Author Topic: Cooks ( merged )  (Read 120427 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline delavan

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • -20
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 317
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2005, 21:10:25 »
The cooks, when not being tasked out in the field (depending of the unit) ,are working in the messes on base. So ,they're doing their job all the time. I figure that is a good point for them.
Be good with them and they'll be good with you. If you get crappy food for some reason, it is NOT the cooks fault! They do their best to feed you with what's available and the money they have.

I've been on taskings where the cooks had control on the budget and, needless to say, they fed us with the good stuff!

You get the first smile of the day from them guys! Can't beat it!

Offline caper861

  • Guest
  • *
  • -30
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2005, 09:45:02 »
Hello, from Caper861 a girl!!  The one thing about being a good cook is you got to get along with people and leave the cranky's home.  The two things I learned through all of my years as a cook is 1: remember that the people you are serving are out there in the cold and working their a$$ off, they are having a meal but at the same time having a break so it won't kill you to smile it makes their day and 2: wear a watch and learn to use it since timings are the most important thing but don't pantic since this is something you learn to manage throughout your life.  I started in kitchens when I was 8 and joined the military in 1993 and served until 2004 when I was released on a 3b medical.  I thought of changing trades once and got the change from a chief clerk to go work a a clerk for 6 months.  Clerk is good but not for me.  As a cook, you have to like to be up on your feet and busy.  Socializing is another big one since everyone comes to the kitchen at one time or another.  We do work early and stay late, have people tell us that it doesn't taste like moms, drive trucks, play solider when in the field, and listen to people's stories.  I loved being a cook.  Where ever I went my glass was never empty and I always had a friend.  Just enjoy your job and try to get out and spend a day in the life of some other trades so you know what they need for there day, and give them their rations.  Plus it never hurts to through a few juice boxes or cookies over the side of the trailer to the "boys".  I you need any more info then please get back to me and I will do my best to answer all of your questions.  Good luck.
You got to know when to hold 'um... you got to know when to fold 'um....

Offline Get Nautical

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 4,687
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 652
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2005, 00:18:09 »
whats the usual promotion rate for Cooks?

Edit: I very much do want to join the Army as a Cook and just want a bit of extra info
« Last Edit: September 04, 2005, 00:21:00 by Sgt. Papke »

Offline Michael Greer

  • Guest
  • *
  • 20
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 17
  • Retired
    • Canadian Forces Cooks
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2005, 17:22:54 »
Hi there I was wondering if any cooks could tell me how a usual day is? Do you do PT every morning or do you go straight to the kitchen to cook a meal. How much time in the field do cooks get? Do you get any infantry training for example do you ever go the ranges.
What would the percentage to civilian to military cooks be.
As anyone known of any cooks being able to switch trades during training? Also I would like to know is after having some training would you be able to get a tour. How often does a cook get a tour?

Whoa, I knew I should have been online here a little more often! As a retired cook, it sure is great to hear so many kind words about our CF Cooks. I can echo & return those remarks about the proud units & soldiers I had the privilege & honour of serving, and serving with. Which included the 2PPCLI (79-84), 3RCR (84-86), and PPCLI Battle School (86-90) in Wainwright.

I did however initially start out as a Patricia in 79 and shortly after 031 training I was standing on the parade square at Kapyong Barracks volunteering in the slave trade for what was supposed to be a 6 months stint as a "cook's helper" and ended up remustering 3 years later!

For those who might remember, these were the days of (God bless his sole) Sgt/WO Jerry "Hippy" Hipson and WO Joe Short, KO.

The slave trade in the early 80's was a dangerous gamble the battalion took in helping support trades when short staffed. I believe the infantry lost a few good soldiers to MSE Op's, Mil Police, Sup Techs, and 2 cooks I know at that time who eventually remustered. What was I thinking?

As for some of your questions, I can answer from what was the past, but doubtful it's changed much. We always had the opportunity to be part of the Airborne, JTF, Naval Boarding Party (it's actually encouraged!) and CF Sports. PT was normally carried out before late shirt after early shift in Army Units. I never did see a day of PT during my 3 year stint with the Navy, unless you count what they call now-a-days Express Test. Although limited with the Navy & Air Force, I do recall with the Army, rifle training/re-qualifying was carried out twice a year. I'm sure done much more with today's current climate of deployment. It used to be you were required to be TQ (QL) 5 qualified to go on a tour, but I went to Cyprus (82/83) as an OJT Cook, still an Infantryman. We currently take (and encourage) newly trained Ordinary Seaman to the Persian Gulf on OP APOLLO for 6 month deployments. As for promotions, just the same as most other trades. We have our slumps too.

