Team Fort Hood, Texas, claims top culinary arts competition award

Saturday, June 01, 2013

While the 38th Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event may be over, the experiences of the more than 200 service members will have a lasting impact on culinary programs across the military.

With 500 judged entries, this event is a primary training opportunity for military chefs.

The activities at Fort Lee, Va., showcase the talents of military chefs from around the globe in all branches of the U.S. military.

The annual event includes live competitions and displays throughout the entire show to include public viewing dates at the Fort Lee Field House.

"Overall, this competitive training event offers a unique opportunity to see a different side of military chefs," Chief Warrant Officer 3 Charles H. Talley Jr., chief, Advanced Food Service Training Division, Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, or JCCoE, said.

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 22 teams competing from all branches of service.

Nine teams vied for Culinary Team of the Year; nine competitors participated in the Armed Forces Student Chef of the Year; and 18 competitors battled for the coveted title of Armed Forces Senior Chef of the Year.

Along with testing their skills in one of the many categories, 28 service members also tried for a spot on the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team – the military's national culinary team and that offers members the opportunity to compete in international-level events such as the Culinary Olympics in Europe.

More than 57 gold medals, 129 silver medals and 121 bronze medals were presented at the end of the competition before an audience of hundreds.

The awardees were: Culinary Team of the Year, Fort Hood, Texas, and Runner up: Fort Stewart, Ga.

Winners in the other major competition categories were: Armed Forces Chef of the Year, Senior Chief Petty Officer Derrick Davenport, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Armed Forces Masters Chef of the Year, Staff Sgt. Billy Daugette, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Armed Forces Student Chef of the Year, Spc. Mikalia Jules, Fort Stewart, Ga.

Other winners included: Student Team Skills Competition, Spc. Jamie Nakamoto and Pfc. Taylor Strack, Fort Hood, Texas; Military Hot Kitchen Competition, Fort Stewart, Ga.; and Nutritional Hot Food Challenge, Master Sgt. Verna Bellamy and Sgt. Joshua Spiess, Fort Stewart, Ga.

Winners in special categories included: Best in Class, Contemporary Pastry: Spc. Caleigh Arrington, Fort Hood, Texas; Best in Class, Hot Food Cooking: Sgt. Joshua Spiess, Fort Stewart, Ga.; Student Knowledge Bowl Champions: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Best Exhibit in Show, Cold Platter: Staff Sgt. Billy Daugette, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Best Exhibit in Show, Cold Appetizers: Sgt. Brandon White, Fort Drum, N.Y.; Best Exhibit in Show, Patisserie/Confectionery: Spc. Caleigh Arrington, Fort Hood, Texas; and Best Exhibit in Show, Showpiece: Sgt. 1st Class Camin Marcos, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.