USS Dwight D. Eisenhower prepares Thanksgiving feast to feed 500

If you think you have a lot of guests coming to Thanksgiving dinner this year, try being an aircraft carrier docked at Naval Station Norfolk.

Culinary Specialists on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower have been hard at work for a week now preparing a Thanksgiving feast for 500 people.

“In order for us to prepare a meal for that many people it takes a week’s worth of planning. What food is going to be broken out, start time for cooking, and menu planning,” CS1 Bianca Parker told News 3 anchor Todd Corillo.

The crew describes it as “controlled chaos,” making sure everything gets ready in time.

“You’ve only got a certain amount of ovens and copper pits to work into and you’ve got a lot of stuff to cook, so you’ve got to take turns using it, cleaning it, and all that good stuff,” CS3 Zachary Lynch told Corillo.

They’ll be making hundreds of pounds of roast beef, potatoes and macaroni and cheese, as well as 30 turkeys. There’s also a lot of desserts being prepared in the bake shop.

The meal is an important one for sailors who are not able to make it home to their loved homes to feel a sense of community and boost morale.