FORT LEE, Va. -
Two Sailors form the dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) proudly represented the ship during the 2015 Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event at Fort Lee, Virginia, March 6-15.
Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Rashia Adair and Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Ashley Huston took home one silver and two bronze medals during the competition.
Both said they prepared themselves for the competition by first participating in a Navy-wide nine week culinary training course located at Fort Lee, Virginia. They trained alongside 24 other culinary Specialists from around the fleet, devoting a total of 576 hours to learning techniques in food preparation, plating, garnishing, cutlery, fine dining preparation and advance culinary skills.
The group was mentored by well-known Navy and civilian chefs including Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Derrick Davenport, a master chef, Culinary Specialist 1st Class Matthew Susienka, a certified executive chef, and celebrity chef Robert Irvine.
After their training course was finished, the Pearl Harbor culinary specialists competed against cooks from every branch of the military in a highly demanding culinary competition. The culinary events included timed competitions, ice carving, multiple “Iron Chefs”, buffet table presentation and an event in which cooks prepared a three-course gourmet meal out of an Army field kitchen trailer.
The Navy team took first place in the Field Cooking Competition and was a runner-up for the Culinary Installation Team of the Year. Overall, the Navy earned a total of 36 awards with 10 gold, 14 silver, and 12 bronze medals.
"Competitions like this build professional culinary skills and help CSs receive continuing educational hours toward accreditations and certifications," said Chief Warrant Officer Alicia Lawrence, Naval Supply System’s Command's competition coordinator. "It also provides the kind of skills CSs need aboard ships to work special events in support of dignitaries, receptions, and wardroom functions. Plus, it's this kind of training that helps our CSs advance within their rating."
Lawrence went on to say that the training CSs get at these events is shared with other CSs when they take knowledge back to their commands. Additionally, she said, these events offer CSs the opportunity to gain skills that will be marketable when they leave the Navy.
The competition reflects the joint training environment of the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, part of the U.S. Army Quartermaster School, Combined Arms Support Command.
To learn more about USS Pearl Harbor, please check out the website www.usspearlharbor.navy.mil or visit our Facebook at www.facebook.com/USSPEARLHARBOR