Bon appetit and bon voyage, USS Illinois!

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's often been said that the best food in the military is served on submarines. For the past two weeks, two submarine cooks have been training at the Union League Club of Chicago's main kitchen.

Culinary Specialist First Class Evan Melton and Culinary Specialist First Class Joseph White are learning the art of fine dining, but they'll prepare in a much smaller galley kitchen.

"A lot smaller," Melton said. "Oh, maybe one/100th of this whole operation. It's really small."

Executive Chef Michael Garbin of the Union League Club is leading the charge. Melton and White are chefs aboard the USS Illinois, which will launch later this year. Sailors get hungry.

"It's fun teaching these guys the difference between cooking in a restaurant and cooking in the galley of a boat," Garbin said. "A submarine. And, it's a boat not a ship."

The crew size is only about 145 to 150, but we serve them three to four times a day. That's a lot of plates to put out," SS White said.

They'll be onboard the USS Illinois when it heads out to sea next year. Despite the size of the kitchens, cooking is close to the same on a submarine, they said.

"Except for the fact that we go up and down and we do angles and turns and sometimes things go everywhere. But other than that it's really fun,"

When a nuclear submarine goes on a six-month deployment, it takes all of its food with it: 40 pounds of flour and 30 pounds of sugar a day and 4,000 to 5,000 pounds of chicken and 6,000 pounds of beef.

Bon appetit and bon voyage, USS Illinois!
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