Cooking class teaches Airmen new skills

Photo By Airman William Lunn | Steven Leitzel, Executive chef from Siena Tuscan Steakhouse, a high-end Italian restaurant at Wichita’s Ambassador Hotel, shows Airmen the steps of making authentic spaghetti during a cooking class Aug. 3, 2022, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. The class brought Airmen together in their newly renovated kitchen and taught them a skill they can use the rest of their lives. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman William Lunn)



Story by Airman William Lunn 

22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs 

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. – Airmen gathered in the dorm 350 kitchen Aug. 3, for a cooking class hosted by chefs from Siena Tuscan Steakhouse, a high-end Italian restaurant located at the Ambassador Hotel in Wichita.

The kitchen opened in June, and since then, Airmen have found a way to make the most of it with activities such as this. The new kitchen features five stoves, two refrigerators, two sinks, a dishwasher, a variety of cookware and large countertops.

“We come here today to show Airmen basic cooking skills they can use in their new kitchen,” said Regan Ward, food and beverage director at the Ambassador Hotel. “The class will show them how to take basic ingredients, make something great, and bring people together in the process of cooking and creating something.”

The chef demonstrated a spaghetti recipe served at their restaurant in downtown Wichita. The techniques showed them how to cut, sauté and present their dishes in a way they could cook for any amount of people.

“I can’t wait to learn something new from this class,” said Airman Kameron Levi, aircraft parts store apprentice. “Sometimes, it feels like I cook the same things over and over even though I love to make things in the kitchen. The Dining Facility isn’t always open and it’s important to be able to have these skills no matter where you’re at in life.”

The Airmen who attended the course said, as a whole, they came because they were excited about everything new the space had to offer. They look forward to more events coming to the kitchen and hope to see Ambassador Hotel classes return to McConnell and teach something new the next time.

“Our team enjoyed being here today to share our skills with the Airmen,” said Ward. “This time we made Italian food, but next time we can teach any recipe that they want to learn. We look forward to coming back, and in the mean time we hope the Airmen continue to sharpen
their cooking skills and use their new kitchen.”

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