Navy Chefs Score Top Honors at Ft. Lee Culinary Competition

Twenty-six Navy culinary specialists (CSs) from around the fleet took home a total of 36 medals from last week’s 40th Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event in Fort Lee, Virginia. Among the medals earned were 10 gold, 14 silver, 12 bronze, and two commendable.

NAVSUP U.S. Navy Team took first place in the Field Cooking Competition and runner up in the Culinary Installation Team of the Year. Also, Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Stephen Tremble from the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) received Best in Show for Contemporary Hot Pastry category.

Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command and Chief of Supply Corps, talks with junior culinary specialists during the final field competition event of the Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event.  The annual Fort Lee event is the largest military culinary competition in North America.  (Photo by MC2 Chase Hawley)

Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command and Chief of Supply Corps, talks with junior culinary specialists during the final field competition event of the Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event. The annual Fort Lee event is the largest military culinary competition in North America. (Photo by MC2 Chase Hawley)

“We’re extremely proud of our U.S. Navy culinary specialists,” said Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Director of Navy Food Service Cmdr. Danny King. “They prepared extensively for this event and gave it their all this past week. It was hard work. It was fun. But, most importantly, it was a phenomenal opportunity to gain hands-on training that will translate into increased food quality for our Sailors.”

“Competitions like this build professional culinary skills and help CSs receive continuing educational hours (CEH) toward accreditations and certifications,” said Navy Competition Coordinator NAVSUP Food Service Officer Chief Warrant Officer (CW05) Alicia Lawrence. “It also provides the skills CSs need aboard ships to work special events in support of dignitaries and wardroom receptions. Additionally, this venue of training enables our CSs to train other CSs at their commands.”

CSs prepared dishes using some center-of-the-plate ingredients that can be found on the Navy Master Load List, creating recipes comparable to the approved recipes on the Navy Standard Core Menu. The standard menu eliminates the need for an individual galley to arbitrarily develop its own menus, yet allows CSs flexibility to use standard ingredients for special meals when approved.

“As directed by the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Commander NAVSUP Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, Navy Food Service will continue to work with all our stakeholders from the fleet; Commander, Navy Installations (CNIC); and U.S. Navy type commanders to find ways ashore to continuously hone our Navy chefs’ skillsets to assist them in performing their jobs better at sea,” said NAVSUP Navy Food Service Director Cmdr. Danny King. “Opportunities like this one are aligned with the recently established CNIC and NAVSUP Food Service Partnership, in which CS training and development is a key pillar for our Navy chefs.”

“These events also offer CSs the opportunity to acquire skills that will be marketable when they leave the Navy,” Lawrence said.

By Debbie Dortch, Naval Supply Systems Command Office of Corporate Communications