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One Marine is putting the “chef” in barracks chef after posting a video about making a steak-and-shrimp meal in the barracks. 

“If I can cook like this in the barracks… you can at home!” the TikTok posted by @luc.bongiovanni says. It goes on to show a series of Trader Joe’s items like a beef rib eye steak, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower rice, shrimp, and avocados, all before showing off the final product: a barracks surf-and-turf meal that actually looks not just edible, but dare I say delicious. 

@luc.bongiovanni

I’d honeymoon to trader joes #fyp

♬ Bad Habit – Steve Lacy

You may be wondering, particularly with the steak and shrimp — how? How did he do it? At least, that’s what people asked in the comments of the video. 

According to the Marine Corps barracks and housing order from 2018, only a microwave oven, blender, and coffee maker are allowed in the barracks while appliances like electric grills or electric frying pans are prohibited. Though it may depend on where you are for what you can get away with, and oftentimes where there’s a will, there’s a way.

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On the unofficial Marine Corps Reddit page a year ago, one person commented that they “never took any crockpots or rice cookers from Marines” when they did barracks inspections at Camp Lejeune. Another comment from someone who was presumably a service member said when they lived in the barracks they had a hot plate, convection toaster oven, and crock pot that they “locked in my wall locker if they were not being used and I took them to my car during field days.” 

This Marine made a gourmet surf-and-turf meal in his barracks
Marines, sailors and their families lined at buffet tables during the Serving Those Who Serve event at the Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School barracks, June 5. (Cpl. Ali Azimi/U.S. Marine Corps)

A second Reddit post from five years ago recommends instant pots for the everyday barracks chef — “It’s small, safe, only requires an outlet, and is portable for removal for inspections.” 

But sometimes ramen and pre-packaged microwaveable meals just don’t cut it. And while it’s unclear from the TikTok video how the meal was made, a quick Google search will tell you it’s possible to make a steak and shrimp dinner in a microwave. Being able to do so and wanting to do so are, of course, two different things. And I won’t be held responsible for any complaints you might get for microwaving seafood in your barracks room.

 But I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures, so cook on, barracks chefs. 

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