Fort Hood cooks face off in Culinary Arts Exhibition

Photos & Story by Staff Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas —When Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner, the commander of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) arrived from Fort Lee, Va., he wanted to bring a little bit of Fort Lee to Fort Hood, said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Konken, a food service warrant officer with the 13th SC(E).

On April 29, after more than a year of planning, the 13th SC(E) hosted a culinary arts exhibition at the culinary arts center here, pitting four teams against each other and showcasing the talents and abilities of food service specialists, said Konken.

The teams featured soldiers from the 49th Transportation Battalion, 180th Transportation Battalion, 41st Fires Brigade, and the 1st Medical Brigade.

While the culinary arts center was where the Soldiers prepared for the competition and set up their edible displays, which ranged in theme from tropical islands to Leonardo DaVinci, the meat of the competition took place in mobile kitchen tents across the street.

Each team prepared three course meals for 20 people, all revolving around salad, a steak dinner and a pear-themed dessert. While the major components of the meals had to be the same, the participants were encouraged to improvise. The improvisations ranged from homemade marinades and dry rubs to creating potato bacon and cheese croquets deep fried to a golden brown.

The 180th team took home the first place trophy, and deluxe cooking equipment.

“It’s life changing, a great experience,” said Pfc. Sundar Ranabhat, a food service specialist with the 96th Transportation Company, 180th TB.

The judges were members of the III Corps culinary arts team and one of the hosts of “The Grill Sergeants,” Sgt. 1st Class Brad Turner.

“Just seeing how excited the young soldiers got about the competition was probably the best part,” Turner said.

In addition to giving cooks from across Fort Hood a chance to compete, having the III Corps Culinary Arts Team judge the competition gives the corps team a chance to scout future talent.

Konken said based on the perceived success of the exhibition, he hopes to include ten teams in next year’s competition.

 

news photoFORT HOOD, Texas -- Specialist Jonathan Crock, a food service specialist with the 154th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade (Rear) (Provisional), 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), works on a cake during preparation for the 13th SC(E) Culinary Arts Exhibition here April 28. The day prior to the competition started as early as 5 A.M. for some participants and lasted well into the night.

 

news photoFORT HOOD, Texas -- Specialist Whitney Darden, a food service specialist with 664th Ordnance Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade (Rear) (Provisional), 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), uses frosting to stick edible leaves to a waterfall themed cake during preparations for the 13th SC(E) Culinary Arts Exhibition here April 28. The cake was part of the winning team's efforts in the competition.

 

news photoFORT HOOD, Texas -- Pfc. Byron Hayes, a food service specialist with the 664th Ordnance Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade (Rear) (Provisional), 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), paints the foot and head areas of a turtle mold green with liquid frosting during preparations for the 13th SC(E) Culinary Arts Exhibition here April 28. The turtles were used on a chocolate island featured prominently on the 180th TB team's display.

 

news photoFORT HOOD, Texas -- Command Sgt. Maj. Mark D. Joseph, the senior enlisted adviser for the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner, the commander of the 13th SC(E), stand with the winning team at the 13th SC(E) Culinary Arts Exhibition here April 29. The cooks from 180th Transportation Battalion took top honors.

 

news photoFORT HOOD, Texas -- Master Sgt. Anthony Roscoe, a food service specialist with the III Corps Culinary Arts team and Sgt. 1st Class Brad Turner, one of the Pentagon Channel's "Grill Sergeants," judge a cake display during the 13th SC(E) Culinary Arts Exhibition here April 29.

 

news photoFORT HOOD, Texas -- Sgt. Ronald Kirby, a food service specialist with the 49th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade (Rear) (Provisional), prepares a red wine and onion based steak sauce during the 13th SC(E) Culinary Arts Exhibition here April 29. All of the participants in the competition prepared their fine dining level food in mobile kitchen tents to simulate being in a field environment.

 

news photoFORT HOOD, Texas -- Private Nicole Kanyer, a food service specialist with the 581st Area Support Medical Company, 61st Multi-function Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, slices green beans for a vegetable medley at the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Culinary Arts Exhibition here April 29.

 

news photo news photo news photoFORT HOOD, Texas -- Specialist Christopher Cunningham, a member of the III Corps Culinary Arts Team, carves an ice sculpture in the fashion of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) patch during the 13th SC(E) Culinary Arts Exhibition here April 29. While most of the ice sculptures created for the competition were displayed inside the culinary arts center, the patch sculpture was displayed in the entrance of the dining tent.

 

news photoFORT HOOD, Texas -- Private Nicole Kanyer, a food service specialist with the 581st Area Support Medical Company, 61st Multi-function Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, stirs pears in a cherry sauce during the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Culinary Arts Exhibition here April 29. The meal portion of the competition involved three courses; a salad, main meal and dessert.