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News from Around JRM

MWR is Cooking it Up on NBG

02 May 2023

From Valerie Maigue , U.S. Naval Base Guam

NAVAL BASE GUAM (May 2, 2023) – With the goal of bringing people together and instilling cooking skills, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Guam hosts a variety of cooking classes onboard U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG).
NAVAL BASE GUAM (May 2, 2023) – With the goal of bringing people together and instilling cooking skills, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Guam hosts a variety of cooking classes onboard U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG).
 The classes are hosted under two MWR Guam programs: The Community Recreation Program and the NBG Liberty Program.
“If there is a holiday or event in that timeframe we might choose a dish that is related, like our chicken kelaguen and titiyas cooking class for Mes CHamoru,” said MWR Guam Recreation Assistant Peter Litzinger. “We try to incorporate dishes that are regional and some others that we think our patrons haven't cooked before.”
Many of the recipes are also a reflection of the Navy’s diversity. So far, attendees have learned how to make dishes including lumpia, wonton soup, jambalaya, banana lumpia, beef tinaktak, and sweet and sour pork.
Litzinger explained that the classes are open to everyone from the cooking novice to self-proclaimed chefs.
 “I think the biggest thing our patrons take away from our class is self-confidence, from the person who just learned how to dice an onion, or the skilled home cook who now isn't afraid to tackle a difficult recipe,” Litzinger said. “Also, you get bragging rights for when you create something new for your family or friends.”
While the classes provide insight on different cooking techniques, they also give service members and families the opportunity to meet others and make friends.
 “Food definitely brings people together,” Litzinger said. “It can be an aroma coming from the kitchen that makes people want to gravitate there. It can be a large meal with family or friends sharing stories while passing around the mashed potatoes, or it can be a date night where you are astounded by the chef's creations. That's the beauty of food, it may be a necessity of life, but it is also an art that can be the center of conversation, or just the vehicle that brings us together.”
Community Recreation classes are held the third Thursday of each month at Torpedoes and Tomahawks. Customers pay a $25 fee which covers supplies and the hands-on course instruction. Each customer is provided with a single-burner butane stove, ingredients, and items including pots, cutting boards, knives, and cooking utensils.
The Liberty Program cooking classes are part of the Sailor Adventure Quest Program and are eligible for single service members and geographical bachelors. These classes are free of charge.
 With coordination from the Unaccompanied Housing office, the Liberty Program holds classes in the barrack’s common area, which is stocked with a full range stove, oven, sink, and other kitchen amenities.
 “It’s great to hear them ask questions about the ingredients and measurements,” said MWR Liberty Program Manager Barbara Villagomez. “The best part is the look on their faces when they get to eat the food afterwards and how much they love the taste of the dish. We always encourage our Sailors to take the classes and learn something new, especially if it’s local cuisine.”
 Through camaraderie and fun, these programs offer a unique way in promoting the quality of life and enhancing the experience for those assigned to Guam.
 “It is important for MWR to host these classes because learning new recipes, or even basic cooking skills, can often be intimidating, so we like to promote how fun and easy it can be,” Litzinger said. “I encourage all of our NBG community to try out the class no matter your skill level. You will come away with basic skills, new techniques, more recipes for your arsenal and a full belly.”
For more information on MWR Community Recreation cooking classes, call MWR Tickets and Travel at (671) 989-2301 or visit the office located at Charles King Fitness Center.
For more information on MWR Liberty Program, call (671) 564-2280 or visit the Liberty Center located on Chapel Road in Bldg. SB1.

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