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  • Gourmet Field Kitchen
    Posted by Nicholas Fiorenza 3:39 PM on Apr 03, 2012

    The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) contingent in Afghanistan was treated yesterday to a meal of carpaccio, scallops, duck with red beets and mushrooms, and chocolate cake with passion fruit mousse prepared by the chef of a one Michelin star restaurant.

    blog post photo
    RNLAF adjutant helps prepare 300 plates of carpaccio...

    After discovering that the boyfriend of a waitress working at his Basiliek restaurant in Harderwijk, the Netherlands, served in Afghanistan, chef Rik Jansma said he would like to cook there and was invited by the Dutch Ministry of Defense to do so. Reinforced by RNLAF personnel with cooking experience, Jansma spent two days preparing the four-course meal. The Dutch Ministry of Defense reported that the meal was a welcome change after five months of German cooking the RNLAF contingent had to endure in Kunduz.

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    ...which brought smiles to the faces of RNLAF personnel
    I can't claim to have had a gourmet meal on press trips to Afghanistan, but I didn't eat only MREs. The German cooking in Kunduz didn't leave a lasting impression on me, but the three trips I took with US Marine Gen. James Jones when he was NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe always began with a barbeque at the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on the first evening. A British cook felt insulted before the first of these barbeques when I asked him if we would be eating any Afghan food and the closest I ever came to that was lamb on a spit when the Turks were in charge of ISAF.

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    Jansma helps serve the gourmet meals
    I also remember eating fish and chips with the most fluorescent green mushy peas I've ever seen when ISAF was under British command and hamburgers which tasted the same as the ones I ate in a California elementary school when I was five or six. And I'm trying to remember if it was in Bosnia or Afghanistan or both where the French served wine in their field kitchens.

    Dutch Ministry of Defense photos

    Tags: ar99, Netherlands

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