NCO teaches bistro cooking in the barracks
March 20, 2009
- When it comes to cooking, Sgt. Edmund Perez knows how to prepare a healthy, affordable meal in about thirty minutes.
- "I want Soldiers to quit going to the Macaroni Grill to eat and invest in a CD instead," said Perez.
- "Young Soldiers need to be exposed to a variety of foods to learn how to make good choices," says Perez.
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas Aca,!" When it comes to cooking, Sgt. Edmund Perez knows how to prepare a healthy, affordable meal in about thirty minutes.
A native of San Antonio, Perez assigned to Headquarters Company, U.S. Garrison as the operations noncommissioned officer, and a professional chef, brings his cooking talents to The Pentagon Channel in a cooking segment called, Aca,!A"Nuke it.Aca,!A?
The cooking segments, which will be part of a show on The Pentagon Channel called for the Aca,!A"FNG - For the New GuysAca,!A? teaches, Soldiers and other members from other services how to save money and eat healthy using equipment, namely the microwave and other items they may already have in their barracks to cook meals.
Aca,!A"Our new show Aca,!A"FNG - For New GuysAca,!A? is a half-hour lifestyle program being developed solely for young troops new to the military. Our hope is that they will learn some cool and useful things that could help them live better,Aca,!A? said Brian Kumia, executive producer, The Pentagon Channel, Defense Media Activity.
Drawing from his experience as a Soldier and at one time living in the barracks himself, Perez creates meals that are good, healthy, affordable and that are unbelievably mouth watering considering it comes from a microwave.
In his cooking segments, Perez tries to get across to young Soldiers the need to save money. Aca,!A"I want Soldiers to quit going to the Macaroni Grill to eat and invest in a CD instead,Aca,!A? said Perez.
His cooking segments range from the quick and easy, like the two-minute Breakfast Taco to complete meals that include meatballs in sweet chili sauce; chicken with pineapple salsa, green beans and garlic mashed, and chicken parmesan with glazed carrots and Rice. Most of his meals include desert such as the molten chocolate cake. The recipes are simple, affordable and nutritious.
Aca,!A"We were pleasantly surprised at the delicious dishes he was able to whip up in a matter of minutes. We look forward to featuring PerezAca,!a,,c talents in Aca,!A"FNGAca,!A? and hope our viewers will like and learn some new things, too,Aca,!A? Kumia said.
His passion for cooking came at an early age, and Perez credits his mom for sparking his interest in cooking, Aca,!A"I think growing up and watching my mom decorate cakes; and staying up late with her to help - intrigued me, it set a challenge in front of me, the need to be challenged,Aca,!A? said Perez.
Every time you cook, bake or decorate, itAca,!a,,cs different. You can be making the same dish repeatedly and it will still be different every time. I think that's why I like cooking; it's a new experience every time.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"Young Soldiers need to be exposed to a variety of foods to learn how to make good choices,Aca,!A? says Perez.
Perez could not be more excited with his new cooking segments on The Pentagon Channel, understanding that it is an opportunity only a few military chefs experience, but even though it is a great opportunity for Perez, his passion is molding cooks into chefs and preparing them for competition.
Perez has competed in the All-Army Culinary Arts Team in 2005, 2007 and 2008; the competition only has seven slots a year, earning him the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team badge that he wears proudly.
Aca,!A"I love to train Soldiers to compete and becoming skilled chefs in the Army,Aca,!A? said Perez. I like changing their thinking process of being just a cook, to begin taking pride in what they do and transforming them into loving what they do.
Throughout his career, Perez has helped 28 Soldiers become certified chefs or higher through the American Culinary Federation. Four work at the Pentagon in various messes and one works for the Army Chief of Staff as his personal aide.
Aca,!A"I think teaching young Soldiers to take pride in their job is a lot harder than most people think. Because you donAca,!a,,ct just take pride in your work, you must first have pride in yourself and believe that you can make something out of nothing. I have shown Soldiers, old and new, different ways of thinking how to create something spectacular with the same old Army recipes,Aca,!A? said Perez.
There is nothing more rewarding than having a Soldier, no matter the rank, come up to you and tell you, 'I have learned something from you.'Aca,!A?
Spc. Mary McKoy, Headquarters Company, U.S. Garrison Operations, who works with Sgt. Perez said, Aca,!A"He (Perez) is very thorough, instead of throwing something at you and telling you to execute, he actually shows what to do, and how to do it. I feel that is important, because it gives me a purpose.Aca,!A?
When Perez is not taking care of daily business at the garrison you can find him heavily involved with the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program, where he serves as the president and program manager for the installation.
Perez, due to a compassionate move, no longer actively works in his military occupational specialty. He has began to channel some of his motivation of molding cooks into chiefs into molding Advanced Individual Training and Initial Entry Training trainees in the BOSS program, into more responsible Soldiers.
Aca,!A"I try to have a high standard in everything I do; and I hold my Soldiers to that same standard; and some of them hate it along the way, but in the end, they respect it, understand it and will use it in their own leadership style.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"Sgt. Perez is highly respected by the Soldiers of the Fort Sam Houston BOSS Program. He is a great motivator who leads these Soldiers to do the best they can do to make the BOSS Program the outstanding program that it is,Aca,!A? said Ben Paniagua, recreation manager, Hacienda, Fort Sam Houston.
Perez believes in leading by example and says that he tries to live up to the passage that is below his name on each of his e-mails, Aca,!A"Excellence should not be your goal; it should be where you begin.Aca,!A?
PerezAca,!a,,cs Aca,!A"Nuke itAca,!A? thirty minute segments will be part of The Pentagon ChannelAca,!a,,cs new monthly show, Aca,!A"For the New GuysAca,!A? that will be geared towards young servicemembers between the ages of 18 to 25 years old. The show will be on the PentagonAca,!a,,cs web site and available as podcast, the show is schedule to be airing in the near future.