FORT HOOD, Texas-Spc. Alexandrea Long, Houston native, assigned to the 575th Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, won a gold medal in the Junior Chef of the Year category and a silver medal in the Field Competition during her first appearance at the 36th Annual U.S. Culinary Arts Tournament held at Fort Lee, Va. Feb. 26 to March 11.

FORT HOOD, Texas-The Fort Hood Culinary Arts team battled it out in the kitchen, armed with their sharpest knives and their best meals, while facing some of the toughest culinary arts teams across the U.S. and Europe during the 36th Annual U.S. Army Culinary Arts Tournament held at Fort Lee, Va. Feb. 26-11 March.

Facing-off against 105 other military culinary arts teams, the Soldiers on the Fort Hood's team worked hard for a top-five finish. Several Fort Hood Soldiers earned gold medals during their individual events.

Spc. Alexandrea Long however, brought the gold home to the 41st Fires Brigade in the Junior Chef of the Year category as she competed against Soldiers new to the Army and other military branches.

Long who was previously assigned to the 575th Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment and new to the Fort Hood Culinary Arts team, quickly realized the differences in culinary arts.

"Culinary arts is what the title suggests, 'art,'" said Long, a Houston native. "Culinary arts take cooking to another level. The meals I prepare now are nothing like the ones I used to prepare for my family."

Long prepared a rich lamb smothered in a pomegranate sauce during the competition. She was six-tenths of a point away from earning the overall Junior Chef of the Year.

"She's only been in the Army for a year and she's learned a lot since she's been training with us," said Sgt. 1st Class Zamain Brown, team supervisor, Fort Hood Culinary Arts Team. "The competition was real close, we couldn't be more proud of her performance and display of professionalism."

The Fort Hood Culinary Arts team won more than 40 medals throughout the tournament. Long said she was excited and happy but remained modest about her accomplishments as she walked away with a gold and silver medal during her first Army competition.

"I was a little nervous but we practiced and trained enough so I was confident in myself and what my NCOs have taught me," said Long. "I didn't think about the competition so much, I was just glad that I was able to help the team out."

Page last updated Wed March 30th, 2011 at 16:38