Heard on the Hill

Military Chefs and Pols Celebrate Efforts for Military Families

Blue Star Families honors co-chairs of the Congressional Military Family Caucus

Barbara Boxer and three other lawmakers were honored by the Blue Star Families group. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

At the annual Blue Star Families gala on Thursday night, military chefs collaborated in the kitchen with culinary stars for a memorable award ceremony.  

All four co-chairs of the Congressional Military Family Caucus were to receive BSF’s Civil Leadership Award— Sens. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Calif., and Sanford D. Bishop Jr., D-Ga.  

"When someone joins the military, it's more than a job. It's a family commitment to our nation,” Rodgers said. “I am proud of the work we've done through the Congressional Military Family Caucus -- putting a microphone in front of our service members and their families.”  

Bishop added, “For the Congressional Military Family Caucus, support for military families is a bipartisan endeavor as, ultimately, military service is about people, and it is how we take care of those people and their families that will determine how the strongest military force this world has ever seen will be sustained into the future.”  

Seven branches of the military worked with D.C.-based chefs to create their own unique dishes. A Navy representative made a Gulf Shrimp Maison with Bayou Bakery’s chef David Guas; the Army offered rigatoni with cannellini beans with Equinox’s Todd Gray, and the Marine Corps concocted a Northern Thai flank steak salad with chef Cathal Armstrong from Restaurant Eve.  

Marcel’s chef Robert Wiedmaier teamed with the Air Force on chicken and pheasant meatballs; Masseria’s chef Nicholas Stefanelli whipped up a burrata with Rappahannock oysters and caviar with the Coast Guard and Joe’s Seafood chef Chris Morvis made filet with Alaskan King Crab with the Army Reserve. Lastly, PassionFish’s chef Chris Clime put out a Machu Picchu roll with a branch entitled, Military Brat.  

“I’m proud that we’ve been able to work across party lines to focus on the needs of military families,” Boxer said. “It’s been an honor to work with groups like Blue Star Families.”  

Conservative voice Mary Matalin was the emcee at the Chamber of Commerce. The group, Sister Sledge, was set to perform their hit from the 70s, “We Are Family!”  

“In North Carolina, we have the largest number of service members on Marine Corps and Army bases of any state. The well-being of these service members and their families is a high priority of mine,” Burr said. “The issues that military families face have bipartisan support, and as a co-chair of the Military Family Caucus, I consider it an honor to advocate for these families.”  

Blue Star Families, which provides resources and services to military families, is the fastest growing military engagement organization and currently has 1.5 million members.  

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