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Got cake?

Three Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) have mastered the art of baking and designing customized cakes.

CS1 Kevin Jones is a wardroom leading petty officer, CS1 Anthonie White is the leading petty officer of cargo, and CS2 Sarah Nyamgero is a night-shift watch captain in the forward galley aboard Enterprise. Although they have very different duties throughout their department, they do share a passion... a passion that has led them to become the Big E's cake decorating team.

"I enjoy it because it's art," CS'l WJhite said. "I never thought about doing this until I got here (to Enterprise) and saw CS1 Jones doing it. Then I thought to myself, 'I can do this."'

CS1 Jones developed an interest and began making cakes at his second command, Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune, N.C. "I bought a cake decorating kit and started experimenting with it at home," he said. "Some of the cakes I started off making were not pretty, but I got better with each one."

By the time he arrived aboard Enterpriser his skill had greatly improved. It wasn't long before he established himself as a cake decorator on the Big E. In fact, for some time, he was the only Sailor making custom cakes for the command.

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CS1 White and CS2 Nyamgero both said that they had taken to learning about cake decorating separately prior to meeting CS1 Jones.

"I started reading about cake decorating, and I noticed CS1 Jones was taking care of the command's cake decoration around the same time. I asked him if I could help, and I've been making cakes ever since," CS1 White explained.

"It wasn't long before I realized how talented he (White) is," CS1 Jones said. "He has even taught me a few things and made me a lot better."

CS2 Nyamgero has a similar story. She also began her experience with cake decorating before arriving aboard (QWHUSULVH. She soon discovered CS1 Jones was the ship's primary cake decorator and asked him to teach her.

"When CS2 came on, we had started experimenting with fondant," said CS1 Jones. Fondant is a popular ingredient in cake decorating. It is a sugar-based icing often used on wedding cakes.

"We tried out a recipe for it and CS2 Nyamgero mastered that recipe," said Jones.

All three Sailors are now responsible for creating many of the command cakes for the Big E. They make cakes for change of command ceremonies, reenlistments, birthdays, promotions, holiday celebrations, and special events and observances. They supply cakes for events hosted by various committees, such as Enterprise's Multicultural Heritage Committee and the Elite Junior Sailors Organization.

Together, they have made every kind of cake from a simple single-layered birthday cake to a large, intricate multi-layered cake in the shape of an aircraft carrier.

"A carrier cake is on average three or four sheet pans long," CS1 Jones said. "That alone equals eight hours of baking."

Most cakes are made outside of regular working hours because all three decorators also have their full time jobs to do.

"When I was doing cakes by myself, it was real hard for me to find help," said CS1 Jones. "Most people that did express interest would see the long hours involved and run the other way. But, I have two people here that really dedicated themselves to it, and have become masters at it."

"I like the outcome of the work I do with my hands," CS2 Nyamgero explained. "I'm working all the time catering to crew members, so if you need a cake I will make a cake with all my heart."

"We realize that our names are attached to every cake we make," CS1 White emphasized, "and each cake is a direct reflection of us."

"I love when I can look at a cake and say 'wow,' I did that or I helped," said CS2 Nyamgero. "It's one of the things that keeps me happy."

By MCSN Gregory White Enterprise Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs
COPYRIGHT 2012 U.S. Department of the Navy, Supply Systems Command
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:White, Gregory
Publication:Navy Supply Corps Newsletter
Date:Mar 1, 2012
Words:670
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