Iron Chef Competition Tests Participants’ Mettle

20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs - Shaw Air Force Base, SC

The 20th Force Support Squadron hosted an Iron Chef competition at the Chief Master Sgt. Emerson E. Williams Dining Facility here, July 12. The competition lasted for 90 minutes, in which time participants from two teams, Team “Desperate House Knives” and Team “How do you Beat Bobby Flay Wearing a Hat?”, created an appetizer, entrée and vegetable dish. “It’s about camaraderie and esprit de corps,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Franklin, 20th FSS dining facility assistant manager. “You can really get people to work together with their peers or coworkers with a little fiery competition.” The judges, Chief Master Sgt. Christopher McKinney, 20th Fighter Wing command chief, 2nd Lt. Steven Prentice, 20th FSS chief of force management, Latisha Burkes, GNC senior store manager, and Jerome Robinson, owner of Team Robinson MMA, scored the food based on four criteria: creativity and originality, flavor and taste, visual appearance, and the incorporation of the secret ingredient. The secret ingredient was revealed just before the competition in order to make the contest more challenging. The teams were then instructed to use the ingredient, eggplant, in at least one of their dishes. As the time dwindled down, teams divided tasks and worked together to make a full plate for each of the judges. “Everyone had their role in the team and completed that role to the best of their ability,” said Prentice. “Teamwork gets bigger jobs done that the individual can’t do. Once you get everyone working in one direction, big tasks get done.” When the timer ran out, judges were allowed to taste each dish and rate them on scoring cards. The judges provided feedback on the meals to the teams, explaining what they liked and disliked for each aspect of the three dishes. In the end, the “Desperate House Knives” were crowned the Iron Chefs of Shaw with a total of 216 out of 300 possible points. The Iron Chef competition presented an opportunity for participants to work together and put their knowledge and skills to the test, showing that whether cooking a meal or keeping aircraft in the sky, working as a team and staying flexible in the face of unexpected orders are two critical ingredients to mission success.

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