2014-02-28 / Community Events

Fort Gordon Culinary Team Food Presentation for the 39th Annual Culinary Arts Competition

By Capt. Devon Thomas
35th Signal Brigade Public Affairs


Pvt. Krystal Coulter, left, and Spc. Donna Smith, both with the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, prepare oregano, rosemary and thyme to be used in a duck seasoning Feb. 24 in Dining Facility 13. The Soldiers and several peers are preparing for an annual culinary arts competition that will take place next month at Fort Lee, Va. 
Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Pvt. Krystal Coulter, left, and Spc. Donna Smith, both with the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, prepare oregano, rosemary and thyme to be used in a duck seasoning Feb. 24 in Dining Facility 13. The Soldiers and several peers are preparing for an annual culinary arts competition that will take place next month at Fort Lee, Va. Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Duck breasts with parsnips, sautéed carrots and raspberry wine sauce; salmon encrusted with lemon zest, and lobster were few of the dishes presented by the Fort Gordon Culinary Arts Team for Fort Gordon leaders Feb. 24 at Dining Facility 13 as they prepare for the 39th Annual Culinary Arts Competition that will be held at Fort Lee, Va., next month.

The commander of the 35th Signal Brigade, Col. Robert L. Edmonson II, and brigade command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Perry D. Summerville, along with Col. Samuel Anderson, Fort Gordon garrison commander, were among the leadership presented the five-course meal. All Soldiers competing in the competition are assigned to the 35th Signal Brigade.

“After personally witnessing today’s culinary expo I’m confident in our team’s competitiveness to excel at the Army level,” said Edmonson. “Their professionalism, dedication and unit pride will surely impress the judges; I’m thrilled for them.”

The purpose of the Fort Gordon Culinary Arts Food Presentation Expo was to prepare selected food service specialists for the 39th Annual Culinary Arts Competition at Fort Lee, Va., which will be held March 9 to March 14. The Annual Culinary Arts Competition is the largest culinary event held in North America. Fort Gordon Soldiers last competed in the competition in 1998.

Sgt. Gabriel Earle and the six other Soldiers have been preparing their competing dishes at Dining Facility 13 since November. Earle is competing for the Armed Forces Chef of the Year. He said he will use his experience as a civilian and prior competition experience for the event.

He competed at Fort Lee in 2005 with the Fort Drum Culinary Team The Somerset, Penn., native also worked outside New York City as a restaurant chef. “The difference between the culinary world and working in a restaurant is the art and precision of food preparation,” said Earle.

At the culinary competition judges are looking for creativity, how the plate is displayed, and of course, how the food tastes.

Pfc. Krystal Coulter of Mansfield, Ohio joined the Army in July 2012 as a food service specialist to improve her creative home cooking techniques and hopes to her own recipe, “Duck ala Coulter”, which contains duck breast with parsnips, sautéed carrots and raspberry red wine sauce receives commendable scores from the judges.

“Preparing for the event has been fun and challenging at times, but I would definitely do it again next year,” said Coulter.

The 2013 Fort Gordon Chef of the year, Spc. Camille Ricketts will compete in the fish portion of the culinary competition. The Palm Bay, Fla., native prepared Salmon.

This is my first competition at the Army level, I feel excited and nervous the same time” Ricketts said, “Regardless if I win or not I will be able to see and learn new things.”

Culinary Arts Competition roster
Competitors Competition Category
Sgt. Gabriel Earle..........................Armed Forces Chef of the Year
Sgt. Lance Smith...........................Armed Forces Student Chef of the Year
Sgt. Angel Richard and
Sgt. Camille Ricketts.....................Fish
Pfc. Krystal Coulter.......................Poultry
Sgt. Donovan Burks......................Dessert
Sgt. Shandora Fogle......................Display Cake

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