DVIDS – News – The catering specialist LRC Stuttgart is proud to be vegan and to serve healthy meals


BÖBLINGEN, Germany — When he took home second place in the chilli cook-off and first place in the dessert category at a recent organization day, many people were surprised to learn that both of his winning entries were vegan.

Sebastian Mann is a food service specialist at the Logistics Readiness Center Stuttgart. His main occupation is he and a small team of civilians, soldiers and local army employees preparing meals at the Originals Café warrior restaurant in the tank barracks, catering for up to 150 people daily.

But man has a secret. Just like the secret he kept from the people who judged his chili and dessert on organization day, Mann’s secret at work is vegan cooking, and it’s always delicious and extremely healthy, he said.

“There are several benefits,” said Mann, who has a degree in culinary arts from Stratford University in Washington, DC. “In my personal experience and from talking to other people who have gone vegan, you feel less tired. You will have more energy during the day and more stamina during exercise. After training, your muscles recover much faster and your sleep cycle is much better.”

Mann, who started working at LRC Stuttgart in November 2021, spent half of his childhood serving in the army in Germany, he said. His father is a retired army sergeant who was stationed in Germany for many years.

“Personally, I feel much more comfortable here since I grew up here. I feel like it’s more my home than anywhere else in the US,” Mann said. “I originally joined the army to save money to return to Germany, but I ended up lucky and got Germany as my first place of duty.”

“It all worked out perfectly,” said Mann, who worked as a food service specialist as a soldier at Originals Café auf Panzer from 2016 to 2019.

And when he finished his military service, he stayed. He worked a year in the Panzer Kaserne bowling alley and then another year in the Panzer Kaserne lodgings before accepting a permanent Army civilian service position with LRC Stuttgart of the Army’s 405th Field Support Brigade.

And he has no plans to go anywhere anytime soon, he said. His almost 2-year-old daughter and his German-Italian girlfriend live with him in Stuttgart.

“My girlfriend is vegan and my daughter is also vegan. She is healthy and thriving and her doctors are very supportive,” Mann said. “It’s fun to do with family and get everyone involved.”

Eating healthy and cooking at home has always been a family affair for Mann.

“It’s always felt very natural for me to get involved with food,” Mann said. “Growing up I was always in the kitchen helping my mom and grandma. It was a big thing in my family. You learn to cook before you learn to drive.”

“A lot of people don’t know much about the plant-based lifestyle, so I like to cook different vegan dishes and show the benefits,” said the 27-year-old cooking expert. “For me, it’s about breaking down stereotypes. I want people to be more knowledgeable about what they are eating and to be more involved in preparing their own meals.”

“There is a certain satisfaction in doing it yourself. And when it’s plant-based, highly nutritious and everyone really enjoys it – it just makes it even better,” he added.

“I love the excitement and the shock on people’s faces when I do something for them, and they love it,” Mann said. “At the organization day, my Chili Bowl was the first to be empty, which gave me a very good feeling. I also made a fancy vegan cake – which I learned in cooking school – and it blew everyone away. To see the faces of people taking that first bite and then they say, “Wait a minute – is that vegan?” – it warms my heart.”

“I cook a lot of plant-based and vegan cuisine. For me it’s a stress reliever, it’s good and it’s easy,” said Mann. “Especially for soldiers, vegan alternatives make sense.”

“A lot of them go to the gym, work out and do things to make sure they’re in shape and healthy,” Mann said. “I find it beneficial for them to try more vegan options and promote cleaner eating.”

“There are a lot of clean plant-based proteins out there. There are many vegan diet plans to lose, maintain or gain weight. It all depends. Vegan is fully customizable. There’s a recipe or meal plan for everything and everyone,” he said.

Mann said that the LRC Stuttgart team is doing a great job overall and is very important to the US Army Garrison Stuttgart community.

“The LRC Stuttgart stretches across the community from one side to the other. I’ve seen firsthand how LRC Stuttgart supports this community and it’s amazing,” he said.

The LRC Stuttgart is one of seven LRCs under the command and control of the 405th AFSB. LRCs perform installation logistical support and services that include supply, maintenance, transportation and catering management, as well as apparel dispensing facility operations, hazardous materials management, personal property and household goods, personal travel, and non-tactical vehicle and garrison equipment management. When it comes to providing day-to-day installation services, LRC Stuttgart directs, manages and coordinates a variety of operations and activities in support of USAG Stuttgart.

LRC Stuttgart is subordinate to the 405th AFSB, attached to the US Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, US Army Europe and Africa. Headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, the brigade provides material business support to U.S. forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing logistics to sustain the theater; synchronize procurement, logistics and technology; and utilizing the US Army’s Material Company in support of joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, please visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook website at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.

Date of recording: 01/08/2022
Release Date: 01/08/2022 05:23
Story ID: 426214

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