Competition Inspires Excellence, Chefs Hone Skills While Battling in the Ultimate Food Fight
March 9, 2012
- Appetite for Competition
- Chefs bring elegance, teamwork to Army's largest culinary competition
- Army Strong Video - Competition Overview
- Army Strong Video - Soldier Spotlight on Staff Sgt. Billy Daugette
- Culinary Competition Sizzles
- Advanced Food Service Training Division Fanpage
- CASCOM Public Affairs Fanpage
- Joint Culinary Center of Excellence
- U.S. Army Quartermaster School
FORT LEE, Va. -- While the 37th Military Culinary Arts Competition may be over, the experiences of the 340 competitors will have a lasting impact on culinary programs across the Armed Forces. With more than 950 competitive entries, this event is not only the largest culinary competition in North America it is also the leading training opportunity for military chefs.
"The competition is designed to train and improve the overall level of food service professionalism," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Russell Campbell, chief, Advanced Food Service Training Division, Joint Culinary Center of Excellence. JCCoE is part of the U.S. Army Quartermaster School, Combined Arms Support Command. The QM School trains and educates Soldiers, Civilians and members of other services and nations in quartermaster skills and functions.
This year, there were 28 teams competing from all branches of service - 17 teams vied for Installation of the Year; 19 competitors participated in the Armed Forces Student Chef of the Year; and 24 competitors battled for the coveted title of Armed Forces Chef of the Year.
Today during the awards ceremony, more than 138 gold medals, 177 silver medals, 255 bronze medals and 122 honorable mentions were presented in front of an audience of hundreds.
"Whether competitors left with a gold medal or an honorable mention, they are taking with them new experiences and skills that they can apply back home in their units," said Campbell.
During her keynote remarks, the U.S. Army Quartermaster General Brig. Gen. Gwen Bingham emphasized the importance of the food service and encouraged all the chefs to continually grow as professionals.
"Your participation in this competition shows your commitment and passion for culinary excellence, personally, professionally and as a member of a team," said Bingham. "As you depart Fort Lee and return to your home stations, take what you have learned from this competition to teach your fellow Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen."
Installation of the Year: Fort Stewart, Ga.
Second Place: Team Pentagon
Third Place: Fort Hood, Texas
Winners in the other major competition categories are:
Armed Forces Chef of the Year: Sgt. Maj. David Turcotte, Fort Stewart, Ga.
Armed Forces Junior Chef of the Year: Spc. Jacqueline Canidy, Fort Stewart, Ga.
Army Enlisted Aide of the Year: Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Derrick Davenport, enlisted aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Field Cooking Competition: Fort Hood, Texas
Second Place: Team Pentagon
Third Place: Fort Stewart, Ga.
Best Decorated Table for Field Competition: Fort Hood, Texas
Student Team Skills Competition: Fort Stewart, Ga.
Nutritional Hot Food Challenge: Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Edward Fuchs and Chief Petty Officer Jason Stagnitto
Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl: Fort Stewart, Ga.
Best Ice Carving in Show: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeffery Lein and Master Sgt. Travis Jones, U.S. Army Special Operations Command
Winners in special categories included:
Best Exhibit in Show (Cat A, Cold Platter): Spc. Shawn Hafele, Fort Carson, Colo., and Spc. Alexandria Long, Fort Hood, Texas
Best Exhibit in Show (Cat B, Cold Appetizers): Staff Sgt. Billy Daugette, enlisted aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Best Exhibit in Show (Cat. C, Patisserie/Confectionery): Sgt. Maj. Mark Morgan, enlisted aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Best Exhibit in Show (Cat. D, Showpiece): Spc. JanMichael Calma, Joint Base Lewis-McChord
Best Exhibit in Show (Cat. SD, Student Centerpiece): Pfc. Dennis Escaner, Team Korea
Best Exhibit in Show (Cat E, Live-action Showpiece): Navy Chief Petty Officer Ernesto Alverez, White House
Most Artistic Exhibit in Show: Staff Sgt. Carlos Quiles, Fort Drum, N.Y.
Judges Special Award (Cold Food Table): U.S. Coast Guard
Best in Class - Contemporary Cooking (Cat K): Sgt. 1st Class Motavia Alston, Team Pentagon
Best in Class - Contemporary Pastry (Cat P): Staff Sgt. Orlando Serna, Team Pentagon