Throughout the year, we’re featuring food service specialists in the Coast Guard. Each profile will come with a recipe so let us know if you want to see a particular recipe in the comments below. Enjoy this “recipe for success” and bon appétit!
Coast Guard men and women join the service for very personal reasons and their stories are all unique. Why they wear the uniform says as much about who they are as the role they play in the organization. Petty Officer 2nd Class Yuliya Zelenskaya’s Coast Guard story is no different. Born in Kazakhstan, growing up in America and now serving in the galley aboard Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton, Zelenskaya has left a lasting impression on her shipmates through her love of country, her passion for using food to knit the crew together and her “cheesy bread” recipe which is a personal favorite of Sexton’s commanding officer, Lt. Kevin Connell.
“I joined the Coast Guard because the military seemed like it would be the most rewarding job I could do,” said Zelenskaya. “I picked the Coast Guard specifically because of the humanitarian mission.”
Operating out of Key West, Florida, on a fast response cutter, Zelenskaya is most proud of being part of a crew that keeps illicit narcotics off the streets but quickly points out that being part of a crew is also an opportunity to be exposed to new delicacies her shipmates have grown up with and incorporate them into her culinary repetoire.
“I have enjoyed meeting many new people from different cultures and learning how to cook their favorite kinds of food,” said Zelenskaya. “My parents got me started with cooking [at age nine] and my coworkers have each taught me something new throughout my entire journey with the Coast Guard.”
Zelenskaya plans to spend her entire career in the Coast Guard and, upon retirement, making up for lost time with family and passing on her cooking skills to others. In the meantime, she wants to learn everything she can about and from her shipmates.
“The best advice I can give is to make close friends while in the Coast Guard,” said Zelenskaya. “Everyone has a lot they can teach you, so focus on learning from everyone and trying to pass on your skills to them as well.”
FS2 Zelenskaya’s Cheesy Bread
6 cups high gluten flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup yeast
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 cups water (more if needed/desired)
As much cheddar or mozzarella cheese as desired on top.
Add 1/4 cup salt to the bottom of a bowl.
Add 2 cups flour on top of salt.
Add 1/2 cup sugar.
Add 4 cups of flour on top of sugar.
Make a crater in the flour and add 1/4 cup yeast into crater.
Add 1/2 cup water on top of yeast.
Let everything sit for 3-5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of water and mix for 1 minute.
Add 1/4 cup vegetable oil.
Add 2 1/2 cups water.
Let the mixture rise and then flatten.
Let the mixture rise again.
Add cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until cheese and bread are golden.