Take Navy Culinary Specialists, add a dash of mom and pop pizza parlor, blend, and garnish with a healthy serving of training, and you have the
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NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Puget Sound’s Navy Food Management Team sponsored the Navy Culinary Apprenticeship Program at Boston’s Deli & Pizza in Bremerton, Wash. CS3 Roy Mosby prepares a calzone, adding sausage under the watchful eyes of Boston’s Pizza Owner, Chef Don Stauff, while CS2 Joseph Fusco reaches for more cheese.
recipe for the first Pacific Northwest Navy Culinary Apprenticeship Program.
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Puget Sound Navy Food Management Team (NFMT) hosted culinary apprenticeship training at Boston’s Deli & Pizza in downtown Bremerton, Wash. “Using the Apprenticeship Program, we’re investing in the future of Navy Culinary Specialists by providing structured training with local American Culinary Federation certified Chefs, in the commercial food industry,” explained NFMT Lead, CSCS(SW/AW) Wilson Sydenstricker.
Culinary specialists prepare almost 100 million meals per year for Sailors around the globe. With more than 7,300 Culinary Specialists serving in today's fleet, NFMT is dedicated to keeping Sailors at peak performance levels through advanced training for those who prepare their wholesome meals. A year ago, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) asked NAVSUP to focus on several areas of improvement with our Culinary Specialists. Two of the most important goals were the incorporation of more scratch cooking, and increased training.
"Taking the raw product and producing quality meals is our goal," CSCS Sydenstricker emphasized. “On top of that, we asked our Culinary Specialists to work during very busy periods, lunch-hour rush and dinner. We enjoy being able to work with our Sailors and provide them continuous on-the-job training throughout the year.”
Naval Base Kitsap Bangor galley staff, CS2 Joseph Fusco and CS3 Roy Mosby, began their Apprenticeship Program training by meeting with NFMT CSCS Sydenstricker and Boston’s Pizza Owner, Chef Don Stauff, to discuss the daily routine.
Stauff explained that the first task in the afternoon, after the lunch rush from the nearby Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, is to make dough for the following day. “Here at Boston’s we serve 23 different varieties of 18-inch pizzas, lasagna, salads, deli sandwiches and the best calzones in the Northwest. We make our own pizza dough and sauces from scratch every day, ensuring freshness and quality,” Stauff said.
CS2 Fusco and CS3 Mosby followed Stauff back to the mixing room, where all the ingredients are waiting for the cooks. Using a family recipe from Boston, Stauff instructs the Navy cooks on the proper amount of ingredients to make the dough.
“It is important to continue training, because there are constant changes in this type of work,” CS3 Mosby explained. “It is always good to have an outside perspective, like Don (Stauff) to help us become better at our cooking, because there is always room for improvement. We want to make sure we provide the best customer service to the fleet.”
The same special emphasis used by Boston’s Pizza, making every meal a fine dining experience, is what the Navy wants for Sailors also.
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NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Puget Sound Commanding Officer, Capt. Bill Power presented Boston’s Owners Cheryl and Don Stauff a special plaque for their Culinary Partnership with FLC Puget Sound’s Navy Food Management Team. NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound’s Navy Food Management Team sponsored the Navy Culinary Apprenticeship Program at Boston’s Deli & Pizza in Bremerton, Wash. From left, Naval Base Kitsap Bangor galley staff CS3 Roy Mosby, Cheryl Stauff, Capt. Bill Power, Don Stauff, and Bangor galley staff CS2 Joseph Fusco.
"We get the same ingredients on a ship as they do at Boston’s, but the creative aspect for cooking and preparing the meals from scratch is different, and that's what we learned," CS2 Fusco said.
"The Sailors were hands-on in the preparation of every single food item, from salads to main courses and desserts, and they really enjoyed it," CSCS Sydenstricker said. "It showed them that even though they're in the general mess, they can tweak their recipes to taste more like that little family pizza joint down the road. That fully translates into quality of life enhancement and giant leaps in crew morale.”
NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound’s NFMT routinely assesses foodservice departments at commands across the Pacific Northwest to provide culinary specialists with both refresher and advanced training. The team's goal is to enhance the skills of Culinary Specialists to provide better food service throughout the Navy's general messes.
By Patrick "Tiny" Del Grosso, NAVSUP FLC Puget Sound