An Elkhart, Ind. native gets home from work, he prepares his dinner as he sits down and bites into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, anyone would infer that he could be an average bachelor. But this bachelor is an accomplished chef and ice sculptor by day.
For Sgt. Scott Papa, a food service specialist, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, the culinary arts can be defined by the simpler things in life.
Papa, who was recently a member of the Fort Bragg Culinary Arts team, has received several accolades during his eight-year Army career. More recently he was a medal winner at the 38th annual Military Culinary Arts Competition at Fort Lee, Va.
During the competition, Papa and his crew participated in the mobile kitchen trailer event, or MKT. The MKT is the kitchen used while Soldiers are away from home during field exercises and training.
Papa created a French toast dessert that moved his team ahead of their Navy competitor.
“Sergeant Papa is energetic, creative and has a deep passion for what he does,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Wilson, senior food operations noncommissioned officer in charge, 1st TSC. “He earned the silver medal and placed second out of 35 teams at Fort Lee. He will be very successful in his career.”
Throughout Papa’s career, he has had the opportunity to work with some of the best the Army could offer, as well as first-rate assignment positions. While stationed in Korea, he worked under the number one rated chef in the Department of Defense.
“He is a hard worker and is very dedicated and talented,” said Staff Sgt. Brian Davis, who worked with Papa at the dining facility. “He showed me his previous evaluations and I was impressed. While he was deployed, he filled the slot of a master sergeant and controlled all of the dining facilities in country.”
Papa continues to look for other opportunities to challenge him. For next year’s competition he hopes to participate in the junior or senior chef competitions. In these two events, chefs are required to prepare a meal using the secret ingredients in the kitchen.
“I work well under pressure,” said Papa. “With my experience and skills, I believe that I would do extremely well. I would love to compete in the event for the next competition.”
Papa served in the Army National Guard before becoming an active-duty Soldier. He was introduced to cooking while he was employed as a general manager of a country club. He hopes to attend additional advanced culinary training as well as being assigned as an enlisted aide.