Recognition for Shipboard Foodservice Professionals
Ships in the Military Sealift Command compete annually for the Capt. David M. Cook awards, which recognize excellence in foodservice operations, and the 2013 winners are savoring victory.
Winners are selected in four categories for East and West Coast ships.
Small ships operated by the Military Sealift Command on the East and West Coast became a separate category that was added last year to the Cook awards. Previously, winners were selected for East Coast Large Ship and West Coast Large Ship with crews of 75 or greater and overall small ship with a crew of fewer than 75.
All ships operated by the Military Sealift Command are eligible for nomination in the Capt. David M. Cook Food Service Excellence Awards, which were established in 1992.
Capt. David M. Cook was director of logistics in the Military Sealift Command from 1995 to 1998 and a catalyst in improving all aspects of foodservice operations aboard its ships. The award, in his name, recognizes the challenge of achieving the highest standards of culinary skill and nutrition in the food served to soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and civil service mariners aboard its vessels.
The award also recognizes the contribution shipboard foodservice professionals make to maintain high morale and fitness to accomplish missions. ...
University Chef Leads Training Program at JB Elmendorf-Richardson
Tech. Sgt. Brenda Rancourt needed a creative solution to ensure that airmen working in the 673rd Medical Support Squadron dining facility kitchen at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, have the necessary basic culinary training.
Having airmen trained in basic culinary skills supports the goal of providing nutritious and healthy food for the medical support squadron's patients and staff, but achieving minimum expertise levels for all airmen working in the kitchen has its challenges.
“Since funding is tight, not all airmen have the luxury to temporarily deploy for training,” said Rancourt, the noncommissioned officer in charge of food production and service at the 673rd Medical Support Squadron dining facility.
“We had issues with inexperienced people in the kitchen,” Rancourt continued. “We looked for creative ways to teach them.”
Her search for alternatives led to a creative, local solution inspired by a culinary boot camp held at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She contacted the university and decided to hire Culinary Chef John Layton, an adjunct professor from the school to teach airmen working at the hospital dining facility. ...
Natick Takes Another Look at Special Forces Nutritional Needs
Military nutritionists carefully research dietary requirements that will achieve maximum health and fitness for service members while balancing calorie counts and food choices.
Nutritional awareness campaigns commonly being used in the military aim to assess the nutritional environment of dining facilities and ensure service members select foods for better health and fitness.
Now, the Natick Soldier Systems Center, Mass., is taking the research a step further by investigating whether the unique physical demands of Army special operators result in higher nutritional needs compared with typical service members.
Army Maj. Aaron Crombie, Ph.D., is in the process of estimating how much more a special operator should eat in addition to the approximately 3,250 calories a day a typical service member in garrison needs to consume.
Results of the research are expected to be available this summer and will be used to adjust the Basic Daily Food Allowance (BDFA) for dining facilities that serve meals to Army special operators. ...
The Navy Constantly Rewrites its Cookbook for Nutrition and Variety
“Meat and potatoes,” to many, epitomizes basic nutrition underlying a hearty meal, but service members have so many more entrée choices available as the list of core ingredients used to make a healthy meal expands by including potatoes, vegetables and pasta.
Potatoes, vegetables and pasta have many advantages with regard to nutrition, as well as to expanding menu variety. “They can be added to soups, stews, sauces, or combined with vegetable dishes,” said Jennifer Person-Whippo, a Navy Food Service registered dietitian. “The skin of potatoes contains fiber, which adds to satiety. Whole-wheat pasta contains fiber, protein and carbohydrates, allowing it to be metabolized more slowly than white pasta. Steamed vegetables add fiber, vitamins, minerals and water without excessive calories. These colorful foods also help add a feeling of fullness so that the diner is less likely to consume more high-calorie food options.”
In fact, the Navy reinforces its nutritional message by listing any beneficial ingredients being used in recipes for culinary specialists and others working in galleys to see. “Recipes emphasize nutrition by listing sweet potatoes, whole-wheat pasta and frozen vegetables as approved ingredients,” Person-Whippo said.
Revising military menus and recipes to take advantage of these staples is accomplished gradually. Changes to recipes that are sought by culinary specialists and diners are made in response to input received from the four services by the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD-Natick Labs). ...