The only downfall, if you want to call it that, as a cook (as with all support trades) you're likely at one time or another to be posted to Sea! Although I thoroughly enjoyed my transition/tour with the Navy, as Chief Cook of HMCS Ottawa in 96, a few cooks have had difficulty with the unique culture and vice-versa of course. I was very fortunate to also get time with the Air Force in Edmonton and Communications in Masset, BC (Queen Charlotte Islands). So it helps to be diversified. My heart however still belongs with the Army. Never before have I been treated so well, as I did with the Patricia's. I of course returned the gratitude.

If you really do enjoy cooking and the service, then I highly recommend the trade. You won't be disappointed, but it does help to have think skin.. The rewards far outweigh the means. For more resources, feel free to visit the web site I've set up for CF Cooks. You'll find a lot of currently serving cooks with the Army who will be more than happy to answer more of your questions. Be patient though, they can be a shy bunch. As you'll notice from our own message board, there is not much action! Go to http://members.shaw.ca/cfcooks/

Cheers, and good luck!

Michael Greer, CFM (ret'd)


for spelling..
« Last Edit: September 05, 2005, 14:30:37 by Michael Greer »
Change the things you can.  Those you can't, change the way you think about them!

http://members.shaw.ca/cfcooks

Offline Deves

  • Member
  • ****
  • 148
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 141
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2005, 03:16:47 »
Thanks for that post, I thought it would be dead by now. I am going to go reserves as a cook. Eventually I might go reg.

Hey Micheal did you get any other courses while being with all of the different units. I was kind of hoping to maybe get a few infantry course and I would like to get some jump wings. Probably doesnt happen often, if at all.

Anyways thanks for the Great post.

Take care.
DEVES
Life is hard, but it's harder if you're stupid.

Offline Michael Greer

  • Guest
  • *
  • 20
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 17
  • Retired
    • Canadian Forces Cooks
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2005, 18:04:05 »
Hello Derek,

Thanks, you're welcome, and best wishes with your employment as a Cook with the Reserves.  I started as an Infanteer, so I didn't seek further training in the combat arms once I re-mustered to Cook.  However, I do know that in some regiments cooks are required to maintain weapons training, etc. I do believe you can request jump training in some units as well.  Not sure if this applies to Reserve Units or not.

Hope this helps.  Cheers,

Michael
Change the things you can.  Those you can't, change the way you think about them!

http://members.shaw.ca/cfcooks

Offline JackD

  • jackd
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 2,700
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 341
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2005, 16:15:49 »
Since this thread is also a peon to the cooks - may I add my.. guess it should be two loonies here - I always made it a point to peel spuds for the cooks, and when transport corporal, to deliver the necessary propane, fuel their trucks and lend a spare truck for them to get away to shower or what-ever. You can't go wrong looking after the cooks! Nothing but respect for them - the field ones that is and those at the remote bases - Alert (1976), Egypt and Cyprus in my case. Please pass on these wishes to all the old and current cooks! One thing.... it's been 22 years... What is the recipe for those western omelets? Honestly - I still dream of those!

Offline TN2IC

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 2,491
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,478
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2005, 21:28:13 »
I have to say.. the cook trade is a thankless job at times. But when is comes to a hot soup on a cold day.. it sure makes you day bright. BTW.. people should make friends with a cook.. they are usally good at helping you out. And I tell ya..a crash course on potatoe preparing, armed with a NATO 45332-654578-1224 Kitchen knife... there is A LOT of potatoes to cut up for breakfast in the field kitchen. Trust me...I don't mind working on there MLVW truck when it comes to hauling the trailer around.

Offline Michael Greer

  • Guest
  • *
  • 20
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 17
  • Retired
    • Canadian Forces Cooks
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2005, 12:36:36 »
One thing.... it's been 22 years... What is the recipe for those western omelets? Honestly - I still dream of those!

Jack, I can assure you, that respect goes both ways.  Nothing is more appreciative than the support received from guys like you.  More often than not, there was someone there to put cam up on my Flying Kitchen, or dig my slit trench for me, while I'd be getting things on the go.  Mind you, they were also the ones gratefully receiving an extra serving of choice.

