FORT LEE, Va. (February 12, 2010) - Attracting more than 200 competitors and featuring over 500 judged events, the 35th Culinary Arts Competition is the largest in the U.S. and is shaping up to be one of the most thrilling shows ever at Fort Lee.

The competition, which features individual and team challenges in a variety of categories, brings together military members from all branches of the Armed Forces in this spatula to spatula competition. One of the most highly sought after award is the Armed Forces Chef of the Year.

Some of the main events include the field competition, nutritional hot food challenge, ice carving and student team skills. There will also be 12 large teams competing this year for the highest team award of the show - Installation of the Year.

"This competition is important to military personnel because it helps them sharpen their basic culinary skills while continuing to expand their training and level of professionalism," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Russell Campbell, Chief, advanced food service training division, Joint Culinary Center of Excellence. "Here, they will get the opportunity to display and showcase their talents to not only their peers, but the general public as well."

For the first time ever, the Field Cooking competition will take place at the Post Field House and allow the general public an opportunity to experience five-star quality food for $4.25. Each day March 4 - 10, two teams will square off and be responsible for preparing and plating 75 high-quality meals which will be available to ticket holders. Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis starting at 10 a.m. each day. Tickets will not be sold in advance.

Another highlight of the competition is a "Jeopardy" style event that includes music and daily-double format. The junior enlisted are further tested in the Student Skills Competition where their knife skills, butchering techniques and menu production skills are graded and critiqued.

The competition is open to active duty members of all services, Department of Defense Civilians, and United States Army Reserve and National Guard personnel. The American Culinary Federation sanctions the competition. Medals received from federation entries can be used toward chef certification.

Some of the teams competing this year will be representing Puerto Rico, Korea, Europe, Hawii, Fort Bragg, Fort Eustis, the Army Reserve, the Marines, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. Fort Lee will also have a team in this year\'s competition comprised of Soldiers from the 49th Quartermaster Group.

The public is invited to view the competition March 4 - 10, at the Post Field House. School groups interested in touring the competition should contact the Fort Lee Public Affairs Office, (804) 734-7451.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16