Beyond the Basics: Olympic Dining Facility introduces specialty meals

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA, UNITED STATES

04.17.2024

Story by Airman 1st Class Kylee Tyus 

62nd Airlift Wing  

Team McChord’s Olympic Dining Facility has launched a series of specialty meals to redefine Joint Base Lewis-McChord dining standards.
According to Olympic Dining Facility representatives, the specialty meals are inspired by feedback from their patrons. These meals are created to provide more options, improving the day-to-day diet of Airmen and their families.
To create these specialty meals, Olympic Dining Facility representatives propose ideas, gather and brainstorm with shift leaders, storeroom personnel, and managers. The menu is then proposed to food service (FSV)leadership who route it through Air Force Services center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, before executing the new recipes.
“While our regular daily menu strictly follows the crunch time recipe card system; the specialty meals offer flexibility featuring unique ingredients, flavors or creative cooking techniques that showcase the culinary skills of our Airmen,” said Staff Sgt. Pema Sherpa, a food service craftsman with the 627th Force Support Squadron. “For example, a specialty meal might incorporate exotic spices, special cuts of meat or elaborate presentation techniques.”
Cultural and seasonal meals are provided throughout the year with menus created by FSV Airmen. According to Olympic Dining Facility representatives, the goal for these meals is to showcase and enhance the Airmen’s culinary skills and offer customers a diverse menu.
“We aim to match the prices with our regular meal menu,” said Sherpa. “Even though specialty meals require more resources in terms of manpower and subsistence compared to regular meals, our main goal is customer satisfaction.”
Specialty meals are guaranteed on every federal holiday to include the Air Force’s birthday, and St. Patrick’s Day, as of right now. The frequency of when other specialty meals are offered will vary based on customer feedback.
Leadership with the Olympic Dining Facility encourage their diverse team of Airmen to contribute their ideas as much as possible to enhance the dining experience for all customers.

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