Nightingale Dining Facility: Care in every Meal

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Stephanie Henry, 375th Air Mobility Public Affairs Office

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Being fit to fight has many critical elements. The food we eat is a key aspect. The care we show our bodies comes from exercise and the thought that goes into our diet.

Through hard work and dedication to their craft, the Nightingale Dining Facility staff ensure the best quality food and care comes with every meal.

“We ensure that the members in the dorms are provided with quality healthy meals,” said Tech. Sgt. Jordan Beatty, 375th Force Support Squadron assistant dining facility manager. “It’s very important that, in order to maintain a proper diet, we offer healthy options and a variety of choices.”

This facility is part of a new and improved DFAC program.; it offers more cooked to order items. In this new program, healthy options are a high priority.

“You have to be fit to fight,” said Airman Nicolas Vazquez, 375th FSS food service apprentice. “We're in the Air Force. We have to stay fit 24/7, so choosing healthier options would be most ideal.”

With the majority of the options grilled instead of fried or high in fat, eating healthy is an easier choice.

“We make food for everyone and we try to make it a good environment,” said Airman 1st Class Julia Estrada, 375th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice. “We want people to think of it as more than just the DFAC. It’s homemade food and it's a good feeling for people to always want to come back to us.”

Homemade food is more than just using fresh ingredients. It’s the love and care that goes into each cut, stir and scoop they serve. Each Airman and civilian working in the facility is trained in the proper procedures to cook food, follow recipe cards and maintain production logs. This ensures the customer is provided with quality meal items.

“Everything's good over here,” said Vazquez. “Our civilian workers, our chefs, they're awesome. They really do know how to cook. I think that's what makes this DFAC so good – we have both Airmen and civilian workers who are dedicated to their work and to the customers.”

Recently, a few of Team Scott’s distinguished Airmen were selected to compete in The Culinary Challenge later this year. It is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation and showcases the talents of military chefs from around the globe in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

These Airmen were selected because it will be a way of investing in the future. Once they return, they will be able to pass on what they have learned to others at the DFAC, as well as enhance their own abilities.

“I hope that we can all win together,” said Estrada. “But, the main thing is learning new things and being better with our team overall. I'm definitely excited to grasp new knowledge of the DFAC and cooking, and then pass on what they teach us to use in the future.”

With every meal comes great dedication, hard work and care. This team is continuously growing their knowledge and can’t wait to see what the future brings. Come on in and enjoy the care.