By Larry Reilly, Installation Management Command-Pacific RegionNovember 7, 2012
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Installation Management Command's best military dining facility --possibly the Army's best -- can be found, here, at the Warrior Inn.
Since receiving the 2012 IMCOM-level Philip A. Connelly award as top DFAC, Oct. 19, the Warrior Inn team has been prepping for an Army-level inspection team from the International Food Service Executive Association and the G4/Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, arriving Nov. 9, to evaluate the team's mission essential task list and menu.
"There is nothing that this team cannot accomplish. They are motivated to be the best, and on Nov. 9, they will get the opportunity to prove they are the best," said Sgt.1st Class Floyd Dodwell, senior operations food manager, 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division. "They have stepped up their game to the point where they are correcting themselves, their teammates and even their leadership on everything from performance to product, and they really have gotten better."
With only a week to go, one might think the pressure to be unbearable; however, the Warrior Inn team has been gearing up for just this opportunity for many months.
"From the cooks to the servers, we have practiced over and over again on what has to be done to the point where it is now executed like clockwork," Dodwell said.
Clockwork production is fine and dandy, but winning a Connelly award is most often determined by the simplest of things: taste. And there is no better way to find out just how good your chow is than to ask those who eat at the DFAC daily.
"If it weren't for our customers being brutally honest about what they think about our food, we would not be as good as we are," said Dodwell. "The menu we have chosen for the Nov. 9 evaluation has been determined more by our customers than by ourselves."
Normally, the Warrior Inn serves only two types of meats during its lunch meal. However, during the evaluation, the team will serve four types of meats, along with all the fixings and side dishes. The challenge is, they will have to cook everything within one and a half hours, and they will cook and be evaluated for breakfast and lunch.
"For sure, it's a short window in which to cook and serve such a menu, but our success will prove the superiority of this team and the quality of our food," said Dodwell.
Whether you eat at the Warrior Inn DFAC on a regular basis or have never ventured there for a meal, on Nov. 9, it will be the place to eat on Schofield Barracks.