Did you want that recipe for a Western Omelet for a couple 100?  ;D

Here it is for 1, I figure you'll know how to increase the recipe;

    2  eggs             
    2 tbsp / 30 ml  fresh milk
    Salt and pepper, to taste   
    1 tsp / 5 ml  butter     
    1/4 cup / 50 ml  finely chopped ham     
    2 tbsp  / 30 ml   chopped red and/or green pepper     
    2 tbsp  / 30 ml   finely chopped onion   

Beat together eggs and water; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat butter over medium heat in an 8-inch (20 cm) non-stick omelet pan. Saute (fry) ham, red and/or green pepper and onion until tender, about 2 minutes. Pour in egg mixture. As mixture sets at the edges, with spatula, gently lift cooked portion to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath. Cook until bottom is set and top is almost set.

Slip spatula underneath the omelet and fold in half. Slide onto a warm plate.

Alternately, you can remove filling from pan, then add egg mixture and placing filling on one 1/2 the egg/pan, folding over the filling when botton is set.  Cook approx 1 min,  then flipping egg onto other 1/2 and cook until centre is done, approx another minute.  Enjoy.

Cheers,

Mike





Change the things you can.  Those you can't, change the way you think about them!

http://members.shaw.ca/cfcooks

Offline Scott

    - apparently an antagonist.

  • Likes fire and loud noises.
  • Chief of Staff
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 194,680
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,828
  • El Scorcho Diablo
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2005, 23:22:34 »
My God I am so sorry that I missed this thread and so glad the hijack occurred and so happy to contribute to it further!!

During my QL3 in Aldershot we stayed in tent city and were fed, for the duration of the course, from flying kitchens. One of the older Sgt's, who had been Black Watch many moons prior, was cooking with the NSH and  had been tasked to Aldershot for the summer, he always took care of "his lads" when we came through - Heaping helpings, seconds, thirds, good humour and great, fatherly cheer. Sgt. Snow, wherever you are, I appreciated it then and even moreso now.

I work in the oil and gas industry and I do spend a fair amount of time in camps in remote areas of Alberta and BC. I have had some great meals and some truly horrible ones but I always thanked the cook. I have witnessed what happens to the guys who mouth off, on steak night they get the fattiest toughest piece of boot leather in the joint, if they get fed at all. By always saying thanks I never had trouble raiding the kitchen after hours when I was late, never had an issue nicking some "extras" for my lunch and always had someone to have a coffee with.

Hats off to cooks, a thankless job for which I am grateful!
Be nice for no reason.

Offline ren

  • Guest
  • *
  • 0
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2006, 03:00:07 »
My wife told me about this message,she wouldn't let me not answer it so here I am... I am a reg force cook with 1PPCLI in Edmonton (14 years in) and here are your answers
1) There is no such thing as a usual day.
  a) In a real world, you would know what shifts you will have from one day to the next but that isn't so..you are looking at 3 shift schedules and depending where in the kitchen you are working can determine that. Early shift starts at 0 dark stupid, day shift @ 07:30, and late shift starts at 10:00. Early and late shifts are 9 1/2 hours each.  Day shift is 8 1/2 hours. You get meals but not "an hour for lunch" , breaks are dependant on the work load.  Meals USED to be free for cooks but now we have to pay taxes on them, whether we have time to eat them or not (I digress)  :brickwall:
2) You only do PT when it is convenient .
 a) Before late shift or after for early and day shift.(running after an early shift, what a great idea!)
3) Field time is dependant on what unit you are with.  3 months out of a year would be an average.  There are always other taskings that come up so if it is time away you want thats no problem. 
4) Once a year you have to go to the ranges and qualify (minimum requirement) Occasionally you will get fire something else.
5) There is 1 civilian cook in Edmonton but there are a lot more on other bases (we killed all ours).  :rofl:
6) I knew of an infantry guy that switched to cook during his training but leaving the trade is extremely difficult.
7) Tours are plentiful for the cook trade. If you want them, you can have them.
8 ) You can be a part of any team you want but time away from your regular duties is dependant on the work load.  Considerations are sometimes made for deserving members.
9) Jump courses are difficult to get but not unattainable. You would have to be one keen mf for that.
10) As for going up in the ranks it seems to be getting a whole lot easier these days.  A lot of guys are retiring and positions open up very quickly.

