Travis Myers, Executive Chef of Willow’s Bistro in Winston-Salem and the NCRLA Chef of the Year, led his team of Chefs at this year’s Cooking for the Troops two day event, August 20th and 21st. Chef Travis’ team, along with the Sodexo and Marine kitchen staff fed 300 troops in Lejeune and 700 troops at Cherry Point for two days of lunch service. Both events served as opportunities for our guest chef to train military cooks while on site.

The Got to be NC Military Guest Chef Program highlights our state’s two largest industries, agriculture and military.  These events highlight how both collectively work together to feed and promote nutritious, local agricultural products to the troops and their families. The program coincides with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Healthy Base Initiative, which aims to increase the well-being of troops and civilians working and/or living on military bases. The program is also part of Food and Fuel for the Forces, a partnership between agriculture and military communities to gauge what types and amounts of local food production are needed to match the consumption of area military forces.

Guest chefs, coordinated by Got To Be NC marketing staff, look to highlight local components within the menus they create. The NCDA marketing division works closely with Sodexo, Foster-Caviness, Sysco and Camp Lejeune to create this unique program. Sodexo manages the bases food service operations. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) supports by sourcing and providing consumable items and manages the global supply chain, from raw materials to end user, for our Armed Forces.

NCDA’s marketing division works closely with the organizations who hold the government contracts for both base food service management and food distribution so that guest chefs can highlight local components within the menus they create while providing instructional support for the mess hall staffs to improve culinary skills. Sysco and Foster-Caviness hold contracts on providing and delivering food on base.