Vinson MSs Trade Culinary Secrets, Experiences

Story Number: NNS030709-25Release Date: 7/10/2003 1:49:00 AM
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By Seaman Curtis Longo, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE (NNS) -- During their port visit to the Republic of Singapore, mess management specialists (MSs) from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 took an opportunity to visit and cross-train with chefs from a local five-star establishment, the Raffles International Hotel.

To complete the cross-training experience, 14 chefs from Raffles came aboard Carl Vinson to learn and observe the way shipboard cooks operate on a daily basis.

Over the course of two days, 25 Sailors took a tour of the hotel's four kitchens and assisted in the preparation and service of a 10-course meal. Wearing chefs' hats and being addressed as chefs, Sailors lent their hands in creating scallop salads, breads, desserts and plenty of artistic entrees.

Chefs from the hotel created a learning environment where Navy MSs could experience the true art of the culinary profession, while strengthening organizational and customer service skills.

"I think it's a great experience to learn more and see what a big corporation can do," said Mess Management Specialist Seaman Kenneth Herring.

Aboard an aircraft carrier, the primary responsibility of the MS is to provide healthy meals and courteous service to a crew of almost 5,000 Sailors and Marines. The focus of a nearly 600-strong culinary staff at the Raffles Hotel is to provide five-star quality service to, at most, 2,500 guests on a daily basis.

The shipboard environment provides a disadvantage. There are fewer MSs aboard, with less workspace, serving twice the number of customers.

This exercise was geared around allowing the Sailors and chefs to exchange "organizational skills and artistic ideas," said Executive Chef Jean Paul Naquin. Many Sailors looked at the exercise as an opportunity to see the civilian equivalent to their military profession.

"It gave a new meaning to the term 'culinary art,'" said Chief Mess Management Specialist (SS) Kenneth Davie. "(Our) MSs were able to see the artistic value of their trade and food service."

The following day, Carl Vinson cooks returned the favor by hosting the Raffles staff in their workspaces. After arriving aboard the ship, the chefs toured the five galleys and ate lunch in Wardroom 3.

Working side-by-side with "world-class experts," Carl Vinson MSs responded with professionalism and represented the ship in a highly positive manner, said Davie, who believes this cross-training is an "excellent experience for all young MSs to go through."

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is currently deployed in the western Pacific as part of America's standing commitment to maintain peace, stability and theatre security cooperation in cooperation with allies and friends in the region.

For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at

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