Well-provisioned winnings; Galley of the Year to Shaw

Petty Officer 1st Class Troy Shaw, a food service specialist on the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast, takes time for a photograph in his newly renovated galley aboard the Steadfast in Astoria, Ore., June 16, 2016. Shaw was the recent recipient of the Galley of the Year award for large cutter afloat. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg.

Petty Officer 1st Class Troy Shaw, a food service specialist on the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast, takes time for a photograph in his newly renovated galley aboard the Steadfast in Astoria, Ore., June 16, 2016. Shaw was the recent recipient of the Galley of the Year award for large cutter afloat. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg.

Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg.

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “An army marches on its stomach,” in reference to the importance of a well-provisioned force. For the men and women of the United States Coast Guard, this saying holds no less truth than it did in early 20th century when it was first spoken.

Coast Guard food service specialists know this more than anyone else. In the Coast Guard FSs are in charge of ordering, planning and preparing three daily meals for sometimes hundreds of service men and women as well as accounting for various dietary restrictions along the way. It is an often thankless job, but the daily missions of the Coast Guard could not be accomplished without the energy provided by these culinary operatives.

Petty Officer 1st Class Troy Shaw, a food service specialist aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast, homeported in Astoria, Ore., takes great pride in operating and improving his galley. So much so that he received the Coast Guard Galley of the Year award in May for large cutter afloat.

Food Service Specialists aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast prepare lunch for the crew at their home port of Astoria, Ore., June 16, 2016. The cooks choose to buy vegetables and cheeses from local farmers in the area to add some extra freshness to the meals they prepare. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg.

Food Service Specialists aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast prepare lunch for the crew at their home port of Astoria, Ore., June 16, 2016. The cooks choose to buy vegetables and cheeses from local farmers in the area to add some extra freshness to the meals they prepare. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg.

“It is my passion,” said Shaw. “When I reported, the galley was in shambles, but we worked really hard to turn it around and make improvements. The food itself improved tremendously. I buy a lot of local vegetables and cheeses. We don’t even use the deep fryer anymore. You can tell that the crew knows it and appreciates what we have done.”

Before joining the Coast Guard, Shaw graduated from a French culinary school and then opened his own restaurant in Corpus Christi, Texas. Shaw joined the Coast Guard as a boatswain’s mate and stayed in for six years. During his years as a BM, he cooked for the crew whenever he could.

Shortly after getting out of the Coast Guard, he and his wife moved to France where he learned various cooking techniques and skills he uses in the galley to create fresh and creative menu items for the crew. After they returned from France, Shaw was able to enlist in the Coast Guard as an FS.

Shaw was able to showcase his talent during Rose Festival in Portland, Ore. in June, when the Steadfast was chosen to host a feast for members of the Navy, Canadian Royal Guard and local politicians.

With more than 200 guests on board during this event, eight cooks, including some from the Navy and Canadian Royal Guard, crammed into the cutter’s small galley to prepare meals and hors d’oeuvres for their guests.

“Winning the Galley of the Year award is tremendous for me and my fellow cooks,” said Shaw. “It solidifies all of the hard work we have put into improving the way people eat around here. Food is the center, the morale of being underway or aboard a cutter. If you don’t have good food, you don’t have a good atmosphere and that will make for a really long trip.”

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