P.S. The post about no cooks replying to you because they were too busy to be farting around on the computer. There is truth to it.  If you wouldn't take pride in doing a job like this, don't bother, the rewards are too few. 
P.S.S. We train to kill entire units in one meal not one at a time.  :evil:

Ren



Hi there I was wondering if any cooks could tell me how a usual day is? Do you do PT every morning or do you go straight to the kitchen to cook a meal. How much time in the field do cooks get? Do you get any infantry training for example do you ever go the ranges.
What would the percentage to civilian to military cooks be.
As anyone known of any cooks being able to switch trades during training? Also I would like to know is after having some training would you be able to get a tour. How often does a cook get a tour?

Another thing is my questions would be more directed to a Army cook (Combat cook) Can a cook do any special training besides just cook stuff. For example the pistol team or something.

Oh and another question. For a highly fit person how tough would it be to get Para Wings. Is this offered to a cook often?


Is it tough to go up the ranks in the Profession?

Thank you very much

Offline JackD

  • jackd
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 2,700
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 341
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2006, 16:31:12 »
Hi! I apologise for not returning my thanks for the recipe... Wahoo!! After 25 years! I live in Poland now - a teacher of English for my sins... Would there be anything I could get you from here - err within a reasonable cost - as my take home salary is 1000 zloties a month or 400 Canadian dollars... This weekend though...A western omelet a'la Forces Canadien! Once again, my thanks - and my thanks for all the cooks i've had dealings with...

Offline Michael Greer

  • Guest
  • *
  • 20
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 17
  • Retired
    • Canadian Forces Cooks
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2006, 20:49:44 »
Hi Jack,

My pleasure!  Nothing expected in return.  Your kind words of our trade is reward two fold.  Very glad we were able to accommodate you with our old reliable omelet recipe.

Cheers,  Mike
Change the things you can.  Those you can't, change the way you think about them!

http://members.shaw.ca/cfcooks

Offline BYT Driver

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 13,785
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,114
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2006, 03:16:43 »
ref PT, Most squaddies never trust a skinny cook. It usually means they aren't eating their own cooking. Cook is an honourable trade with loads of respect from the troops.  Be happy and the troops are happy. I have a few friends who are cooks and good at it.  Thier only complaint is that they are always supervised.  The Chef side of the house brings out their creativity. 
As a side note, it's very difficult to starve in a military kitchen. 

Offline Devlin

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 115
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 301
  • Ready Fire Aim
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2006, 21:42:46 »
God Bless the Cooks

I am biased as a member of the CSS world but I have to say some of the best meals I have ever had came from CF kitchens and flying kitchens. The cook for our unit is also the Bde Chief Cook and one hell of a good guy.

My favorites include
C4 Chilli - I have asked for the recipe he won't give it up  :(
BBQ steak
Roast Beef

Kitchen Trailers are also a great place to hang out between CP shifts, I'd rather sit in the flying kitchen and peel potatoes and be warm than freeze my arse off somewhere else

Offline Shamrock

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 44,540
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,337
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #40 on: July 23, 2006, 13:33:33 »
Though the original post has been answered, let me continue the hijack.

I'm not here to say "some of the best food I've ever eaten" has come from a CF Kitchen.  I'm here to say, the best food I've ever eaten has come from a CF kitchen.  I was married on base and had the reception at the mess.  The civi's in attendance were lvery concerned about having army-food, and the army guys were lined up and drooling in advance.  The meal was roast beef, and unlike the steamline, the cooks were able to invest time and effort in presentation.  I've had some good meals before, but never anything like that.  Even some of the five-star restaurants I've eaten at paled in comparison.  And flavourful!  Guess I should toss in that the meal itself was obscenely inexpensive.

Just thinking about the food makes me want to marry her again.

My hat's off to cooks, and not just because the mess tells me so.

Offline big bad john (John Hill)

  • Banned
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • -930
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,682
  • I am a poser
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #41 on: July 23, 2006, 13:43:06 »
Though the original post has been answered, let me continue the hijack.

I'm not here to say "some of the best food I've ever eaten" has come from a CF Kitchen.  I'm here to say, the best food I've ever eaten has come from a CF kitchen.  I was married on base and had the reception at the mess.  The civi's in attendance were lvery concerned about having army-food, and the army guys were lined up and drooling in advance.  The meal was roast beef, and unlike the steamline, the cooks were able to invest time and effort in presentation.  I've had some good meals before, but never anything like that.  Even some of the five-star restaurants I've eaten at paled in comparison.  And flavourful!  Guess I should toss in that the meal itself was obscenely inexpensive.

Just thinking about the food makes me want to marry her again.

My hat's off to cooks, and not just because the mess tells me so.

