MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Cooking food takes passion, but without basic fundamentals, soufflés can fall flat. Chefs with the Sodexo Quality of Life Company held culinary foundation training for Marine food service specialists at Mess Hall 128, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, July 11.
The Marines were trained in six of the 12 modules Sodexo offers. The modules include training on two baking classes, roasting, recipe use, cold food preparation and grilling.
“It’s six hours of instruction so it’s a long day,” said Dave Willard, director of service and program activation for Sodexo. “I think what I enjoy the most about this training is that I can look at the group on hour one and I can look at the group on hour six and they’re just as engaged and focused.”
Each training module lasts for one hour. The instructors explain their training module, followed by a demonstration for the Marines. They then allow the Marines to practice while they supervise and correct mistakes.
“I feel that the Marines will be more knowledgeable after taking this course,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Richard Medal, food service technician, Marine Corps Installations East. “I tell my leaders to take this knowledge back, train their Marines and set the example of how to properly work.”
Preparing meals for Marines is no easy task. The culinary foundation training offers Marines an in-depth training experience that some of them have not experienced before.
“The difference in this training perhaps between other training they may have received when they started military occupational school is that the training was very specific to what they’re usually making and that’s important, they need that training. It’s a great way for them to get started, but fundamentally underneath that cooking is a set of techniques. If you master those techniques, I think you can cook anything,” said Willard.