Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by BubbleheadChef

  1. Thank you for you Support, Susan from Florida. I am glad you had a great time with you son, but if you REALLY want to have a good time, you should have a dining out with Chief Petty Officers! LOL. We tend to be a weeeeee bit more rambunctious (sp?) than our commissioned brethren.
  2. Nope, we are as dry as the Sahara and our only oasis is upon Return to Port. God Bless the Busch, Boddington, Guiness, and Bass Family Brewery's.
  3. FRESH BEER!!!! Seriously though, something green. Don't care what it is, but usually I have a big caesar salad and a BLT or something along those lines. Something that won't hide the frest veggies. All washed down with a beer or six.
  4. We run local time for the most part. We will change time zones as we go through them. However, we all switch to Zulu time (Grenwich Mean Time) on mission or on the missile submarine patrols. So everybody gets acclimated to local time before pulling into port, we will shift clocks ahead or back as required. Midrats is usually just kind of "thrown together". Yes, that is the meal we will run the comfort foods. A lot of leftovers and something simple because the ovens are usually full of desserts and bread for the next day, so it becomes something fried or something that can be cooked in a steam jacketed kettle.
  5. See everybody? I'm not full of it, third party verification!!!! We do get an extra 40 cents per man per day but that isn't for any other reason than we have to special order some things like dehydrated bell peppers and other shelf stable foods since we lack the size of the larger platforms. As far as the product goes, we all (all services, not just the Navy) get to use the same food that most restaurants get to use. Sysco, American Foods, Etc depending where in the country you are. Here in the Northeast, we use Sysco. In the Southeast Region, they use a company called the IJ company. Most of the difference in the food between ship to ship is numbers fed. Think of the difference between 150 (the compliment of a submarine) and 3500 (the compliment of an ampibious ship). As far as budget goes, there are really two main schools of thought. The first being, "feed them well all the time and use your BDFA (Basic Daily Food Allowance, $7.56/man) everyday". The other being, "use cheaper meals most days and build up a credit, then have a blow out meal two or three times a month". I kind of straddle these two schools and have some cheaper meals and ever 2 or 3 days have a more costly meal and keep them fed ALL the time. So, yes we tweak the budget.
  6. Not to nitpick, cause as a former Marine I have nothing but respect for the Navy and it's mission; but I hope you do your math a little more careful before leaving port or there will be some unhappy submariners. Thanks for all the insight you've shared with us. ← As we say in the Submarine Force, the only good Marine is a SUBmarine! Semper Fi,shipmate. Ooops, I guess that is why you check your work before posting on the WWW. LOL. Yes, I actually have a MS Access database that keeps me honest. I was just trying to use that as an example to show the process for figuring out how I order. Now where the h**l is the "chagrined" smiley face?
  7. Yes, that is a real occurence. The military is huge on competition (for advancements, sports, budget money, you name it). We do have an All Navy Culinary Team mainly made up of reservists who are culinary professionals on the outside and do thier active duty time cooking for the navy team. The army, however, has a full time Culinary Olympics team that competes mainly in Europe but also stateside on occasion. There aren't many times I give high praise to the Army (competition and all that), but those guys are AMAZING. As a full time Sailor (meaning non-Reservist) the likelyhood of my joining the All Navy team is pretty slim. Well, that and the fact that I am not THAT good.
  8. I have 5 guys that actually work the kitchen day and night. I also have a rotating pool of junior sailors (4 of them) that work the crew's mess (Front of the House) and dish pit (the Scullery). I have 2 cooks during the day, one in the kitchen doing the line cook, prep cook, service, and cleaning. Then I have the other guy during the day doing Garde Manger-ish type work. He does all the cold food prep and service for the Officers. He usually makes the dinner rolls for the meal and depending on the meal and how well he and his brother cook are getting along that day, maybe the soup as well. I am the Executive Chef (if we are relating this to classical brigade) making the "management" calls, quality control, and supervising three of my four rotating pool personnel in the front of the house with cleaning, setting up, restocking beverage bar, etc. At night I have 3 cooks and 1 rotation pool person. I have a night baker who prepares all the desserts for the next day, plus if we are having, say hamburgers, the buns. He also prepares and serves MidRats and breakfast. The other cook is again working for the wardroom, but his main function in life during the night is laundry. We have to wash all the officers clothes and table linens (tablecloths, napkins, etc). The third cook at night is my "sous chef". He is the night supervisor and my right hand man. He is my recordskeeper that lets me know how much money I have to spend (more on this down thread) and takes over when I finally get to go to bed. He is the one that drives the guys when they need to be driven and is SUPPOSED to clear up the routine matters before they get to me. He is the one that does the weekly ordering with my oversight, but for the big loads he gets his numbers from me. The navy has a graduated rank system starting at E-1 and working up to E-9. I have 4 E-4's (my line cooks) and 1 E-5 (my sous). I am a Chief Petty Officer (E-7). Most boats have some combination of the E1's to E5's, but usually will have an E6 as the sous and almost always a Chief runnig the whole show. Hope that answered more questions than it created.
