CAMP HUMPHREYS, Korea — Many soldiers lined up, waiting for their chance to shake hands and get their picture taken with world-famous celebrity chef Robert Irvine at the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team Pittman “Tomahawk” dining facility on Camp Humphreys on Thursday.
Irvine, who is known for his shows on the Food Network — such as Dinner: Impossible, Restaurant: Impossible, and Worst Cooks in America — is currently on a world tour visiting military bases of all branches.
“It’s very cool to come to these dining facilities,” said Irvine. “This dining facility is amazing. The leadership here really understands food and what it takes to build these soldiers up, so that they can get fed and get out to continue doing their job.”
He said supporting the service members is something he takes great pride in and is a very serious mission for him and his team.
“We spend over 100 days a year on the road with our military,” he added. “For me, it’s very important letting our men and women who serve know that we care about them.”
The dining facility staff were visibly excited not only to see a celebrity chef in person, but to have the opportunity to gain some insight from a veteran in the same field.
“Watching his show is very inspiring,” said Pfc. Sean Lange, a soldier in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team. “I hope to one day go into this business, and getting this kind of one-on-one time is very beneficial.”
Sgt. 1st Class Marvin Galloway, the dining facility manager with HHC, 15th BSB, gave Irvine a tour, pausing to explain what took place at each station.
“It’s an honor to have a great chef come to our dining facility,” said Galloway. “The teaching and coaching on his show helped me bring ideas of things I want to do to enhance the quality of my food and my production in my facility.”
He said having a celebrity chef visit his dining facility was a special kind of recognition, because he could have chosen to go to another facility, which signifies to him that he and his staff are performing above average.
“What I associate with DFACs is food, comfort and camaraderie,” said Irvine. “Something about the military, when you sit and share bread together, it becomes this brotherhood, and it’s inseparable.”
He added that it’s the cooks’ jobs to make sure they put out the best food possible, which allows service members to have that camaraderie, but also be able to go out and do their job afterward.
“I’ve worked at restaurants and hotels, and some of those people there don’t have what these people have, which is knowledge of food,” he said of the leadership and staff of the Tomahawk dining facility. “We thank you for all that you do, and we really mean it.”