The Coast Guard Student Culinary Team Prepares For The Nations Largest Military Culinary Competition


With funding provided through the Coast Guard Foundation the United States Coast Guard Culinary Team is preparing to compete in the 43nd Annual Joint Culinary Training Exercise (JCTE) at Fort Lee, Virginia.

"This is a great opportunity to showcase the talent of Coast Guard culinarians and train with master chefs from the American Culinary Federation," said Master Chief Petty Officer Justin Reed, culinary specialist rating force master chief for the Coast Guard "I am very proud of all the Coast Guard culinary specialists and look forward to seeing them competing to win the coveted military culinary team of the year."

The Joint Culinary Training Exercise (JCTE) promotes growth in the culinary profession with special attention to the tenets of modern culinary development-ability, practicality, nutrition, workmanship, economy, presentation, creativity, and concept. The training event provides an opportunity to raise culinary excellence and professionalism. It recognizes individual and team efforts, while providing incentives and recognition in the form of certificates, medals, trophies and continuing education hours’ credit that may be used toward credentialing.

The JCTE at Fort Lee is the largest military culinary competition in the North America. Since 1973, the competition has been held each year with the exception of 1991 and 2003, during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The competition is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation and showcases the talents of military chefs from around the globe in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The JCTE focuses on the Student chef – our future. Live cooking events and static food displays continue to set the stage for daily public viewing at the Fort Lee Field House. The current format mirrors the structure of the World Culinary Olympics held every four years in Erfurt, Germany. This annual event has it all; ice sculptures, pastries, seafood, wild game and amazing centerpieces made of all edible items. From aiolis to zabaglione, it can all be seen during the annual JCTE.

Last week CS1 John (Scott) Jeffries trained the Coast Guard Student Chef Team in York Town. When asked how the training of these Coast Guard Chefs with less than 2 Years of culinary experience was going he said:

"In 2012 I competed in the student skills competition and I vividly remember telling my team mates how great it would have been if we all were able to train together prior to the competition. At that time it just wasn't possible due to us all being stationed spread out across the country. Now that we have the Culinary Support Activity in Yorktown, we have several young, highly skilled, culinarians all in one place who were just jumping at the opportunity to compete on the national level in our nation's largest military culinary competition. This allowed for me to spend 6 consecutive days training them on all the skills they will be tested on come the day of their competition. We accomplished so much in that time. Seeing their progression from day 1 to day 6 was very impressive. Now they will take this new knowledge and continue to train up until the day of the competition. If they keep it up, I see gold in their future."

The student team will be competing in a two phase team com-petition. Phase 1 will showcase their culinary skills in meat fabrication, fish fabrication, knife cuts and pastry. In phase 2 they will then cook a 4 course meal as a team utilizing everything from phase 1.

CS3 Mattox will be competing for the Student Chef of the year.

CS1 John (Scott) Jeffries will be competing for the Senior Chef Of the Year of all military service and mentoring the Student team through their competitions.

MilitaryChefs.com wishes the team luck and is excited to report further on the results.