Lidia Celebrates America Aboard GW

BY LT. CMDR. JAMES (JAY) DAVIS, SC, USN; PRINCIPAL ASSISTANT, SERVICES; USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73)

On September 19, 2016, the Supply Department aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, opened their galley to beloved television chef Lidia Bastianich, and famous American Broadcasting Company (ABC) news anchor Bob Woodruff.

From left to right: Bob Woodruff, CWO3 Davis (FSO), SN Castillo, and Chef Lidia Bastianich prepping for the crew.

From left to right: Bob Woodruff, CWO3 Davis (FSO), SN Castillo, and Chef Lidia Bastianich prepping for the crew.

Bastianich is a best-selling cookbook author, owner of Tavola Productions (an entertainment company), and owner of four flourishing restaurants that have been awarded four stars by the New York Times. Her restaurants, Felidia, Becco, Esca, and Del Posto, are all located in the heart of New York City. Woodruff has worked as a news anchor on ABC since 1996. He has covered many stories around the U.S. and throughout the world. In 2006, while in Iraq reporting on U.S./Iraqi security forces, he was injured when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb.

CWO3 Davis and Chef Bastianich

CWO3 Davis and Chef Bastianich

Over the past few years, Bastianich has hosted numerous holiday celebrations. This year’s theme was “Lidia Celebrates America:A Holiday for Heroes.” Bastianich and Woodruff spent two days on board GW to cook, film, host, interview, sing, and serve the crew. The holiday meal included three of Bastianich’s personal recipes: a homemade tomato and bread salad, roasted pepper halves with bread crumbs, and a panna cotta topped with fresh berries for dessert. The menu included many other traditional favorites such as steamship round, bread stuffing, and sweet potato casserole. Bastianich and Woodruff engaged with the crew and worked alongside the ship’s Food Service Officer CWO3 Phil Davis and his team to prepare the special meal. The show featured interviews by CWO3 Davis and two of GW’s young culinary specialists, SN Angel Castillo and SN Kylee Bemis.

Bastianich and Woodruff serving the crew on the aft mess decks.

Bastianich and Woodruff serving the crew on the aft mess decks.

The event provided a great training opportunity and exposure to GW’s Food Service Team. As the Navy’s supply community, we do it all, we do it well, and we do it with a smile, day in and day out. The show, “Lidia Celebrates America: A Holiday for Heroes” aired mid-November on PBS, and can be watched online at www.pbs.org/food/shows/lidia-celebrates-america. It was an honor to have Bastianich and Woodruff aboard GW; two media heroes recognizing America’s current and former military heroes.

January/February 2017