A diner going to a five-star restaurant likely wouldn't expect to cruise down I-15 to Point of the Mountain, meander through the Jordan Narrows and end up at the southern end of Redwood Road.
Conspicuously absent from the Mobil Travel Guide or even the local Yellow Pages, the out-of-the-way facility is nonetheless world-class.Dining is limited to reservations only; guests book extended stays with overnight accommodations required. And no-vacancy signs exist a year in advance.
Some guests enroll for a lifetime of eating on the premises.
Strict dress codes restrict appropriate eating apparel to monochromatic blends of green, more commonly described as camouflage.
The dining facility, top-rated in the continental United States, is the mess hall at Camp Williams, training facility for the Utah Military Academy and the state officer candidate school.
After intense inspection, the Camp Williams kitchens garnered the top national prize in the small dining facility category and won an opportunity to enter worldwide competition with eight additional sites. The award, designated as the Philip A. Connelly Program for Excellence in Army Food Service, is in its 23rd year.
Master Sgt. Phil Leonard, state food service supervisor, talked about the significance of the award.
"In the food service arena," Leonard explained, "it's very prestigious to reach this level. We're very honored that somebody in our state would make the effort to achieve what they have so far."
Judging inspections included a peek at every piece of silverware stored in the pigeonholed receptacles. Not a single hard-water drop escaped the eye of the judges.
Neither did any other detail of the food service operation.
Actual judging covered 11 categories with four to 10 subheads in each category. Evaluations considered such items as receipt and storage of food, food service sanitation, appearance and attitude of food service personnel, equipment and facility, as well as food preparation and quality.
Judges included Albert Furbay, chairman of the International Food Service Executives association; Chief Warrant Officer Samuel Galloway and Sgt. Maj. Arthur Wagner, members of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Center and School staff, Fort Lee, Va.
Furbay mentioned the progress in military food services. "We've come a long way since KP was typical Army punishment, the bottom of the list, Army-assigned duty. Food service assignments now have a professional image. We've traveled from punishment to professional."
Names have also changed.
The term "mess hall" may be disappearing from military vocabulary, replaced by the upscale label "dining facility."
But some things remain the same.
"SOS," the accepted acronym for creamed chipped beef on toast, remains the recipe title. And the jokes still refer to the breakfast food as the "same old stuff," so they say.
And traditional favorites act as mainstays for daily menus.
Sgt. David Rollo, dining facility manager, pointed out the most popular items at the camp. "We serve more hamburgers and cheeseburgers than anything else, though we always offer a choice of entrees. We make fancier desserts, like cream puffs or other pastries, but most people would choose a brownie or an oatmeal cookie."
Military menus are calculated for all branches of the service, according to Lt. Col Robert M. Fowler, Camp Williams food service officer.
"We're able to make regional alterations, to respond to local supply available or local food preferences, but basically, all military personnel eat similar menus."
Choices vary on a 15-day rotating basis, just enough time for the usual two-week assignment at the military facility.
Regardless of the dependable quality in the Camp Williams dining facility, the five-star type designation fails to warrant an "open to the public" greeting at the Redwood Road entrance.
The public must be content to accept the judge's worldwide evaluations when results are announced in June.
In the meantime, is carry-out service negotiable?
3 pounds ground beef
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3 3/4 teaspoons oregano
3/4 teaspoon thyme
3/4 teaspoon red pepper
1 bay leaf
3 large cans whole tomatoes, chopped
1 can (1 lb. 13 oz.) tomato paste
3 cups water
2 large cartons cottage cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
4 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 pounds lasagna noodles
1 pound mozzarella cheese
3/8 cup Parmesan cheese
Brown ground beef; drain and add onion and garlic. Add seasonings, tomatoes, tomato paste and water; simmer 1 hour.
Combine filling ingredients; prepare noodles according to package directions.
Cover bottoms of two 9-by-13-inch pans with thin layer of meat sauce, noodles, filling and sliced mozzarella. Repeat layers, beginning with meat sauce and ending with mozzarella cheese; sprinkle with 3/8 cup Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Makes 25 servings.
Devil's Food Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons soda
1 1/8 cups cocoa
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla\ Sift dry ingredients into mixer bowl. Add shortening and water to dry ingredients. Beat at low speed 1 minute or until blended; continue beating at medium speed 2 minutes. Combine eggs, 1/2 cup plus water and vanilla; add slowly to mixture while beating at low speed 3 minutes.
Pour mixture into greased, floured jelly roll pan; bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Frost if desired. Makes 25 servings.
9 pounds (5 cups) flour
8 ounces (2 tablespoons) baking powder
1 pound 4 ounces(1 1/8 cups) nonfat dry milk
3 ounces (3 2/3 teaspoons) salt
12 ounces (scant 1/2 cup) sugar
5 1/2 quarts (5 1/2 cups) water
1 quart (1 cup) vegetable oil
Sift together flour, baking powder, milk, salt and sugar; add eggs and water and mix until blended. Stir in oil. Pour on hot, lightly greased griddle and cook on one side until top is covered with bubbles and underside is browned. Turn and cook second side.- Note: Quantity recipe makes 200 pancakes; amounts in parenthesis are one-fourth amounts, yielding about 50 pancakes.
1/3 cup yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
5 1/2 cups cold water
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons salt
About 18 cups flour
7/8 cup nonfat dry milk
1 7/8 cups shortening
Sprinkle yeast over warm water; let stand 5 minutes and stir. Place cold water in mixer bowl; add sugar and salt, stir until dissolved. Add yeast solution and shortening. Combine flour and milk; add to liquid solution. Using dough hook; mix at low speed 1 minute or until flour mixture is incorporated into liquid or knead until a smooth dough is formed.
Let rise 1 1/2 hours or until double in bulk. Punch down and divide dough in half. Shape each piece into a smooth ball; let rest 10-20 minutes. Roll each piece into a long rope of uniform diameter. Cut rope into pieces about 1-inch thick. Place on baking sheet and let rise until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Brush with butter while warm. Makes 8-9 dozen rolls.