Coast Guard chefs are steaming up the culinary world stage, winning awards and kneeding out the competition.
Two of our top-notch Food Service Specialists earned a position on the prestigious U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT) and are mixing it up as they compete in the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Held every four years, the Culinary World Cup pitts the skills of nine other military teams from across the globe against each other.
“You’re competing on the world stage. You’re up against the best of the best in the culinary world,” said FS1 Ed Fuchs, an apprentice on USACAT and a previous Compass Guardian of the Week. “It’s a great chance to go up against people who are on the same level as you in a battle royal for world champion.”
Echoing his enthusiasm for being a part of this joint service team, FSCS Justin Reed, a primary member of the USACAT, appreciates the joint training and professional development he and the other team members will get during their time in Luxembourg.
“Being on USACAT is a great privilege, so is getting the opportunity to participate in the largest, most prestigious culinary competition in the world when it comes to military chefs,” said Reed. “It’s like the World Cup of Soccer but for chefs.”
Reed and Fuchs are two key non-Army chefs on the 18 member USACAT. The team is comprised of an Army team manager, six primary members, and 11 others as apprentices. This is not the first time Reed has been a part of this joint service team. In 2008, he was the captain when the team competed in the Culinary Olympics.
Over the course of the competition, the team will prepare a challenging cold food presentation and cook a three-course meal for 100 people using a military field kitchen – not an easy task.
“I know how the field kitchens work and I knew I could bring the experience and leadership I learned from competing in the Culinary Olympics,” said Reed.
The team is geared up for the competition after spending 12 hours a day for 33 straight days preparing and practicing their menu. The kitchens heat up today and the pressure cooker intensifies until the winners are announced Thursday.
According to Reed, Sweden, which edged the U.S. by seven tenths of a point to take the gold during the 2008 Culinary Olympics, is their biggest competition. USACAT is planning to give them a run for their money in the race for the Cup.
Good luck USACAT! Bring home the Gooooooooooooooold!
Originally from Chester, N.Y., Reed is currently assigned as the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Joint Forces Advanced Culinary Training at U.S. Army Center of Excellence, Subsistence at Fort Lee, Va. To watch a Facebook video of Reed as he prepares for the competition, click here .
An Omaha, Neb., native, Fuchs is the head chef at the Executive Dining Facility, Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. Click here to watch a Facebook video of Fuchs preparing for the competition.