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Kitchen to Culinary program

22 ARW

Staff Sgt. Kristen Bates, 22nd Force Support Squadron food operations journeyman, prepares ingredients for the sandwich station Nov. 29, 2018, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. Bates prepared foods including chicken and different kinds of vegetables. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexi Myrick)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- The 22nd Force Support Squadron and Wichita State University are teaming up for a program called “Kitchen to Culinary,” which provides Airmen experience in the collegiate level of culinary arts.

This program gives McConnell’s chefs insight on the culinary industry outside of the military.

“Airmen will gain knowledge on new cooking techniques, while also boosting morale through their squadron,” said Master Sgt. Brian Tobias, 22nd FSS food service section chief.

The culinary support service company, Compass USA, is the bridge between McConnell and WSU allowing our Airmen to grow through this program.

“This training program offers an opportunity for our chefs to become acquainted with food service industry practices and trends through hands-on experience in a university campus dining facility environment,” said Chief Master Sgt. Tanica Bradt, 22nd FSS superintendent. “Additionally, Compass USA Group also benefits from this program as it will improve their understanding of the Air Force and food service practices in the military. The goal is to further develop our chefs while partnering with WSU dining operations.”

This connection between WSU and McConnell can help the military side of culinary arts expand to cooking techniques used by civilian chefs outside the military.

“We hope that the continued partnership will provide the information valuable to the Air Force participant, but also provide the team the knowledge of different lines of food service,” said Jamie Kraisinger, Director of Operations for the dining services at WSU. “In a partnership like this, there will always be experiences and skills that can be shared and learned by both sides.”

Many services Airmen will have the opportunity to take advantage of this program and will then be able to utilize the new knowledge they have gained through going to school at WSU, here on McConnell.

“This program helped me improve my culinary skillset, as well as inspire me to want to go back to college to finish my degree,” said Airman 1st Class Aaron Amie, 22nd FSS food service apprentice.

The liaison for the Kitchen to Culinary Program is Master Sgt. Brian Tobais, 22nd FSS food service section chief. Tobias can be reached at brian.m.tobias.mil@mail.mil or 316-759-6114