Fort Gordon culinary specialists plan to serve up appreciation
Gratitude and appreciation can be expressed in many ways. The Fort Gordon Food Service staff wants to thank their customers and showcase new food products during the third annual Soldier and Family Customer Appreciation Day slated for April 29 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Gordon Catering and Conference Center. “Fueling the Force” is this year’s theme for the show.
“We want to give thanks to our customers who dine in our dining facilities on Fort Gordon,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Erica M. Nowells, an installation food service technician at the Fort Gordon Logistics Readiness Center. “We also want to showcase the talent of our culinary specialists and to permit various vendors to display items, which has been approved for use in military dining facilities throughout the world.”
A food show, featuring about 50 food vendors, will serve up a wide variety of food samples, gifts and prizes, according to Nowells. The show will also include a live cooking demonstration performed by experience chefs and members of the 35th Signal Brigade (Theater Tactical) Culinary Arts Team.
The military chefs of the 35th Signal Brigade Culinary Arts Team recently competed for culinary titles and the coveted Armed Forces Chef of the Year award during the 39th Annual Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event held this month at Fort Lee, Va. Many of these chefs brought home medals for their culinary expertise, including Sgt. Gabriel Earle of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, who earned a silver medal during the competition.
Team members will be preparing mushroom risotto, shrimp scampi, and bananas foster during the live cooking demonstration.
“This year was the first time Fort Gordon brought a culinary team to the (39th Annual Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training) competition since 1998,” said Earle. The military chef (culinary specialist) is currently working on an executive chef certification through the American Culinary Association.
In addition, to the live cooking demonstration, 100 pre-selected Advanced Individual Training Soldiers from Fort Gordon and civilian participants will dine on foods prepared in one of the Army’s Mobile Kitchen Trailer.
Throughout the program, the U.S. Army 434th Signal Corps Band’s Jazz Ensemble will entertain participants with an assortment of jazz songs.
“We will also have a mobile kitchen trailer demo for the children of the Fort Gordon pre-kindergarten class, which will be about 66 students,” Nowells said. “Our Army food service specialists will explain to the students the functions of each piece of equipment in the MKT and at the end of the presentation give the children an opportunity to walk through the trailer.”
This is an event open only to the Fort Gordon community. There’s no admission cost. There’s only one stipulation. “Participants will not be allowed to take any food out of the North Ballroom and all food must be consumed there,” Nowells explained.
“This food show will be the first one in four years at Fort Gordon,” Nowells said. “We are looking forward to having a great showing, in addition, to having a wonderful time with our Fort Gordon community.”