MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (NNS) -- In support of the Naval Supply Systems Command's (NAVSUP's) "Adopt-A-Ship" program, two chefs recently participated in a week-long session, mentoring and training more than 60 mess management specialists stationed aboard PCU Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).
From June 9-13, Chef Charlie Gipe, executive chef of the Giant Center and Hershey Park Stadium, Hershey, Pa., and Chef Tom Robey, who owns Magaro's Catering, Carlisle, Pa., lived and worked aboard the Navy's newest aircraft carrier.
Both chefs have extensive industry experience in the culinary arts and are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America. They provided training in a variety of food preparation techniques to the people who prepare meals for more than 2,000 Navy personnel in the chiefs' mess, the wardroom and the main galleys. Chefs Gipe and Robey instructed Reagan's cooks on baking, knife skills, garnishing and a la carte line management, and other food service topics.
In an effort to ensure that Sailors have the best quality food, the Navy wanted to create opportunities to capture and communicate the best practices and the experiences of culinary professionals in the private sector through a mentoring program.
In 1997, NAVSUP's Food Service Division, based in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and the American Culinary Federation entered into a partnership establishing the Adopt-A-Ship program.
"Quality food service and well-balanced meals are vital to providing a higher quality of life to our Sailors both ashore and afloat," said Nanci Bowers, NAVSUP's Food Service Training and Readiness team leader. "The Adopt-A-Ship program furthers industry and Navy quality-of-life objectives by facilitating the transfer of knowledge and capabilities."
"Adopt-A-Ship promotes the culinary profession within the military food service community and the professional image of Navy food service to the civilian food service community," added Chef Michael Harants, who currently manages the program for NAVSUP.
Chefs can determine the amount of time they participate in the program. They schedule training based on the compatibility of their schedule with the ship's schedule. Hands-on training objectives include food preparation techniques, on-line plating and presentation.
"The program creates opportunities for industry chefs to mentor part of our nation's fighting force, and my experience was very rewarding and gratifying," noted Chef Robey.
"The Adopt-A-Ship program gives the Navy mess management specialist opportunities to acquire skills from professional industry chefs by learning in real-time shipboard environments," Chef Gipe said. Chefs interested in adopting a Navy ship can contact Nanci Bowers at 717-605-7448, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Chef Harants at 717-605-6323, email@example.com.
For related news, visit the Naval Supply Systems Command Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/navsup.