Watch CBS News

Navy culinary specialist tasked with feeding hundreds during Fleet Week

Navy culinary specialist tasked with feeding thousands during Fleet Week
Navy culinary specialist tasked with feeding hundreds during Fleet Week 02:49

By Lauren Toms

SAN FRANCISCO -- Thousands of service men and women have descended upon San Francisco for Fleet Week 2022, all with big appetites.

Navy culinary specialist seaman apprentice Aayshah Rudder is one of the many in uniform who are tasked to feed them on the U.S.S. Harpers Ferry.

"I'm plating one of the officer's foods so she asked for ribs, potato wedges and green beans, decently of course, and just give it to her," Rudder told KPIX 5.

The ship is bringing in hundreds of Marines, on top of the 200 Navy officers that live on board

"[We serve] breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For right now, we have about 500 people including Marines. So it's Navy and Marines, which are the extra guys," said Rudder.

That's about 1,500 meals a day.

"It's tedious," she added. "It's tedious physically, mentally, but it's not for the weak. I love to eat, so it's only right that I learned how to cook."

Rudder was born in Guyana where her mother and grandmother taught her to cook.

"Some of the stuff, hands down, I do it the way I was taught," Rudder explained. "We season everything. Everything. We season it and we don't cook it right away and we let it marinate a little bit. Then we cook it so the flavor and everything is right there."

She's a long way from home, but she keeps her passion alive both in and out of the galley.

"Sometimes I want to come to work, do my job and leave, but I can't," said Rudder. "It's more than that. I go the extra mile in everything I do. I may not go the extra mile for me as a person, but I more than go the extra mile for my shipmates."

You can taste it in her food — the pride she has for her ship, her role, and her story.

"My mom, she tells me every day 'I'm proud of you! I know your grandmother would be proud of you.' Everybody tells me that, but I feel like I can do more," said Rudder. "This is not the stopping point. I got so much more to do as a person, somebody in the military."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.