Fort Irwin team sizzles at cooking contest

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Soldiers from the National Training Center and Fort Irwin won seven medals in the 41st annual Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event at Fort Lee, Va., in early March.

Team Irwin, comprised of four culinary specialist Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, represented the NTC by wining gold, silver and bronze medals, and taking home three commendable awards.

Sgt. Dae Kun Ji and Spc. April Pelayo won gold in the cake decorating category and were the only Soldiers who participated in the live cake demonstration.

Ji and Pfc. Jose Olivares received silver medals for their work in the nutrition challenge.

Olivares and Pfc. Tracy Moore won bronze medals in the hot food poultry category.

The three commendable awards were for events such as patisserie/confectionery, contemporary hot food, live action show piece and the nutrition hot food challenge.

The event is the largest culinary arts competition in North America and was hosted by the American Culinary Federation. The MCACTE promotes growth in the culinary profession with special attention to the tenets of modern culinary development, ability, practicality, nutrition, workmanship, economy, presentation, creativity and concept. This year’s event boasted 16 different military installation teams, two international teams from France and Great Britain, 243 competitors, and 530 individual entries.

This was the first time in more than 10 years that Fort Irwin had representation at the annual competition.