2023 Week of the Eagles Culinary Competition

Photo By Pfc. Brianna Frank | Soldiers assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) serve their team's submission during the Week of the Eagles culinary competition on Fort Campbell, Ky., May 22, 2023. The theme for this year’s Week of the Eagles event is “Celebrating 80 years of excellence”.

FORT CAMPBELL, KY, UNITED STATES

05.23.2023

Story by Pfc. Brianna Frank 

40th Public Affairs Detachment 

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FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – The Week of the Eagles is a weeklong annual event honoring both the history and future of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), with various division-wide competitions and events. One of the many annual events held during the Week of the Eagles is the culinary competition, this year held on May 22-23.

This year, the competition took a more functional approach, with Soldiers from each team using field equipment and field rations to prepare their food.

There were three teams of culinary specialists participating from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Brigade Combat Team and 101st Division Sustainment Brigade. Each team consisted of three culinary specialists chosen by their brigade because of their expert knowledge of the equipment.

Teams were graded on three different areas: the amount of time it takes for them to set up their equipment, the preparation and serving of the meal itself and take down and the clean up of equipment.

The teams were graded by the division food services with special guest graders from the community participating in the final round.

While the event is competition style, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Erik Iwai, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Senior Food Advisor, and an organizer of the competition, said that the experience and training Soldiers take away from the event are more important than winning.

“Participants can walk away with the confidence that they can execute this in a field environment,” said Iwai.

This is the first year the culinary competition has taken place without an actual kitchen.

“All of the previous competitions have been in the kitchen, so it’s the first time we’ve done something like this,” said Iwai. “It’s amazing seeing what these teams are capable of doing because they don’t even know what they are capable of until they do it.”

Spc. Donavon Jensen, a culinary specialist with the 2BCT team, agreed that the event was helpful to better the fundamental skills of a culinary specialist.

“I think this event really prepared us to implement our skills in the future,” said Jensen. “It’s not about winning; it’s about the training. Whether it’s in the field or on deployment, we need this training to help us get the best food to Soldiers.”

The event consisted of three round-robin style rounds on Monday, and the final round consisting of the two highest scoring teams on Tuesday. On Day 1, the 2BCT team won both the first and second round, and the 101st DSB team won the third round.

In the end, the DSB team won the final round, winning the 2023 Week of the Eagles culinary competition.

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