Story Number: NNS140310-09Release Date: 3/10/2014 8:53:00 PM
By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (AW/SW) Shawn D. Graham, Center for Service Support Public Affairs
FORT LEE, Va. (NNS) (NNS) -- FORT LEE, Va. (NNS) -- Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Jeremy Andersen, assigned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, earned a silver medal in the Master Chef Category during the 39th Annual Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event (MCACTE) conducted at the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, Fort Lee, Va. The MCACTE is being conducted March 9-14.
The MCACTE is one of largest culinary competitions in North America. The competition has been conducted each year since 1973, with the exception of 1991 and 2003, during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The competition is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and showcases the talents of military chefs from around the globe in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
"Placing highly in this competition means a lot to me and to the people who trained me," said Andersen. "I was pushed by all my instructors during 'A' School. My culinary instructors helped form the building blocks for a strong work ethic and a commitment to lifelong learning."
More than 300 chefs from military installations around the world are competing for top honors during the American Culinary Federation (ACF) sanctioned competition featuring more than 600 judged events. The competition features individual and team challenges in a variety of categories, including hot foods, cold buffets, pastries, chocolates, field cooking, practical cooking and showpieces.
According to Andersen, there are many positive aspects of the competitive training.
"Every chef relies on their own talent and creativity to produce entries," said Andersen. "For instance, before yesterday I had never prepared rabbit. It took me outside my comfort zone and challenged me in many ways. This competition is tough and is designed to make you uncomfortable, especially the evaluation phase of the competition. MCACTE is graded by superstar chefs from all over the world and gives you a clear indicator of your talent level."
Anderson encourages Sailors who desire to participate in culinary competitions to practice and understand the fundamentals of cooking and fine dining.
"I encourage every chef who desires to enter this competition to master the basics first," said Andersen. "Practice your craft, become organized and have multiple skill sets. As a Navy chef you never know what you may be asked to create. Becoming a well-rounded cook is the key to success. Many people from 'A' school and my previous commands all helped me achieve this award. It's been a wonderful experience."
The Navy boasts more than 7,000 culinary specialists, deployed around the globe. They serve more than 92 million meals per year, ensuring the Navy's fighting forces operate at peak performance.
For more news from Center for Service Support, visit www.navy.mil/local/css/.