+1 on that.  My wife and I have the opportunity to eat out often because of our work schedule's and lifestyles right now.  We eat at some very posh places.  But the food pales in comparison to what I've had in the Mess.  IMHO service cooks are the best in the world.  They care and it does show.  I enjoy The Keg, but it doesn't compare food quality wise to a good Mess meal when it's put on.

Offline NinerSix

    is getting the itch to deploy.

  • Has been
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 316,211
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,052
  • Retired!
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2006, 22:48:22 »
+1 for canadian cooks!

39 Brigade has some amazing cooks. Gold riboon cooks. Some of the food I had on cougar salvo and active edge, I was unprepared for. Just that good.

After +36 hours on on the road/field, it was an unexpedted treat to have hot chocolate and hot soup ready.

Any CSS trade that takes his/her job seriously, suporting another soldier, has my unwaving loyalty.
The process is not the mission.

Offline Get Nautical

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 4,687
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 652
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2006, 20:08:06 »
Im starting my cooks training soon, how many mess dinners would I be doing a year, because im interesed in the more detailed stuff as appose to cooking cafeteria style

Offline Michael Greer

  • Guest
  • *
  • 20
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 17
  • Retired
    • Canadian Forces Cooks
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #44 on: August 13, 2006, 13:52:06 »
Well that's primarily going to be dependant on where you're posted, and then what kitchen you'll be in.  An Officers Mess/Wardroom will have numerous high profile/mess dinner/formal meals each year, whereas a Junior Ranks Mess in an Army unit or aboard a ship will have considerably less.  That being said, there is a very high expectation that all meals, including cafeteria style are prepared and presented with the highest of quality and imagination.  That in itself is much more of a challenge than preparing and providing a mess dinner.  It's also greatly appreciated by the troops and sailors, for which I can attest.  Resulting in the comments you see here and why Canadian Military Cooks have the reputation they do with other nations military's.  Wait until you get the chance to try Norway's fresh field rations or a meal aboard a Chinese Destroyer.  You'll have plenty of opportunity to learn & provide both.  Hope this is helpful.

Cheers,

Mike  :cdn:
Change the things you can.  Those you can't, change the way you think about them!

http://members.shaw.ca/cfcooks

Offline Blackadder1916

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 157,190
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,785
Re: Can I get a little insight From Cooks!
« Reply #45 on: August 13, 2006, 15:36:16 »
In the course of my military career, I have eaten a lot of meals in mess halls and messes: in the field; on army, air force and navy bases; on service aircraft; even on a HMCS for a short period; plus have had to sample the culinary attempts of some foreign militaries.  So it is with some experience that I can confirm that CF cooks are some of the best in the world.  Their job is not to provide gourmet dining on a par with a five star restaurant, but they often do.  Even when they don't, the meals they provide rarely fall below the "good, wholesome" category.  I have many memories of good, or really good, or great or "hey, cookie if you weren't so ugly I'd ask you to marry me" meals.  I am still hoping that I can get scrambled eggs in a diner that are as light, fluffy and tasty as the ones I got in Cornwallis/Granville (yes) from a haybox, 30 years ago.  I have only one memory of a mess hall meal that was bad enough to require intervention.  CFB Borden on course, 1980, a Sunday evening.  We went across to the mess for supper and found only one choice of main course, "Sweet and Sour Luncheon Meat".  Canned crap on rice.  Well that brought out a lot of grumbling and threats (including of physical voilence) from the mostly medics and MPs towards the MCpl cook in charge at the time. The Duty Officer was called who called the KO.  If the MCpl was nervous about the threats from us, he was positively terrified after the KO was finished with him and not pleased that he had to cook steaks for us.
Who called the cook a c**t?  Who called that c**t a cook?
Whisky for the gentlemen that like it. And for the gentlemen that don't like it - Whisky.

Offline bogie

  • Guest
  • *
  • 0
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 4
Re: CF Cooks Web Site
« Reply #46 on: March 12, 2007, 01:44:51 »
I never knew this site existed!!!! I was a CF Cook in Edmonton and Pet. Hello people!! Been awhile! Bogie!

Offline retiredgrunt45

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 2,715
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 538
Re: CF Cooks Web Site
« Reply #47 on: March 14, 2007, 19:46:07 »
Where's the first place you head to, when coming of the line or coming of duty. The good old mess tent. Good food, good hot coffee and plenty of friendly faces. Oh and not to mention the hot pies and other goodies left out for the troops by the baker. Now thats a moral booster!