  9. I try to change it as much as I can, but that is just my fascination with the multitude of cuisines we encounter in our/my travels. I always do what I can to bring a native flavor to dishes. Example, in Haifa, Israel I picked up saffron and other things.
  10. Well Miss Maggie There are certainly times during the long underways that things become in short supply, but I try to never let it get that bad. It has never happened to me (knock on wood), but I have heard of some horror stories on other boats. Most times through no fault of the leading cook, but due to storage limitations and mission length. And YES, they are HUNGRY people.
  11. Well folks, I am going to call it a night, please feel free to post any questions you have and PM if you want. I want to thank all of you for the questions and wish you all a pleasant evening.
  12. That is interesting. I was thinking that if it wasn't the XO, perhaps it would be the Chief of the Boat. As part of the Administration Department on the destroyers, my wife reported administratively to the XO and on medical matters to the CO. On both her destroyers with at least a couple of XOs, they did do this food check. I wonder if this is something you only see in the surface Navy. ← I was being more of a smart aleck than anything. I am the quality control and Doc is the sanitation control. If we were having problems keeping clean, then the XO or COB might come in more often.
  13. If the XO pulled that in MY galley, I would probably clock him with a pan. That is my job, not his. LOL. But, I am a little biased, and think my guys put out the best food in the Navy. If the XO's standards are higher than mine, we have bigger issues than what the food tastes like.
  14. The "POTUS" aside , Who is the highest ranking officer you've ever served a meal to? ← I have served POTUS, VPOTUS, Chief Of Naval Operations, SECDEF Rumsfeld and most of the Undersecretary's oF Defense (there are like 100000000000 of them), most of the flag officers (Admirals and Generals) in the European Theater, the Prime Ministers and Defense Ministers of: UK, Latvia, Finland, Italy. Beacause of the nature of new submarine developement, we serve a lot of "money people" because they are always curious about where the money is being spent. And we put on a great show for them. When I was overseas, we will still launching Tomahawks at the bad guys, and my boss was in charge of all the submarines,so I got to work with a lot of the heavy hitters in the DoD.
  15. Those are the Infamous Navy Recipe Cards. The product they make is usually not a "bad" product, but certainly not something I would serve to, say, POTUS. I use them frequently as a guideline for something I would like to make and using it for load planning. For instance, the card will show me that I need 35 lbs of beef for 100 portions of something. Then I can add plan for however many times it is on the menu and multiply accordingly.
  16. When I was on the Aircraft Carrier (USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN 71), I was the lowliest of the low in paygrade (E-1) so a lot of went on they thought I was too junior to need to know. After they found out that I was actually a trained chef, they put me in charge of the Captains Galley. The biggest difference to note is that through really no fault of thier own, the food on carriers just S**KS!!! When you are cooking for almost 6000 people, you cannot spend the requisite time to prepare the highest quality food. Whereas on a a submarine you have one guy cooking for only 150. Makes a pretty big difference. The other main difference, in my OPINION, is that the submarine cooks tend to care more. But that may be because A) the level of knowledge is higher (higher requirements to join the submarine force) and B) as the only guy in kitchen, if you don't give it your best effort, you will hear about it for (what seems like) the rest of your life. But the level of "care" the guys put into the food is obviously higher than anywhere else in the Military.
  17. When the Doc is in the space, gotta keep them happy. We are very sanitary, but if thier mouths are full, they really dont look in those dark corners that we may have missed during clean up. I'll also explain my title. I am a CSC (SS) meaning Culinary Specialist Chief the SS the designator for Submarines Quailified. I am also the Supply Department Enilisted Advisor which means I am also in charge of the Storekeepers who deal in all of our repair parts, maintenance parts, etc. They don't have anything to do with food, but we are all one Supply family.
  18. I have found that the guys typically enjoy the foods they are used to seeing at home, like beef stew or sandwiches. I try to broaden horizons and make italian food or chinese, but it gets quite difficult to please 150 guys all the time. Thanksgiving/Christmas/Holiday meals are always difficult and I always take inputs from the guys. We try to make a little bit of everything from around the country and I am constantly looking for new ideas to add to our repetoire.
