By Staff Sgt. Emily Kenney
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Airmen from the Aragon Dining Facility on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, and surrounding bases were the first in the AF to receive extensive culinary training Sept. 11-14, 2018 as part of the Department of Defense’s Go for Green 2.0 initiative.
During the four-day training, master chefs from the Culinary Institute of America taught Airmen skills to improve overall food quality in regards to the G4G program.
“G4G is a DoD program that’s been around since 2011; most people recognize it from the red, yellow and green signs,” said Tech. Sgt. Rachel Tate, Air Force Services Agency food and beverage manager. “With G4G 2.0, we contacted the CIA’s trained dietician to help recode all our recipes. There were certain things we didn’t take into account before, that we’re taking into account now – for example, sodium content.”
The objective of G4G is to teach DFAC patrons what to eat for optimal performance. The upgraded menu includes specialty salads, wraps, breakfast grain bowls, as well as more bean, grain, and vegetable options.
“There have been a lot of good changes in the last few days,” said Airman 1st Class Jose Mendoza, 21st Force Support Squadron food service apprentice. “The salad bar was upgraded to be called the pure bar, and that’s what it is: pure. We now have higher quality, fresher, and healthier options for our customers.”
Throughout the week, CIA master chefs emphasized the importance of providing fresh, high-quality food to customers.
“They’ve taught us how to blanch vegetables to make them look more fresh and colorful,” said Mendoza. “Our customers are really liking the changes because it’s something totally different. I personally like the pure bar the most because it provides healthier options for our customers, myself included.”
Airmen and facility managers from eight bases came to Peterson to learn new techniques to improve in their DFACs.
“We brought in Airmen from the surrounding bases so they can take the knowledge and implement it at their base,” said Tate. “We’re going to six bases total and bringing people in to be trained as well. A lot of the people coming to the training are managers, so this may be new for them if they’re not in the kitchen a lot anymore. They’re learning techniques first-hand to bring back and implement in their facilities.”
Mendoza said working with Airmen from other DFACs has helped broaden his perspective.
“I like working with the people from other bases because they offer different viewpoints and have new ideas on how to do things to make our DFAC a better place,” said Mendoza.
New options will continue to have the familiar color labels — green (high-performance fuel), yellow (moderate-performance fuel), and red (low-performance fuel).
The Aragon DFAC is open for all Peterson AFB personnel for breakfast from 6-8 a.m. and is available for all meal-card holders for lunch and dinner services.
For more information on the G4G initiative, please contact the Aragon Dining Facility at 719-556-4180.