Fort Lee Culinary
Chief Warrant Officer 3 J.D. Ward remembers the lesson he learned in his first time participating in the Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event (MCACTE) at Fort Lee, Va., and wants this year’s entrants to come away consumed with the same passion and motivation for success.
Within a few hours of competition that first time, Ward’s initial overconfidence drained as he realized how little he knew about cooking compared with the other contestants. Rather than be discouraged, he vowed to learn more and return to the annual event with every opportunity.
Once an overconfident private first class, Ward is now a coordinator of MCACTE. “I sincerely hope that while serving in this position others can have at least half the rewarding experience that I have had here,” he said of the event, which ran March 5 to 10, 2016, at Fort Lee.
Hosted by the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence (JCCoE) and sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the competition is a training opportunity where young chefs come for fellowship, to share ideas and learn. ...
Military culinary specialists are eager to participate in training opportunities where they can acquire new techniques to better perform in the dining facility or prepare for a professional career in culinary arts.
Professional chefs who visited military dining facilities in the past year worked in kitchens alongside service members to improve culinary skills by teaching professional techniques, as well as innovative seasoning to enhance the flavor of foods.
Meanwhile, the visiting chefs also contribute a little menu variety to the dining facility menu, departing from the regular cycle for at least a day, by preparing signature dishes. ...
FOOD FOCUS: POTATOES, VEGETABLES, AND PASTA
Menus Respond To Traffic Lights:
Go for Green Sparks Revisions to Raise Nutritional Content
The Go for Green traffic light colors that regulate the flow of service members toward choosing the healthiest of items available on dining facility serving lines and salad bars also are changing the menu and foods available.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Lancerdining facility increased the variety of nutritional items on the menu in February after completing Go for Green (G4G) training with the Nutrition Care Division of Madigan Army Medical Center at the base.
“A different variety of fresh vegetables has been added to the menu as part of the G4G,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tivon London, senior food advisor, 7th infantry division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Vegetables, along with pasta and potatoes, are among the ingredients dining facilities use to raise the nutritional value of meals, lower the fat, reduce calories and achieve a greater mix of green choices in dining facility menus. ...
Not surprisingly, soldiers at Fort Drum certainly have favorites among the daily menu cycle choices.
Unexpected, however, is how fast soldiers have responded to nutritional guidelines and come to choose healthier selections that support performance and fitness over more tempting options higher in calories and fat.
As soldiers come to understand dietary guidelines and follow colorcoded labels toward preferred foods that should be eaten often, instead of those to consume either occasionally or rarely, the choices they make increasingly fulfill these recommendations.
“Soldiers need the right quality and quantity of nutrition to adequately refuel and recover after hard workouts,” said Sung Ho Park, food service manager at Fort Drum, N.Y. “This supports the mental and physical readiness needed to fight tonight.” ...