An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Feature Search

Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | Feb. 15, 2008

EATC debuts Advanced Culinary Class

By Bobby Jones Photojournalist

The Executive Airlift Training Center recently introduced an Advanced Culinary Class as part of it's curriculum. 

The five-day course was geared toward increasing the culinary skills of the resident EATC instructors and student resident squadron flight attendants. 

"The purpose of the class is to advance the skills flight attendants already possess in the cooking arena," said Master Sgt. Tangella Brown, EATC superintendent. "But we're stepping it up a notch by presenting our customers with really nice meals that they'll remember us by," said Sergeant Brown. 

Flight attendants receive formal training at the Basic Flight Attendant Course, (formerly Flight Attendants Culinary EGRESS Training School) in San Antonio, Texas. There they learn how to set a table with plate, saucer and cup placement accompanied by the correct silverware placement. 

"Once they graduate, our job here is to teach them a little bit more about cooking and marry that with what they already know and then show them how to apply it on a Special Air Mission," said Sergeant Brown, who received her Master Certified Food Executive certificate. 

The new class started with Culinary 101 academics. The day culminated into a strategy event, where the students were presented with a work station stocked with different types of food, and they were required to display a creative presentation in a specified time limit.
The students were judged in the areas of cleanliness, organization, team work, timeliness and creativity. Afterwards they talked about what things were done well and what things could have been better. 

"Presentation is everything, said Sergeant Brown. "If you can get the passenger to love your food before they even taste it, that's half the battle. And if we have to put out a meal on short notice for a customer, we want it to be seamless to the customer. Meaning, that there is no noticeable difference between the care and preparation of a short-notice meal and that of a planned meal," added Sergeant Brown. 

Although the primary job of a flight attendant is to get passengers off the plane safely in the event of an emergency, the EATC instructors wanted the Advanced Culinary Class to elevate the flight attendant's culinary skills to that same degree of importance. 

"We have to get our passengers there safely, but we also want them well rested and well fed so that when they get off the airplane to do their jobs we've made it easy for them,"said Sergeant Brown. 

During the Advanced Culinary Class the EATC invited a guest panel of the Navy's best culinary specialists from the White House Mess and the Vice President's residence to share some of their tips for serving high-level customers. 

Culinary Specialist Chief Petty Officer Dexter Johnson,White House executive souse chef noted, "What a great opportunity for them to get their hands into other areas of the culinary world they wouldn't normally experience." 

Master Sgt. Brown also spoke about the relationship the 89th Airlift Wing's members have nurtured with their Navy counterparts. 

"The folks in the Navy have a wealth of experience, because they've gone through real training centers, such as the Culinary Institute of New York," said Sergeant Brown. "So I'm glad the Navy is helping us step our game up," Brown added. 

Chief Johnson coached the students one-on-one in pre-mission meal preparation along with Culinary Specialist Chief Petty Officer Ernesto S. Alvarez, from the White House Mess and Culinary Specialist Petty Officer 1st Class Sarah Fletcher from the Vice President's residence. 

Chief Alvarez shared his expert garnishing talents during the hands-on portion of the course with the students. The students learned intricate fruit and vegetable carvings, which were used as colorful, yet edible centerpieces. 

Culinary Specialist Petty Officer 1st Class Fletcher helped students prepare Harvest Baked Apples with Currant Almond Crisp, topped with whipped cream and homemade strawberry, lemon and blueberry flavored sorbet. 

The EATC chose its students based on their previous culinary experience and exposure to preparing pre-mission meals. 

"I'm glad that my squadron is willing to give up the people and support this type of training, even though we have a busy schedule," said Tech. Sgt. Kristine Farmer, 89th Operation Support Squadron. "But the big payoff is better quality meals for our clients."
Tech. Sgt. Allison Miller, 89 OSS flight attendant and EATC instructor noted the benefits from the course. "This course is good because we don't really get a chance to brush up on our skills throughout our careers. We just learn things on our own time." 

"Our thought was to utilize this facility to bring back some of the more experienced flight attendants to help them brush up on their skills, teach them new recipes, and get experts to come in and teach us new things to help us stay at the top of our fields," said Sergeant Miller. 

"Being on a gulf stream I fly by myself," said Tech. Sgt. Miller. "On larger jets there are more attendants preparing meals, you get different ideas. This training is a win-win situation for everybody. And in the end our nation's leaders are being treated even better."