The Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Puget Sound (NAVSUP FLCPS) Navy Food Management Team (NFMT) has announced that the galley at its Bangor teaching facility is now open for business.
The NFMT galley officially came to life with a Baking Seminar Nov. 10. In 2020, the NFMT moved into a brand new classroom facility with a full-service galley at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Due to COVID restrictions, classroom capacity has been limited, and instructors were not able to use the galley at all.
The Baking Seminar not only marks the resumption of hands-on NFMT food service training since the implementation of pandemic force protection measures, it was also the first to take place in the new Bangor facility’s galley.
“This is the first training where we were able to work in this kitchen,” said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Jon Wright, NFMT Team Lead.
Chief Culinary Specialist Brian McNulty taught the Baking Seminar for a group of Culinary Specialists from the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). In the classroom, McNulty kicked off the course by pulling the students into an informal circle where he introduced the course and explained the NFMT mission. He pointed out that the purpose of the seminar was to enhance culinary skills, and not intended to create a high-stress environment.
“I want to teach you something valuable, but I also want you to have a good time,” said McNulty.
Along with teaching critical culinary skills to Navy food service personnel, the NFMT is tasked with providing assist visits to galley operations at 46 sea and shore commands throughout the region. The senior enlisted personnel that operate the NFMT are quick to note that they are not inspectors. With the motto “Assisting, training, and supporting the fleet one galley at a time,” the NFMT staff consider themselves subject matter experts with a focus on providing guidance and technical support.
The training seminars are an opportunity to teach new skills as well as build trust and confidence between food service personnel and the NFMT.
“We are not here to inspect them… we want them to have fun, learn, and enhance their skills, and as a result provide high quality products and services to the Sailors they serve,” said Wright.
NFMT Baking Seminar teaches Sailors scratch baking and a basic understanding of yeast dough production, a skill set that pays off in a number of ways. For example, having staples on hand for baking saves storage space over mixes and frozen items.
“On a sub with very limited storage space I can pack more with basic ingredients than with mixes or pre-made products,” said McNulty.
Creating baked goods from scratch has other benefits that are less tangible but just as important.
“On the ship, you can see that everyone is happier when we serve fresh bakery made from scratch… it is good for morale,” said student Culinary Specialist 3d Class Ryanna Seely. Originally from Belize, Seely is currently assigned to USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Along with the Baking Seminar, the NFMT course offerings include Sanitation, Organization of the General Mess, Electrical Safety, and SERVSAFE Food Protection Manager Certification.