By Maj. Lindsey M Elder (8th Theater Sustainment Command)July 17, 2017
Joint Team Hawaii is the top culinary team in the Department of Defense, and earned the bronze in the American Culinary Federation's Student Team Competition on July 13 in Orlando Florida.
But if you couldn't be in Orlando to see these talented chefs face off against some of the top civilian culinary programs across the country, don't fret. You have the opportunity to see something more fun: an entire episode of "Sam Choy's In the Kitchen" about the team.
The episode premieres this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. HST on KHON2. If you can't see it live, the episode will be available online on July 24: http://khon2.com/sam-choys-in-the-kitchen/.
Joint Team Hawaii is comprised of Soldiers and Airmen from 8th Theater Sustainment Command, 25th Infantry Division, the 311th Signal Command -Theater, 18th Medical Command, 8th Military Police Brigade, 130th Engineer Brigade, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Sustainment Brigade and the U.S Air Force's 15th Wing.
The episode features Joint Team Hawaii members creating some of their favorite dishes with professional mentor Chefs Sam Choy and John Veneri. There is also some healthy competition where they face off in a food challenge as "Team Salmon" vs. "Team Steak".
Culinary arts is not a usual topic you expect to see highlighted on television, so for members of the team filming was not only fun, but validation of the accomplishments they have made this year in their craft. It also highlights how the culinary specialist military occupational specialty gives service members the opportunity to pursue professional certification with the American Culinary Federation. Such accreditations can make a world of difference as they transition to their civilian careers.
"For the team and myself personally; it's a good feeling. It gives you validation of what you've been working on. And that people are taking notice; this is a good news story and some great training that translates to the real world," said Staff Sgt. Renie Arana, advanced culinary NCO, 2nd IBCT, 25th ID. Arana serves as a senior mentor to Joint Team Hawaii.
Arana also had a very positive experience from working with Sam Choy in particular.
"To see someone that's local, speak to him about his experience, see where he's come from and gone in his life, it's a big thing," he said.
"I come from a small island too, Puerto Rico. We sat down and talked about what it means to be home; the smell, the sound of the ocean, the coconut trees. So we can definitely bond at that level, but also the love of food and creation," Arana said.
Footage of the episode will also be featured the next day on "Living 808" from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. on KHON2 Channel 2 where Chefs Sam Choy and John Veneri will be making a new dish, and discussing their time with the team.