BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Winning the Hennessy Award is like winning another big athletic competition, according to Lt. Col.Richard Cole, the food service commander for Keesler Air Force Base.
"I would compare it to, in the food service business, the Super Bowl and that's literally what this win is about."
It all begins in the heart of the kitchen, where cooks meticulously prepare foods that will satisfy all tastes and appetites. The food is then attractively displayed throughout the dining area. Lt. Col. Cole said it's a very big job.
"Actually it's almost two million meals per year and it's over 800,000 pounds of food and that doesn't even include our breads that are out there, so there's a lot that goes into this."
There's also a lot of people standing in line once the mess hall doors open up. The line moves quickly though as the troops load up on their favorites.
While awards are nice and it's good to receive the recognition of your Air Force peers, the main thing is, how does the food taste? The diners at Keesler give it rave reviews.
Airman basic John Charles is impressed.
"My first day here I had steak night and the steak was like somewhere you would go to Chili's or Outback or something like that, it was juicy," Charles said.
And while the dining hall is filled with people from every background, the trays are filled with food that can tingle every palate, according to Airman 1st class Chris McDaniel.
"There's a lot of variety to it, every day it's something different," McDaniel said. "Like today we've got a lot of Chinese food and tomorrow it could be something a little more Southern like country fried steak and mashed potatoes."
About 40,000 students come and go from Keesler every year, and the majority of them eat most of the meals on base.
By the way, Keesler has won the Hennessy Award at total of five times.
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