This is probably the closest I’ve been to competing on Chopped! I’ve always enjoyed watching the madness that ensues from the Chopped kitchen imagining what I’d do with the mismatched ingredients. But this is much more than a three course discourse.
Since the last time we spoke, I’ve been serving my country one plate at a time, cooking it up for my family and crew at the USS Constitution, currently (dry) docked in Boston, Massachusetts. Over time I’ve gotten to do some pretty cool things there, one of my favorites being the scratch made pizzas seared on the inverted sheet pans in the 450 degree convection oven. Most rewarding though has been the smiles and applause of those I’ve served reminding me that my work counts.
But now, I’m covering miles of road, on my way to Virginia to prepare for the 41st Annual Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event– a bunch of words to say Military Cook off. Okay, not quite. The MCACTE is a cooking competition sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation and takes the form of the World Culinary Olympics, featuring edible centerpieces, cold food displays, a multicourse hot foods banquet, and, of course, a mystery basket event. The MCACTE feeds the cook’s desire for more, encouraging professional development in the culinary arts. It pridefully shows off cooks from every branch of the military and from all over the world. improving and broadcasting their skills, while demonstrating that military meals have evolved to be much more than salt junk and spuds. It is rewarding, yet humbling to be among those cooks, granted the opportunity to compete in such an arena.
Oh! And it’s open to the public! Hope to see you there!
Stay tuned. More to come…