Have you had Mr. Z's chicken?

by Airman 1st Class Emily A. Bradley
36th Wing Public Affairs

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- Mr. Z's Finger Lickin' Baked Chicken, a cornflake-covered piece of poultry, is an Air Force Food Services recipe that has crossed the road far and wide in its quest to serve hungry service members here and on the other side.

This is not a normal fried chicken. These low fat, high-protein delicacies, are dunked in milk and topped with crumbly cornflakes, then baked and served as a recipe held near and dear to the services career field.

"It is as if they (services) were trying to cram breakfast and lunch into the same meal," said Senior Airman Jose Juarez, 736th Security Forces Squadron unit training manager. "It's pretty good though; it's got a unique crunch to it."

So, who is Mr. Z?

The mysterious man behind the chicken is retired Chief Master Sgt. Robert J. Zahorchak, who created this recipe before he left food services in 2006. Zahorchak worked in food services throughout his Air Force career and continued even as a civilian.

"He really paved the way for my shop and took care of all of us when we worked for him," said Master Sgt. Julia Bruner, 36th Force Support Squadron food services section chief. "Zahorchak knew his job inside and out, and I consider him the 'godfather' of food services."

Zahorchak created many recipes that have become standard dishes at Air Force dining facilities around the world, but the only one named after him was Mr. Z's Finger Lickin' Baked Chicken.

For recipes to be recognized in the Air Force-wide recipe archive, it has to go through an approval process. Once approved, the recipe can be launched into any Air Force dining facility, ultimately diversifying the variety of food available to Airmen. The approval process reviews recipes' cost efficiency, nutrition value and palatability.

Tech. Sgt. Segonia Cameron, 36th FSS NCO in charge of Magellan Inn Dining Facility said Mr. Z's chicken is consistently a crowd favorite with Andersen AFB's Airmen because of the low calorie count and great taste, and was one of the first healthy options to go on the facility's rotating menu.

"We serve people food that tastes good and is healthy because these are the people who fight for our country," Cameron said. "These service members need to remain fit to fight, and one way we do that is by beginning with what they eat."

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