help second year students brush up on basic cooking skills, essential for those wishing to enter the Armed Forces as well as being an important life skill.

Led by Royal Marines Commando Chef CSgt Mike Beaton MBE and the Royal Marines Education Awareness Team, the workshops regularly tour schools and colleges to use food as a platform to talk about the next step in life for young people. The demonstrations have proven useful not only to learn basic cooking skills, but also to engage and spark conversation among young people.

The concept came about in 2020 following a number of popular and thought-provoking 2–4-minute videos. Since then, Mike has joined the Royal Marine’s Education Awareness Team to deliver a host of presentations and workshops for people aged 14 and over.

CSgt Beaton, who has served for 37 years in the Royal Marines and has travelled around the globe from operational tours of duty as well as also representing Great Britain 7 times in the World Long Course Triathlon Championships.

45 students were given a demonstration on how to prepare and cook vegetable and turkey mince wraps, as well as learning more about Mike and the Royal Marines. They then teamed up with peers to have a go themselves, cooking and eating their creations.

Paul Higgins, Lecturer in Uniformed Protective Services Level 3 at Hartpury College said: “I’d like to thank Mike and Max for coming to Hartpury College and providing our students with what was a fun and educational experience.

“Learning how to cook and be self-sufficient is a vital life skill for all our students and giving our young people the chance to participate in workshops like this is a great way to learn those skills while interacting and bonding with their peers. I think some of our students may also have a newfound passion for cooking.

“Our links with the Royal Marines as well as the British Army, RAF, Royal Navy, police, ambulance and fire services, help students on this particular course shape their own career path by drawing on the experiences of individuals and organisations they encounter during events like this.”

Hartpury College’s Uniformed Protective Services (UPS) diploma is a proven route into a career in the armed and blue-light services, with 96% of UPS students progressing on to university, further study, or employment (Hartpury 2022).