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Celebrity chef, TV crew film at Vandenberg

Celebrity chef Budi Kazali demonstrates how to cook a three-course meal with Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, and his wife Christine here Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014. The 30th SW’s mission and their cooking adventure will be highlighted on Kazali’s T.V. show, “The INN Crowd,” airing in March, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Shane M. Phipps)

Celebrity chef Budi Kazali demonstrates how to cook a three-course meal with Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, and his wife Christine here Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014. The 30th SW’s mission and their cooking adventure will be highlighted on Kazali’s T.V. show, “The INN Crowd,” airing in March, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Shane M. Phipps)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Accompanied by a TV crew, chef and restaurateur Budi Kazali recently filmed an episode of "The INN Crowd" here Tuesday, Jan. 21.

After doing a live cooking demonstration for more than a dozen Airmen, Kazali and members of the crew received a tour of various parts of the installation.

"I want to thank Chef Kazali and 'The INN Crowd' for affording us an opportunity to showcase Vandenberg's mission and Airmen, and learn a little, or in my case, a lot about cooking in the process," said Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander. "I'm excited to be a part of such a unique event and the food was phenomenal."

For the producers, filming at VAFB offers a unique opportunity to capitalize on the curiosity of their viewers.

"This show is seen by 2.5 million people, and I think the civilian community has a great interest in what happens on military bases," said Craig Case, host and co-executive producer of "The INN Crowd."

As part of a live audience during filming, Airmen from around base witnessed the inner workings of a TV production, and in the end were rewarded with kitchen gifts and a three-course meal. Also, several members of the USAF Band of the Golden West performed for those present.

"It's great to see so many Airmen here to be a part of it," said Balts. "We not only get to see how a TV show is put together, but we are rewarded with a delicious meal as well."

After feeding dozens of hungry Airmen, Kazali and his crew were treated to an inside look at aspects of the installation. From being chased by a Security Forces Squadron military working dog, to visiting Marshallia Ranch Golf Course and finally experiencing a rare viewing of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's satellite and United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket.

Despite being an immensely successful celebrity-chef and restaurateur, Kazali remained humble throughout the experience.

"Through the show I get to learn about the central coast and places I wouldn't normally get a chance to experience, and it's an honor to be here," said Kazali. "It's amazing to see what Airmen do, and I want to thank all the men and women of the armed forces."

The episode of "The INN Crowd" featuring VAFB is slated to air on KEYT in March.