Shout Out to The Messlords

Noticing their pictures still trickling through social media, I remembered and wanted to offer a thank you to the Messlords. There are a lot more of them than I knew there were. They are a group of chefs and food service professionals that love serving the men and women of the military almost as much as they love food, sharing their passion at military bases of all branches across the US and across the oceans. They recently came out to Yokosuka and other cities in the region to give the U.S. Sailors a fresh taste of what’s been going on in the kitchens of America.

The night of their Yokosuka visit, the table was spread with coconut fried shrimp with mango salsa, skirt steak with a beautiful chimichurri, potatoes O’Brien, and sautéed brussel sprouts. For dessert: double chocolate bread pudding with spiced ice cream and caramel sauce.

Chef’s in attendance this time around were John “Johnny Brava” Conley, Pete “Panini Pete” Blohme, and Linkie Marais.

Johnny Brava

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He seems a big deal in Arizona! Johnny Brava’s Salsa Brava has been voted “Flagstaff’s Best Mexican Restaurant” and “Best Salsa” by the Arizona Daily Sun and was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. He also fires up some Neapolitan pizzas in the wood ovens of Fat Olives, also in Flagstaff, Arizona. His television appearance continued with a spot on Guy’s Grocery Games.

Panini Pete

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One of  Messlords’ founders, Pete is a proud Alabama boy. He’s chef and owner of Sunset Pointe and Panini Pete’s, with a couple of locations in Alabama and one in Destin, Florida. If I’m correct, there’s even one in West Virginia. He’s been featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and Guy’s Big Bite and CMT’s Sweet Home Alabama. You might’ve even seen him on your computer screen! He hosts a web series on YouTube called Small Town Flavor. What I didn’t know about Pete, until some recent research, was that he too trained in the kitchens of the Culinary Institute of America (class of ’88)! Guess I shoulda talked to him a little longer. I’ll be sure to pay him a visit whenever I return to the states.

Linkie Marais

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The prettiest of the chefs, Linkie was born in the kitchen- a South African kitchen at that. She grew up as her mother’s sous chef at home. When she moved to Tupelo, Mississippi in 1999, she moved up from mom’s sous chef to piping cakes for a local caterer. She later graduated from Mississippi University for Women with a degree in Culinary Arts and a minor in Food Arts, opening doors for her at Montilio’s Baking Company in Massachusetts (nowhere near the parts of Charlestown I worked in on USS Constitution). But she’s not just a baker or cake designer; she loves the sizzle of the grill.

I love how action-packed grilling can be

Perhaps the most exciting highlight of her career was competing on Next Food Network Star, season 8. She now lives a ship life of her own, working as a yacht chef in Miami. Considering the flakes of ice striking my face on my recent bike ride in to work, I think it would be nice to join her.

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Anyway, thanks again to the chefs! Glad to see others passionate in the field. Don’t be selfish with your talent. That gift was given to you just for you. Talk to you soon!

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A few of the pictures in this post were stolen from the chefs but I’m pretty sure they won’t mind.

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