Cooking for the troops

Military personnel vie in culinary competition


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Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Army Seargent Armando A. Pacheco was one of 200 chefs from bases around the globe who gathered in Fort Lee, Va. March 9-13 for the 39th annual Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event.

The competition offered military food service chefs a chance to showcase their best cooking skills.

Pacheco, assigned to the 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion at JBER, has five years of military service.

Competing at the Culinary Arts Competition, he said, has been a wonderful experience.

“This is my first year competing and I feel great knowing that with not much time to practice, no certifications at all -- and I get the chance to bring back a medal -- gives me the inspiration and motivation to train others and to prepare myself for next year,” he said.

The competition focuses on training and dedication.

“Judges are tough, but as long as you come with a mind set and determination, there won’t be limits,” Pacheco said.

Events included armed forces chef of year, culinary team of the year, a nutrition challenge, three-course gourmet meals created from everyday military equipment, a mobile field kitchen challenge, nutrition challenge, and food displays and demonstrations.

The event, hosted by the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, U.S. Army Quartermaster School, Combined Arms Support Command, brought together military chefs from all branches of the armed forces.

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