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Discussion Forum

Of Interest Facebook: Navy Food ManagementTeam 1 Reply

Started by nancy y. bonar. Last reply by Lisa Hays Callison (DuVall) Jul 16, 2012.

Navy Food Service Awards (reponse to Art Ritt's post) 4 Replies

Started by nancy y. bonar. Last reply by art ritt Apr 14, 2010.

Time To Generate Excitement for Military Food Service 1 Reply

Started by Paul Smith. Last reply by nancy y. bonar Apr 9, 2010.

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Comment by Mark Warren, CEC AAC on July 21, 2009 at 2:16am
Thanks for all of the congratulatory comments. Being inducted as an Academy Fellow is truly a honor.
Comment by Jason Talcott on July 15, 2009 at 12:00pm
Conrats to BG Cross from Ft. Lee on the Lt. General John D. McLaughlin Award at the ACF National Convention
Comment by Jason Talcott on July 15, 2009 at 11:58am
Congrats to MSG David Turcotte, CEC, AAC on recieving a presidents award at the ACF National Convention!
Comment by Jason Gray on July 14, 2009 at 2:41pm
Greetings! Just chiecking into the group for the first time. Capazzi turned me on to the site and I'm glad to be here.

Comment by Jesse Parker on July 13, 2009 at 1:01pm
Congratulations SGM
Comment by Jason Talcott on July 12, 2009 at 11:16pm
Congrats SGM! They are getting quite the military representation in the AAC!
Comment by Mark Webster CEC, CCE, AAC, HGT on July 12, 2009 at 11:06pm
SGM Warren Chef congratulations on your induction into the AAC.
Comment by Travis Smith on July 11, 2009 at 8:08am
Please join me in congratulating SGM Mark W. Warren CEC, AAC for his recent induction into the American Academy of Chefs. Mark, thanks or always being the unltimate professional and representing the military so well.
Comment by Jeff Fritz on June 23, 2009 at 11:42pm
Just wondering if anyone has competed in the Military Chefs challenge and if so who do you need to talk to. I’m in the AF and love to cook, my job in the AF is not cooking but I just graduated from culinary school. Thanks
Comment by Barbara Kuck on June 22, 2009 at 1:45pm

Your group might me intested in knowing about Mrs. Mary A. Wilson instructor of cooking in the United States Naval Commissary Schools 1916-1918. The article is from the Szathmary Family Culinary Collection.

Barbara Kuck HAAC, Culinary Historian & Chef, ACF Culinary Ambassador

Daughters of the American Revolution magazine
Vol. LIV July, 1920 No. 7 By Daughters of the American Revolution p. 744


There had been great difficulty in securing cooks and chefs for the Navy, or at least men who could prepare palatable and nutritious meals, and on June 1, 1916, Frederick R. Payne, Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. N., retired, acting for Captain Hetherington, Commandant, United States Naval Home, conferred with Mrs. Mary A. Wilson, instructor of cooking, in reference to the establishment of a school in which cooking could be taught.

The first class was started by Mrs. Wilson on June 5, 1916, with fifty recruits of the United States Naval Reserve forces. After the first class was trained and sent to ships and stations and produced palatable meals, the Regular United States Naval School at Newport, R. I., sent a detachment of fifty men to the school. The men trained for the first six classes were used as cooks for Naval Base No. 20 in France, on the coast patrol boats in the Fourth Naval District, and on Pier No. 19.

The success of the school soon spread, and Chaplain Tirbou, then on Commonwealth Pier, Boston, Mass., sent his daughter to investigate and to ask Mrs. Wilson to help them at Boston, where there was a great shortage of dependable cooks. William Rush, commandant of the First Naval District, urged Mrs. Wilson to spend part of the time in organizing a school there, which she did in the fall of 1916. Harry Schiffman, cook, first class, who was a salesman before he enlisted for the cooking school in the Fourth Naval District, was sent with Mrs. Wilson on leave of absence, and there on Commonwealth Pier started a school similar to the one in Philadelphia, alternating weekly between Boston and Philadelphia.
The quality of the food and the splendid records of the men, caused the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Daniels, to send Rear Admiral Albert E. Ross to investigate, and his report, after a rigid inspection of the class, to the Surgeon-329-J An "All Philadelphia" Class. General of the Navy at Washington, D. C., was that he found the men well berthed, though in tents, and the food was of splendid character. The men were willing and earnest and took great pride in their work. The variety and quantity of food far surpassed other stations in the Navy, and at a cost of 28 cents per day per man.
In Boston, Mass., Admiral Wood, upon the inspection of bread made by the boys in the commissary school of which Mrs. Wilson was instructor, inquired the cost of the bread, and was told it averaged about 52 cents per pound, not counting the cost of the labor and heat. He then issued orders that men were to bake sufficient bread to supply the boats patrolling the coast as well as the five or six thousand men on the pier, and he remarked that he would give the order because of the quality of the bread, even though it should cost 16 cents per pound instead of 512 cents per pound, and because he believed that men should have good bread whenever possible. This school made 2,800 pounds of bread daily. In a short time it was found that this home-made bread was not only economical in price, but also that when the bread purchased on contract was used 25 percent of it was wasted, against only 12 per cent of the bread made on the pier-so the commandant decided that was a splendid advantage of the navy; the contracted bread cost 12 cents per pound, and bread made on the pier cost D 2 cents.

The fame of the naval cooking school in Philadelphia spread, and Lieutenant-330 Commander Parker of New London, Conn., urged Mrs. Wilson to come to the fort there and establish a school. The Food Administration and the other organizations active in war work in Philadelphia were constantly seeking to have the boys sent out to display their ability with cooking as an incentive to the housewife in her patriotic duties. During the "flu" epidemic the cooking school of the United States Naval Home manned the municipal hospital and other places, helping out *- emergencies. Harry Stinger, who in 1916, before enlistment, was a boxmak'- , is now the United States Naval Commissary steward at the United States Naval Home at Philadelphia. James A. MacAnally, now steward for the Philadelphia Electric Recreation Club, Llanerch, who before the war was an inspector for the electric light com-pany, went right from the United States Naval Cooking School to become steward to the United States Naval Home and held this position during the war.

Mrs. Wilson closed her own school in Philadelphia and devoted her entire time, day and night, to the training of naval cooks, from June 5, 1916, to December 31, 1918, without compensation of any kind. She used the equipment of her school, including ranges, tables and bake ovens, utensils, etc., and from June until October purchased such supplies-flour, baking powder, eggs, shortening, etc., for the classes to work with. After October, Captain George Cooper, upon an inspection trip, offered a yeoman's wage to cover expenses, but his offer was declined.

Captain Ernest F. Bennett, Chief of Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D. C., gave Mrs. Wilson much valuable information on the naval mess, and Secretary Daniels personally commended her for the meritorious work done. Mrs. Wilson's title was instructor of cooking in the United States Naval Commissary Schools. No other schools of this character were recognized by the United States Naval Department at Washington, D. C. Two or three attempts were made by other commissaries to run schools, but they were turned into mess galleys. The Bureau of Navigation at Washington recognized the United States Naval Commissary Schools at Philadelphia and Boston as the only schools of their character outside of the training stations at Newport, R. I., where cooking instructions were abandoned during the war.

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