  19. YES!!!! I try to change it up as often as I can, but when you cant run to the grocery store, it makes it hard to change the menu on a whim and all changes need to be carefully planned.
  20. I met quite a few chefs while overseas, including a scottish chef that I consider to be one of my closest personal friends. I met a lot of other services chefs and have ridden other countries' submarines and gotten and idea and traded tricks with every one of them. I try to keep in touch, but with my schedule it kind of precludes many relationships out side the ship.
  21. Most versatile meats: Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Boneless Center Cut Pork Chops, Ribeye Roll, and Ground Beef. If you give me those 4 meats I can make 35 different entrees and not repeat once. For instance, I can use the ribeye for grilled ribeye steaks, Beef Yakisoba (strips of beef with Spaghetti, its FABULOUS!), beef cordon bleu, Beef Stew, a pot roast, roast beef, steak and cheese sandwiches, etc. The chicken (always brined!): Chicken Cordon Bleu, Sweet and Sour chicken, Sczechwan Chicken with angel hair pasta, fried chicken, grilled Italian chicken sandwiches, etc Pork (again, always brined): citrus pork chops, sweet and sour pork, pulled pork BBQ, etc Ground Beef I think goes with out saying.
  22. The meals are served every 6 hours with Bfast at 5 to 6 am, lunch from 11 am-12pm, dinner from 5-6 pm, and a midnight ration (MidRats) from 11pm-12am. The first half of the meal is reserved for the guys coming on watch (shift) they eat and relieve then the off going guys come down and eat. We joke that the only way you know what time it is (because of the lack of sunlight) is by what meal is being served. If somebody wants to come in and cook something, I am pretty liberal about that, but it cant interfere with putting out the meal for my cooks because we really do run a really tight schedule sometimes. A lot of guys will come in and help put out pizzas on Saturday nights.
  23. Yes, the officers have their own mess called the wardroom but they eat the same food the enlisted guys do. However, the crew eats cafeteria style and officers eat a more russian style service. We plate the salad for them (either a tossed or composed salad, depending on what we have). When they are finished with soup and salad, we place the food in serving dishes and serve the Captain, the Executive Officer (XO), and then the XO passes the dish around the table.
  24. No, we are a completely pressurizeed, self contained unit. Once we are submerged, you would not even know you werent in your house.
  25. My story is a bit different from the majority of navy cooks. I started in the business at 13, washing dishes and bussing tables. I started waiting tables and running banquets when I was 15. I wasnt the greatest student in high school, so they put me in a vocational school where I took a 2 year course in culinary arts that opened my eyes to the rest of the business. I finally graduated and went to J&W for a semester and remembered that I wasn't much of a student and went to New York City for a year and then back to the Shenendoah Valley in Virginia. I worked a variety of food service jobs (family restaurant, a 3 star B&B, catering, and the dreaded chain restaurant, Chili's). After a couple months of that, I decided I wanted to see the world and try my hand at new things. My father and grandfather both were in submarines (neither was a cook, but we wont hold that against them) so it occured to me that they all need to eat in the Navy and I wont have to sleep in a ditch and get shot at, so I signed up. Once I joined the navy, I went to boot camp in Great Lakes, IL and then to San Antonio, TX for my formal military training. I spent 6 weeks in school learning the various aspects of being a military cook (all in all not an impressive course of instruction, we spent an entire day learning how to chop an onion). I then reported to my first ship, an aircraft carrier, and went on a deployment to support the no fly zones in Southern Iraq. I volunteered for submarine duty and they sent me to Groton, CT for Basic Enlisted Submarine School and upon completion reported to a one week course in Submarine Food Service. Again, not entirely impressive, but it gave us a chance to go down and see some submarines and get used to what we will be dealing with in the VERY near future. I then reported to my first submarine in Kings Bay, GA, the USS Kentucky. That is where I learned the most about my job. My leading Cook at that point ( I was still pretty junior in paygrade) had just come from 8 years at the White House cooking for Presidents Bush and Clinton. Before I left that boat we had been awarded the ADM Ney Award for the Best Food Service in the Submarine Force two years in a row. After that I went to shore duty in Naples, Italy working as Private Chef (Flag Mess Leading Petty Officer in Navy Jargon) for various Admirals in Southern Italy. After I finished my tour there, I reported aboard the USS Virginia. To get back to the original question, as you can see here, most of what you learn, you learn on the job. Please excuse the ramble!!!
  • Create New...