FORT LEE, VA, UNITED STATES
Story by Samantha Lohr
Naval Supply Systems Command
Navy chefs from across the Navy win medals at the 45th Annual Joint Culinary Training Exercise (JCTE) while competing against other military chefs March 9-13, at Fort Lee, Virginia.
The Navy chefs took home four silver medals and one bronze medal for their efforts during the competition.
The competitive categories included student chef, team of year, hot food kitchen, nutritional hot food cooking, pastry and many others.
The JCTE is the largest military culinary competition in North America. The competition is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and showcases the talents of military chefs from around the globe. The primary goal of this exercise is learning and mentoring.
“The Sailors we brought here have gotten a wealth of knowledge. They trained for eight weeks and learned everything to do with culinary arts,” said Chief Petty Officer David Souchon, team lead for the U.S. Navy Culinary Arts Team (NCAT).
The NCAT was made up of 12 culinary specialists from Navy food service teams from across the globe.
“What I like most about the JCTE is being the only team out here representing the United States Navy,” said Culinary Specialist Submarine 3rd Class Dakota Aubrey.
This year’s training event had about 175 U.S. military personnel from installations and activities around the world as well as allied forces teams from France, Germany and Great Britain.
“Our team had camaraderie, we came from all different parts of the country and we didn’t know each other but at the end of the day we really came together as a team,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Katelyn Smith.
This exercise promotes growth in the culinary profession with a focus on tenets on modern culinary development-ability, practicality, nutrition, workmanship, economy, presentation, creativity, and concept.
“This competition brings junior sailors to compete against advanced military members. The best part about it is they go back to their commands, they bring all that stuff they’ve learned and share it with everyone else,” said Chief Vittorio Loredo, NAVSUP NCAT program manager.
Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP’s mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter.
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