ABOARD THE USS WASP (CNN) – Most chefs strive to get their customers to come back maybe once a week, but Benny Brockington's clientele come for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday, sometimes even a midnight snack.
They have to. They are sailors with almost no other options. But as the Food Service Officer, the man in charge of all meals on the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, Chief Warrant Officer Brockington is the crème de la crème of Navy chefs who sees his captive audience as a challenge.
Before was assigned to the Wasp, Brockington was chef to President Clinton and his family at the Camp David presidential retreat, and then went to work for one of the Navy's highest ranking admirals.
Now Brockington has switched from cooking small meals for big shots to cooking thousands of meals for the heart and soul of the military. He is in charge of five messes, overseeing all food preparation on a ship that can carry as many 3,000 sailors and marines.
Larry Shaughnessy is CNN's Pentagon Producer
WASHINGTON (CNN) - France's reputation for fine cuisine is well established. So when one of France's top government officials came to visit Washington, you'd think he'd be treated to dinner at one of Washington's most trendy, elite restaurants - the kind that get mentioned on food blogs or in glossy magazines.
Instead, Defense Secretary Robert Gates took his counterpart, the French Minister of Defense, Alain Juppe, to Gadsby's, an Arlington, Va tavern that serves down-to-earth fare like meatloaf and pork chops.
When Gates mentioned the dinner to reporters Tuesday, it wasn't Gadsby's food he mentioned; it was the restaurant's more than 225 years of history.
"Last evening, I had the pleasure of hosting Minister Juppé along with other French and U.S. officials for dinner at a tavern where Secretary of State John Quincy Adams played host to General Lafayette in 1824. Two centuries later, France remains our strong and valued partner on the global stage."
General Lafayette was one of the French generals who served in the American Continental Army under George Washington during the Revolutionary war. Being treated to dinner at a tavern that once played host to the French hero seemed to delight Minister Juppe.
"I appreciate very much, Mr. Secretary, our wonderful dinner yesterday evening in a very elegant place. And we served prestigious predecessors; I am here after Lafayette. And for me, it's a very great honor."