The 43rd annual JCTE started March 10 at the MacLaughlin Fitness Center and continued until March 15. The exercise, administered by the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, is the largest American Culinary Federation-sanctioned competition in North America.
This year’s exercise showcased the talent of 237 military chefs from all military services around the globe to include four international teams. The exercise, administered by the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, is the largest American Culinary Federation-sanctioned competition in North America.
The five-member team from Fort Bragg was the youngest team at the event, but that did not stop them from showing the best ability to work together as a team. Only two team members had ever competed in the competition before this year. Sgt. 1st Class Latoya Robinson, team manager, describes how she believes the team has grown.
“The best part is looking at where we started, and looking at where we’re at right now,” Robinson said. “It’s amazing. We’re all the way up on a whole other level.”
“Even if we don’t do as well as we think, taking all these skills I’ve learned here I’ve gotten so much better,” said team member Pfc. Madelyn Kerrigan. “I was a decent cook before this, but now I can pair flavors. It’s opened my horizons to cooking so much.”
Categories included: Live Cooking Competitions, Armed Forces Chef of the Year, Student Chef of the Year, Nutrition Hot Food Challenge, Food Displays and Live Demos and the Military Hot Food Kitchen Challenge.
Hawaii won the competition, with the Coast Guard following behind as the runner-up.
“The hardest part of it was putting the menus together,” Robinson said.
“Every time we do it we discover something new.”
Representatives from Europe, Fort Drum, Fort Stewart, Hawaii, Korea, Fort Lewis and Fort Campbell showed up and put their skills to the test.