Spc. Marquis Hopkins
3rd Sustainment Brigade
Photo by Spc. Marquis Hopkins
A culinary specialist prepares the main course during the 3rd Infantry Division Back to Basics Course July 27, on Fort Stewart. The dish was part of the culminating event meal prepared as part of the course which ran July 13-24 and instructed culinary specialists from across the division on developing fundamental cooking practices and developing more advanced techniques

Enhancing the Rock

Soldiers across 3rd Infantry Division, participated in a culinary enhancing course to become more proficient in the kitchens of the dining facilities, July 13-24, on Fort Stewart.
The two-week course is designed to enhance the culinary specialist’s skills by providing the Soldiers with the knowledge on how to properly use the given items, foods and spices in the dining facilities.
“Soldiers are afforded the opportunity to create something delicious while learning how to be creative in the kitchen,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Yessenia Johnson, food advisor for 3rd ID. “This course allows our 92G [culinary specialists] to get some great hands on training and to be able to share their ideas to produce great meals in our dining facilities.”
The course was organized by senior culinary specialist non-commissioned officers from the 287th Field Feeding Company, Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade. Each day of the course, Soldiers prepare a meal while getting guidance from the instructors to refine their culinary skills.
“We wanted to start this course to share our knowledge that we have learned throughout our careers as a culinary specialist, to all Soldiers,” said Staff Sgt. Andrew Shurden, senior chef with 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID. “We’re teaching Soldiers that you can do more than “the basics” inside a DFAC, we’re teaching them ways of enhancing product.”
Each class consists of a small group of Soldiers from throughout the division. This small-group atmosphere gives the students more time with the instructors to hone their skills and to learn new techniques.  
“The course really gave me a refresher on some of the things that I already knew and it helped elevate them,” said Spc. Ayanna Havard a culinary specialist with 287th FFC. “I think that we will be able to give our customers a newer and better product now.”
On the final day of the culinary course the Soldiers prepared a meal and desert that highlighted the training they learned during the course.
“We learned the basics from preparation, sanitation and just getting everything in order before starting a meal,” said Spc. Dwight Monk a culinary specialist with 287th FFC. “This helped me take more pride in the meals that we serve because it’s nice see food that looks good and also taste good!”
The culinary course will continue to promote readiness by refining the culinary specialist’s fundamentals and ensuring that they provide the nutrition that all of our 3rd ID Soldiers.