Messlords fire up 'forkful of freedom'

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- More than 400 Spangdahlem community members sampled the culinary creations of the Messlords at the Mosel Dining Facility on Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Mar. 30, 2016.

The Messlords, a volunteer group of TV personalities and business-owning chefs sponsored by Navy Entertainment and Armed Forces Entertainment, aim to entertain and cook for military members across the globe as a way to show gratitude for their sacrifices. This is the second time the 52nd Force Support Squadron hosted the Messlords as they provided a Baja-themed meal.

"We were asked on this particular tour to bring a Mexican cuisine since there doesn't seem to be a lot of it here in Germany," said Stretch, owner of 'Grinders' restaurants and one of the four original Messlords. "So we thought 'let's do flavors of the Baja region' and decided on a green chili with pork, marinated fish tacos, homemade guacamole and pico de gallo, and of course, rice and beans. They're all really fresh flavor profiles."

Chef Celina Tio, owner of restaurant 'Julian,' and Chef Sikey, owner of 'Voula's Offshore Café' accompanied Stretch. All three worked directly with 52nd FSS Airmen to prepare and dish out a taste of the southwest.

"This event really gave us a chance to show how well we can communicate and come together to accomplish a goal on a larger scale," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Noleo Pagaduan, 52nd FSS food service section chief. "It was fun to have them here to tell us of about their experiences being in food service. Airmen got a chance to see other opportunities we have doing our job and a chance to realize a greater purpose than just coming to work and cooking every day."

According to Stretch, the experience highlighted the common ground between the chefs and the military and the meaning of service. The Messlords volunteer their time to travel to various locations throughout the year teaching and providing their services in the form of food and entertainment. 

"We leave our restaurants and we leave our families just like you do -- I'm getting goosebumps just talking about it right now," Stretch said. "We try to provide a 'forkful of freedom' to those providing freedom to us."