DVIDS – Images – USNS Grasp Wins 4th Food Service Award for Excellence [Image 5 of 9]

USNS Grasp Wins 4th Food Service Award for Excellence

Norfolk Va. (May 23, 2024) – Military Sealift Command’s rescue and salvage vessel USNS Grasp (T-ARS 51) received the 2023 Capt. David M. Cook award for food service excellence in the Small Afloat category at the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s (NRAEF) annual Military Foodservice Awards dinner and ceremony, held at the Hilton Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, May 17. This is the ship’s fourth win. The other wins were in 2008, 2009, and 2022.

Accepting the award for Grasp was Steward Cook Gustavo Lunaaranda, centered above, alongside Logistics Deputy Director Matthew Sweeney (left) and Director of Maritime Operations Robert Hein (right). When Gustavo first learned Grasp was nominated for the award, he said, he was a bit concerned because this was his first time leading the food service team. With the ship’s fourth win safely in hand, Gustavo is now able to sit in the moment and relish it, taking pride in the team’s incredible achievement, he said. “It is a good feeling when you know your efforts are appreciated and recognized.”

Born and raised in San Diego, Calif., Gustavo has been with MSC for the last nine years. His love for cooking began during his twenty years of military service with the U.S. Navy, where he served as a mess specialist/culinary specialist. While Gustavo has many favorite signature dishes, he said he is most drawn to Filipino dishes because they challenge his culinary skills.

The Captain David M. Cook Food Service Award honors MSC’s former director of logistics, Capt. David M. Cook. While serving as MSC’s director of Logistics from 1995 until 1998, he was instrumental in enhancing every aspect of food service operations at MSC, from training for food service staff to nutrition education for ship crews.

To learn more about MSC ships, visit

Date Taken: 05.17.2024
Date Posted: 05.23.2024 11:03
Photo ID: 8426185
VIRIN: 240517-N-TF680-9246
Resolution: 5355×3277
Size: 1.86 MB
Location: NORFOLK, VA, US

Web Views: 14
Downloads: 1



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