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PATTAYA, Thailand – Sailors aboard Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Buffalo (SSN 715) participated in a cooking seminar held by professional Thai chefs during a port call to Pattaya, Thailand, July 30.
Five Star Thai Chef, Phanita Salapirom, and Executive Chef de Partie, Boonma Intaraksa, taught Sailors aboard Buffalo how to prepare a variety of Thai dishes inside the crew's galley.
"The opportunity to learn local cuisine from five star chefs in Thailand is amazing," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kekoa Ulep, assigned to Buffalo. "Everything could be easily made using our own galley, and their background brought new methods and different styles to our cooking. I can't wait to try and make this food again."
The exhibition was organized by the Siam Council Navy League, which has played a large part in several community events during Buffalo's port visit.
"The Navy league tries to expose Sailors to different experiences when they visit Thailand," said Peter Thorand, president of the local chapter. "Cooking is one of Pattaya's specialties, so it makes sense to join the culinary specialists and the local chefs to cook authentic dishes. The experience itself fosters friendship and strengthens the relationship between these Sailors and the local community."
Ensign Jeffrey Ponting, assigned to Buffalo, said the opportunity will benefit the crew.
"The instruction had a very positive impact on morale- not only for the culinary specialists who've had the opportunity to expand their horizons, but for the crew as well, because they got to eat a unique cuisine inspired by the local food."
The event concluded with a presentation of certificates for each of the culinary specialists, and left a lasting impression on both the Sailors and chefs. "I have been cooking for 25 years," said Salapirom. "It's what I do and love, coming here and teaching my skills, it makes me happy."
Buffalo, homeported in Guam, is conducting a coordinated tended mooring with submarine tender USS Emory S Land (AS 39) as part of a theater security cooperation and good will mission in the region.