News | May 18, 2020

Virtual cookbook exemplifies resiliency among Aviation employees

By Leon Moore DLA Aviation Public Affairs

When Defense Logistics Agency implemented maximum telework in March due to COVID-19, many employees working for Defense Supply Center Richmond’s largest tenant command, DLA Aviation, began working from home. 

Brittany Gull was one of them. She’s a contracting officer working in the Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate’s Strategic Contracting Division III. 

Gull, who is six-months pregnant, said the extra time she was able to spend at home with her family also gave her an opportunity to hone her culinary skills. 

"I love to cook. All I wanted to do was try some new recipes," she said. " I figured with everyone being at home and limited to eating in, it’d be nice if we could all share some recipes." 

Gull, who is a member of the directorate’s culture climate group, said she came up with the idea of putting together a directorate wide cookbook and presented it during the group’s March meeting. 

"We encourage the culture team as well as the entire directorate to determine what all members want to do as far as team building and culture activities," said Randy Dortch, the deputy director for the Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate. 

He said the cookbook concept is a perfect example of this teamwork [to improve morale] and implements the social pillar of DLA’s resiliency model during COVID-19. 

Gull said a lot of people within the directorate liked the idea and decided to participate. She said 32 people submitted more than 60 of their favorite dishes. Some even sent photos. 

Contracting Specialist McKesia Hester shared her chicken-crusted pizza recipe. She said it’s a go-to dish on weekends because it’s easy to prepare and pairs very well with both beer and wine. 

"This gives families an opportunity to try new recipes while cooking and spending time together. During this pandemic, I am cooking more than ever before and actually enjoying it. We have made cooking together a fun thing to do," she said. 

Gull not only came up with the cookbook concept. She also submitted a few recipes, including how to make peanut butter cookie lasagna.

Rob Napolitano, an acquisition specialist who works with Gull, said he’s tasted her creation before and loved it so much that when he got his hands on the recipe, he took full advantage.  

"I don’t have a sweet tooth, I have sweet teeth and I love peanut butter, so this dish checks all the boxes!" he said.