By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class MacAdam Kane Weissman
YOKOSUKA, Japan – The scent of copper cauldrons and iron skillets mix with the aromas of spices and savory meats. Metallic clangs and thuds merge with a symphony of sizzling and boiling sauces, which shimmer like liquid diamonds under florescent lights. The hosts and daily patrons of this cookery eagerly observe as unfamiliar chefs use foreign techniques to prepare a feast for thousands.
Celebrity chefs Johnny Brava, Panini Pete, and Linkie Marais, known as the Messlords, prepared and served lunch to the crew of the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Jan. 9.
“We travel to galleys all over the Navy,” said Marais. “Our goal is to provide a great meal to the Sailors. I truly know I’ve done my job when I hear them asking for seconds.”
The celebrity chefs prepared, cooked, and served more than 3000 specialty meals for Ronald Reagans’ crew using only ingredients from the ships 21-day meal plan.
“I’m impressed by how much they changed the menu,” said Aviation Ordnancemen 3rd Class Phoenix Haineswells, from Fairbanks, Alaska.
The 21-day cycle allows the ship’s supply department to maximize its resources and provide a variety of healthy meals year round.
“I thought it was pretty cool that they not only cooked the food, but took the time to teach us how they did it,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Faolan Earl Publeo, from Beaverton, Oregon. “It’s a good feeling to see everyone eating my food and smiling.”
While the Messlords worked alongside Culinary Specialists to spice up the menu, the celebrity chefs also showed them new tricks and techniques to better utilize their time, equipment and space.
“It’s a challenge cooking for so many,” said Brava. “These guys [Culinary Specialists] adapted to us so quickly. They were able to use every ingredient and new technique to its full potential in no time.”
The Messlords said they were happy to provide the crew with lunch and were impressed by the healthy options the ship carried.
“Its all for you guys,” said Marais. “You spend so much time way from home and so much of it you don’t even get to be on land. I wasn’t born in America, but I am patriotic because of what you guys go through for us.”
Underway, Ronald Reagan serves as many as 15,000 meals, 205 loaves of bread, 100-dozen eggs and 250 gallons of milk every day.