News: Good eats at Stack Dining Facility
Story by Sgt. William Howard
FORT CARSON, Colo. — The kitchen is filled with the smell of about 100 pounds of bacon, a vat stewing of collard greens with large pork bones, 157 pounds of barbecued chicken and 30 slabs of pork ribs.
Amid the chaos of ingredients and activity food service specialists of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team and 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team work together like a well oiled machine to prepare and serve three meals every day at the Stack Dining Facility.
“We all have our titles but everyone works,” said Staff Sgt. Malcolm Mahogany, shift leader, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division.
The food service specialists learn hands on and rotate every week to master the different kitchen stations.
“These Soldiers get a lot of experience at different levels,” said Mahogany. “They get to be a main chef and a sous chef all in one day.”
Spc. Darron Crockett, meat chef, 4th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div., said that he plans to use his experience as a food service specialist to open his own restaurant back in his hometown of Detroit, Mich.
“It’s taught me how to cook for mass amounts of people at one time while under pressure, how to talk to people, do inventory, order provisions, scheduling and pretty much anything you can think of in food service,” said Crockett.
Even with 21 different menus each month the chefs are encouraged to enhance each meal by adding their own flair to the recipe.
“Soldiers want what is good,” said Staff Sgt. Bill Hengsteler, rations noncommissioned officer in charge, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. “They eat with their eyes before they eat with their stomach.”
The Stack Dining Facility serves more than 2,000 meals each day to Soldiers, their families and civilians from all over the post.
“They want to come over here and eat because they know they’re going to get quality food, a wide variety and great customer service,” said Mahogany.
All of the customers of the dining facility are encouraged to fill out a comment card located at each table.
“We want Soldiers to recognize that we respect what they do,” said Hengsteler. “We want to feed them and make sure they’re happy when they leave.”