Shortly before the USACAT team was competing in the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany, they contacted us to make custom molds and specialized production tools. To support the team and catch them in action, I headed to Erfurt to cover the event. After enjoying the teams work, for which they took silver (hot food), I accepted their invitation to Fort Lee, Virginia to experience the 38th annual U.S. Army Culinary Arts Competition.

Ironically, everyone who I’ve mentioned the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Competition to, is as surprised as I was to hear it even exists. It was my task to help promote this well organized event. Open to all chefs, in all branches of the armed services, the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Competition is a week-long training exercise. The U.S. Army knows motivated people in the kitchens, serving up to the best culinary standards is great for moral. Additionally, well trained chefs are more marketable when they re-enter the public sector.

During the three days I attended, it was easy to see the results of years of training as all contestants were intensely focused on presenting their best. A few things that really stood out; the events high level of commitment to every person there; the chefs, judges, guests and organizers. Everything was top notch, especially the food and presentations by the winning chefs.

In closing, I’m grateful to everyone at Fort Lee for their generous hospitality, the new friends I’ve made-both stateside and abroad, the beautiful food we enjoyed, and the enlisted chefs for their passion to make a difference through food that crosses boundaries.

Many thanks,
Beatrice S. Schneider

Below is a link to our article, some highlights of the Chef of the Year Competition, and the International Military Competition;

  • World Chefs Magazine
  • Savory Postcard: Fort Lee -Armed Forces Chef of the Year
  • Savory Postcards for International Military Competition
  • USACAT at IKA Erfurt, Germany
  • Parade: How Do You Feed an Army? By Sarah DiGregorio

If you’d like to find out more information about the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Competition, please visit