Troops at Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan are enjoying meal time a bit more these days thanks to the efforts of five-star chefs Paul and Nick Longobardi. The brothers, who work in DynCorp International’s Project Food Services program as part of the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP), are collaborating to serve up some top quality cuisine, such as chicken sorrentino and Italian-style cheesecake, and love using their talents to help out the soldiers.
However, it was a long road getting them to the same place at the same time.
Becoming chefs came naturally to Paul and Nick. The two grew up in New Castle, Penn., working together in their father’s Italian restaurants. Later they collaborated at the three-star New Castle Country Club, where Nick worked as executive chef, cooking for celebrities and dignitaries such as Elton John, Michael Jordan, Senator Rick Santorum and even the Prince of Arabia.
Joining the Cause
After the events that took place on September 11, 2001, Paul felt a calling to play his part in supporting his country. After working in various food service positions at several bases in Iraq, his brother Nick decided to join him.
Although they were working in separate locations in Iraq, Paul felt a bond through their mutual service to the warfighter.
Together Again in Service
What finally brought the brothers back together was the opportunity to work under DynCorp International’s LOGCAP IV contract. In the beginning, they were both in Afghanistan, but at different camps—Paul at Camp Ramrod and Nick at Camp Payne. However, after about a year and a half, they came together at Camp Dwyer where they currently serve, much to the delight of the military personnel stationed there.
Although they have enjoyed cooking for celebrities and dignitaries, Paul and Nick say that they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but in Afghanistan supporting the troops. Their experiences in the last eight years have given them great appreciation for the military’s work and an even greater appreciation of the individuals who work to complete the U.S. mission. They continue to enjoy the fast pace of the military environment and have helped prepare meals for events such as the U.S. Army’s 236th birthday at Camp Payne and the U.S. Air Force birthday celebration.