Cooks from around Fort Bragg are participating in a three-week culinary skills training course at the Fort Bragg Culinary Skills Training Center, July 15 to Aug. 2 to improve their basic culinary skills.
The Culinary Skills Training Course is designed to teach intermediate competencies in food preparation, menu planning and buffet presentation.
“The course is a lot more than the students expect,” said Staff Sgt. Jesus Lopez, a food service specialist with XVIII Airborne Corps, and Culinary Arts Training Center noncommissioned officer in charge.
“It’s almost like a shock to them,” said Lopez. “We keep them actively engaged from start to finish.”
The methods of instruction used at the course consist of classroom lectures, while the majority of the students’ time is spent doing practical exercises in a laboratory environment in order to accelerate learning.
For a Soldier to attend the course he or she must first meet the prerequisites. Some of them include, Soldiers in the rank of private first class through
sergeant first class, a minimum of 18 months time in service, must not be flagged or barred from reenlistment, and cannot have a profile that prohibits them from heavy lifting or prolong standing.
“Basic knowledge, and a little bit of dining facility experience is what we’re looking for,” said Lopez.
“We want each of our students to at least understand and know some of the basic terms used in and around the dining facility.”
At the end of the course, each student will be able to identify and use specialized food preparation tools and equipment, routinely demonstrate superior food service safety and use sanitary practices during food preparation and services. The students will also be able to demonstrate thorough knowledge of a variety of cooking methods and coordinate the preparation and presentation of
multiple menu items.
“The course is very elaborate,” said Sgt. Anthony Shaw, food service specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 50th Signal Battalion.
“It shows me the different ways in which I can broaden my skills, and not only retain what I’ve learned, but to implement them on a day-to-day basis while on the job,” said S haw.
“Potential is limitless at the culinary skills training center,” said Lopez.
Lopez said the whole purpose of this course is to choose the culinary teams. They get a chance to see first-hand who their strong
people are on Fort Bragg, so they can later represent the post at the yearly Culinary Arts Competition at Fort Lee, Va.
“The program can only be as successful as our food service community allows it to be,” said Lopez.
“We’re willing to teach our young and up-andcoming food service specialists,” he said. “We just need the units to send them to the course.”
For more information about the different courses offered at the Culinary Skills Training Center, contact Sgt. Maj. Scott Dugan, XVIII Airborne Corps food service sergeant major at 643-4262.