Coast Guard team honored in North American Culinary Arts Competition

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard took 3rd place as the overall installation of the year during the 36th Annual Culinary Arts Competition at Fort Lee, Va., Friday.

The two week event is hosted by the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence and is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation. The competition, which the federation recognizes as the largest competition in the continental U.S., is open to culinary teams from each of the armed forces.

The Coast Guard team competed against 15 other teams for installation of the year. Only one-tenth of a point separated the Coast Guard from the 2nd place team from Fort Bragg, N.C.

This is the second year in a row that the Coast Guard has finished in 3rd place for installation of the year.

“I believe that 3rd place this year was 1st place last year, that’s how good the scores were,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Phillip Garrett, the Coast Guard’s Food Service Specialist Rating Force Master Chief.

“I think what really makes our case compelling is that we beat out teams who have gone to work together every day for the last three years, teams that come here a month early to practice,” added Garrett.

Unlike the other branches, the Coast Guard representatives were from several units throughout the service and do not work together daily.

The competition also had individuals and teams compete in junior chef of the year, nutritional challenge, student skills team, cold table display, ice carving, field competition, the cooking portion of the enlisted aide competition and contemporary cooking categories.

The Coast Guard representatives took 1st place for the field competition and for the student skills competition.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Kathleen Heitman was additionally honored by being selected to the United States Army Culinary Arts Team. The USACAT is the U.S. National Military Culinary Team and competes in local, national and international events.

“I’m exceptionally proud of them,” said Garrett. “Every one of them is professional and I’m proud to call them shipmates.”

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