 One thing i learned early on in my career, is to always keep the cooks happy and they'll will always return the favour 10 fold.
The first goal of any political party is to stay in power by whatever means possible. Their second goal is to fool us into believing that we should keep them in power.

A politician is like a used car saleman, he'll promise you a "peach" and then turn around and sell you a "lemon"

"Politicians are like diapers, they have to be changed often because their usually full of crap.

Offline tomahawk6

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 97,830
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,220
Army Cook in Afghanistan
« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2007, 11:00:41 »
http://www.thewhig.com/webapp/sitepages/co...ws&classif=News

FORWARD OPERATING BASE

SPERWAN GHAR, Afghanistan

Of all the countless – and often thankless – jobs under the baking sun at this mountain base in southern Kandahar province, his is probably the hottest.

Depending on who you ask – and how long it’s been since they’ve eaten a fresh meal – it might also be the most important.

Master Cpl. Dave Dore, who’s attached to the Canadian Forces Joint Signals Regiment based in Kingston, has spent part of the last nine years flying across Canada and around the world, cooking first-class meals for dignitaries, two governors general and three prime ministers – including current Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Today, he spends his days in the sweltering, gas-fired heat of a portable Canadian Forces galley, boosting the morale of soldiers in Afghanistan one heaping cardboard mess tray at a time.

“I started as infantry, then after a short stint I seen the light and went to cooking,” said Dore, 34.

During his brief time with Harper, he remembers the PM as a generally quiet fellow, and his predecessor – former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin – as a friendly, healthy eater.

It’s Jean Chretien he remembers best, whom he describes in his best faux-Shawinigan drawl as a “beer-and-chicken-wings” kind of guy – provided he wasn’t travelling with his wife, Aline.

“He said, ‘Dave, when my wife is on the plane, I want healthy food – carrot sticks, celery sticks,’ ” Dore recalled.

“When she’s not on the plane, I want chicken wings and I want beer.”

Of all the important mouths he’s fed over the years, the ones that line up at Sperwan Ghar for chow time – three squares a day, three days a week, lunch and dinner the rest of the time – are easily the most rewarding.

“Absolutely, especially when the boys come back from being on rations for 40 days, and they come back to a fresh, hot meal, they’re just so grateful,” said Dore, originally of Elliot Lake, as he stirred a giant vat of spaghetti noodles – one of two entrees on the night’s menu.

“The food that we have on, it doesn’t matter what it is, they’re just so grateful and you can you see the smiles, and you know that you’ve made a difference, that you’ve boosted that morale just a little bit.”

Dore doesn’t just sling hash, either. It’s hearty – and largely healthy – comfort food, such as the stir-fried beef and rice, boiled vegetables, roast chicken and slabs of meat loaf he’s been serving in recent days.

Most of the soldiers look forward to Thursday, which is steak night – often accompanied by a side of crab legs, lobster tails, or whatever else the supply lines from Dubai can provide.

There’s no complaining from the troops, especially the ones who have just returned from a fierce several weeks shelling enemy positions from a Spartan base in Helmand province, leaving their field rations to warm up in the heat.

“It’s unreal. You eat rations for so long, it almost, like, kills your taste buds,” said Bombardier Michael Hobb, of B Troop from the 2nd Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, based in Petawawa.

Hobb, 20, from Yarmouth, N.S., has spent the last 10 days with his fellow gunners at a no-frills forward operating base in Helmand, manning Canada’s M-777 Howitzer cannons in support of coalition troops trying to flush Taliban fighters from the province’s opium-producing northern tip.

He said soldiers often have to be careful when switching between field rations and fresh food, since making the adjustment can be hard on the system. But he’s grateful to be eating like a human being again.

“To get here and eat a fresh meal – it could have been anything, really, but it was amazing,” he said.

“They’re really good cooks here – and all the food that we get is unreal. Some of the guys who were here before said they were getting steak and lobster. They take really good care of us here.”

Offline geo

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 26,075
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,644
Re: Army Cook in Afghanistan
« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2007, 12:14:10 »
Huah.... nut'in but the best for our boys in the field.
Beer & chicken wings be damned!

Thanks for those great cooks in their field kitchens!

CHIMO!

(used to have one cook working for me.... the only thing I had to ensure the officer factored in to his staffing plan was a day off for the cook on payday.  The cook would be out to lunch and bent out of shape for 24 hrs..... not much of a price when you conside there's another good 14 days of good cooking in-between)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 12:16:47 by geo »
Chimo!