Camp Lejeune-based Gunnery Sgt. Reynaldo Miranda thought he knew how to cook -- then he reached the Culinary Institute of America.
The Marine Corps wants better cooks. So for more than a year, they have sent select Marine cooks to immersion courses at the institute on a scenic site on the Hudson River north of New York City.
Miranda inspects and instructs at Marine mess halls in the East. He has used oil barrels cut in half to create makeshift barbecue pits in Afghanistan. Now, he and other Marines are taking classes with the goal of providing better food for the troops.
The Marines are taking classes at the institute to earn a ProChef Level I certification, which is recognized in the industry as a marker of culinary skill. Successful graduates learn everything from knife work to menu planning.
Miranda says he might use his training to one day open a bar or
restaurant with a "military flair."