Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Navy Culinary Specialists Please Palates; IRON CHEF Jacksonville NAS Hosts a Competition with Strict Menu Rules

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Navy Culinary Specialists Please Palates; IRON CHEF Jacksonville NAS Hosts a Competition with Strict Menu Rules

Article excerpt

Byline: JESSIE-LYNNE KERR

They chopped, peeled, pureed, sauteed, stirred and steamed their way toward a goal - but not that of satisfying the appetites of the usual legions they serve each day.

These Navy culinary specialists - all men - were trying to please the palates of four distinguished chefs who were judges at the Navy Southeast Region Command Iron Chef Competition on Thursday in the galley of the Flight Line Cafe at Jacksonville Naval Air Station.

When the votes were tallied, it was the team of Horace Rodney and Victor Silas of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba that walked off with first place.

Second place went to the team of Kadarius Jones, Roosevelt Overton and Andre Keith of Jacksonville Naval Hospital, while third place was garnered by Brandon Robinson and Derrick Victor of the Gulfport, Miss., Naval Construction Battalion Center. Teams from Jacksonville NAS, Mayport Naval Station and Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base also competed.

Rodney and Silas will compete with six teams of other regional winners in the Navy's Iron Chef competition Sept. 23-24 in Washington. The final International Food Service Executives Association Military Culinary Alliance competition with the winning teams from all the service branches will be Sept. 26 at the Washington Marine Barracks.

The participants had three hours to whip up an appetizer, salad and entree using prescribed ingredients plus two mystery proteins that were announced as the competition began - fresh Mayport shrimp and beef tenderloin. Then they had 20 minutes to write a menu.

The ingredients they had to incorporate included fresh spinach, Belgian endive and smoked bacon.

The teams were judged on food safety and sanitation, organizational skills, work habits, utilization of ingredients, cooking skills and craftsmanship, portion size, taste and presentation. …

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