MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Chefs, with the Sodexo Quality of Life Services Company, trained Marine food service specialist in basic culinary skills at Mess Hall 128 on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Sept. 22.
The Marines were trained in six of the 12 modules that apply to military installations from the Culinary Foundation’s 14 modules, to improve the basic services such as stir fry cooking, steaming, boiling, sautéing, roasting, braising, stewing and knife skills.
"I promise no matter where they are in their cooking knowledge they will leave here today knowing more," said Dave Willard, Sodexo senior director of Culinary Delivery. "These chefs are detailed enough in their training to give these Marines the basic mastery to do things well, and rarely anywhere else, in any environment, do you get into the really fine details."
Each period of instruction lasted an hour with the chefs first demonstrating and explaining the process for their training module, then they observed and corrected Marines throughout their training.
"I love it," said Cpl. Thanh L.T. Nguyen, a food service specialist with Marine Logistic Group. "I like learning these little techniques I need to improve my cooking."
Nguyen was smiling and energetic when she spoke about training with chefs and their help improving her usage of knifing techniques. She was one of the 46 Marines that attended and graduated from the day full of training.
"Our job isn’t grabbing precooked food and warming it up, we add spices, and measure the ingredients before we even go into cooking," said Nguyen. "We have to trust each other and communicate when we’re in the galley (kitchen) making meals to feed other Marines; That’s our job."