KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Four Soldier-chefs from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command are sharpening their knifes and their cooking skills to compete alongside the best military culinary professionals from all over the world at the 34th Annual Culinary Arts Competition scheduled for March 12-13 at Fort Lee, Va.

The four Army cooks were selected from more than 150 food service professionals to represent the 21st TSC. These four Soldiers will be combining talents with eight other food service specialists from across Europe to make up the 12-member culinary arts team of the U.S. Army Europe. The 21st TSC makes up a third of the team and will play a vital role in team USAREUR's quest to win the competition's centerpiece event "Installation of the Year."

"My goal for this competition is trying to win gold in five different events, but the biggest goal is for us to bring home the installation of the year. That is what we are all gunning for," said Pfc. Matthew Hendricks, USAREUR junior chef of the year, who is assigned to the 28th Transportation Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade in Mannheim.

The USAREUR culinary team will prepare by traveling to Fort Pickett, Va., in February and begin training for 30 days solely for the competition in March. The team members will be placed into their perspective categories and start working on cooking techniques.

"I want these Soldiers to walk away with more knowledge than they came with. Unity, working together and being satisfied with what they have done is all I can ask," said Sgt. 1st Class Leonardo Alvarez, the chief food operations sergeant for the 21st TSC and the USAREUR culinary arts team manager. "Winning is great, but coming together as a team is more important. We want Soldiers to know more about their craft. If they bring this knowledge back with them then we have already won."

The culinary arts competition features food service professionals from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. The competition will feature more than 40 categories on everything from culinary knowledge to ice art.

The Soldiers representing the 21st TSC on the USAREUR culinary arts team are Sgt. Joseph Dinuzzo, 54th Engineer Battalion, Bamberg; Sgt. Kevin Auvil, 15th Engineer Battalion, Schweinfurt; Pfc. Matthew Hendricks, 28th Transportation Battalion, Mannheim; and Pfc. William Krull, 28th Transportation Battalion, Bamberg.