Fort Drum Soldiers showcase culinary skills before competition
February 28, 2013
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Fort Drum's 14-Soldier Culinary Arts Team showcased their culinary knowledge and techniques by hosting a three-course field meal for 10th Mountain Division (LI) leaders Friday at 10th Sustainment Brigade Dining Facility in preparation for the 38th Annual Culinary Arts Competition next month at Fort Lee, Va.
"I'm not really a connoisseur of fine food," said Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander. "But I know when good chow tastes good, and this tasted pretty good to me."
The general and the attendees were treated to an appetizer composed of seared halibut, roasted carrot and ginger puree with seafood mousseline, lemon grass beurre blanc, and Asian pear, apple and carrot slaw with citrus vinaigrette.
For the main entrée, guests were served ancho cocoa-rubbed ribeye with beef ragout, mushroom risotto ball, glazed root vegetables, and sautéed kale with bacon, veal reduction and horseradish foam.
Those who wanted dessert were treated to white chocolate mousse with a cherry glee center, mint caviar, almond clusters, mango sorbet on a mint chocolate brownie, macerated fruits and a cherry rum sauce.
After lunch, the general presented a coin of appreciation to Spc. Christopher McClinton, junior chef of the Culinary Arts Team, for his hard work and dedication.
Nineteen teams will compete in March in the Armywide competition at Fort Lee. It is the largest culinary arts competition in the United States.
"I think this is probably the best team I've seen in Fort Drum in years," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Wade Froehlich, 10th Mountain Division food adviser. "It's probably one of the best teams I've seen overall in the Army in the past seven or eight years."
Members of the team have been preparing for more than three months with continuous training, Froehlich said. They practice every day for eight to 10 hours.
The maximum team size is 15 personnel, including the team manager and team captain. Team managers can compete; however, the total number of competitors may not exceed 15.
Last year, the Fort Drum team brought home four gold, 14 silver and 18 bronze medals in events like junior and senior chef; live cooking for pastry, cake decorating and savory dishes; nutrition; team field cooking; student skills; cold table display and ice carving.
"Fort Drum has not placed in the top three teams since 1999," said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Bogle, captain of the Culinary Arts Team. "I was on the winning team in 2011 with the Pentagon. I believe this team will place in the top three this year. These Soldiers are outstanding; they are eager to learn and dedicated."
For Soldiers who will be going to the competition for the first time, they could not be more excited.
"I have worked from 4 a.m. yesterday till 7 a.m. today," said Pfc. Shelby Tumbleson, G Company, 210th Brigade Support Battalion, eyes lighting up. "I'm super pumped. I'm so excited I can't express it in words."
Other members of the Fort Drum Culinary Arts Team are Sgt. David Allen, Sgt. Micah McKamie, Sgt. Sarah Proctor, Sgt. Kevin Wadlington, Sgt. Brandon White, Sgt. Jared Wilson, Sgt. Ryan Woolman, Spc. Marie Espinal, Spc. Michael Sanders, Spc. Cristina Tapia and Pfc. Jasmine Blade.