Veteran Auxiliarist finds new way to serve USCG

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Auxiliary Chef Stu Landau stirs a pot of soup at Station Lake Worth Inlet, Riviera Beach, Fla. Auxiliarist Landau is known for the lunches he prepares. Photo by Art Slepian, USCG Auxiliary Public Affairs Officer.

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Auxiliarist Stu Landau was talking about cooking omelets. This is an unusual subject for someone who, prior to March of last year, acknowledges that he might have had trouble making toast,  “if I could find the toaster.  I also can now cook boneless pork loin with vegetables,” says the nine-year Coast Guard Auxiliary member, speaking of the skills he gained at Auxiliary Chef (AUXCHEF) School at the Coast Guard Air Station in Clearwater, Fla.

Auxiliary Chef Stu Landau demonstrates his cutting skills while making potato salad for lunch at Station Lake Worth Inlet, Riviera Beach, Fla. Photo by Art Slepian, Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Article by Auxiliarist Arthur Slepian, Public Affairs Officer

The AUXCHEF program was established by the Coast Guard Auxiliary to provide trained Auxiliarists to fill in at small boat stations or on cutters to relieve food service specialists.  Unlike most “C schools”, the Coast Guard Auxiliary does not pay transportation and lodging costs.  Students assume this financial responsibility.

 Learning how to cook, he says, gives him another way to “stay involved and be an asset to Station Lake Worth.” He also notes that his newly gained knowledge has helped strengthen the bond with his 49-year-old son who is the executive chef for a large assisted living facility in Florida.  Besides, Auxiliarist Landau says, “knowledge of cooking or previous experience was not required.”

 AUXCHEF students must complete their Performance Qualification System (PQS) tasks within one year of attending school to earn AUXCHEF designation. Auxiliarist Landau, under the direction of Food Services Specialist 2st Class Jason Eisenbarth, completed his PQS requirements.

The AUXCHEF school consisted of two days of classroom sessions and a final day of hands-on training in the galley that began at 5:45 a.m. The seven members of the class began the hands-on training by dicing ingredients and learning how “to make omelets the Coast Guard way.” They also made eggs over easy and scrambled eggs, and ate what they cooked.

Preparation for lunch begins at 7:00 a.m. This is when the class learned how to cook boneless pork loin, plus tomato bisque, mashed potatoes and string beans. The class finished cooking at 11:30 a.m., ate and was invited to sit at the captain’s table to conduct a critique of their efforts.

Auxiliary Chef Stu Landau mixes the ingredients for a bowl of homemade potato salad in the galley for lunch at Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla. Photo by Art Slepian, Coast Guard Auxiliary.

At Station Lake Worth Inlet Auxiliarist Landau is known for his lunches. When people come back for seconds “that’s my salary,” he says.  Station Lake Worth Inlet menus are planned by Food Services Specialist 1st Class Christopher Knesek, who is the Station’s food service officer.

At home, the formerly toast-making-challenged Auxiliarist has not only cooked pork loin he has also expanded his repertoire beyond hamburgers to include chicken cordon bleu and chicken parmesan.  Unlike at home, an AUXCHEF does not have to clean up after himself. “I just put the dirty pan aside and someone takes care of it for me,” he says.

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  1. Ben Gardiner says:

    Great work to Chef Stu and all the Auxilary Members who give their time and efforts to support the Active Duty and Reserve USCG! Keep up the good work.

  2. tim burke says:

    Is it possible to learn where and how I can be AUXCHEF certified. I have been working as a chef for 32 years, USCG AUX member of three years. I live in SW Connecticut, just one hour from NYC and one hour from the USCG Accademy in New London. I will be happy to travel anywhere at any tiem for this program.
    Any direction or assistance is greatly appreciated.
    Tim Burke

    USCG Aux 77, Fairfield CT

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