By Amanda Kim Stairrett
Fort Hood Herald
Nineteen Fort Hood soldiers are preparing for battle this weekend.
The III Corps and Fort Hood Culinary Arts team is headed to the 36th annual U.S. Army Culinary Arts Competition at Fort Lee, Va., where they will feature everything from their knife to ice carving to pastry skills.
The competition goes from Saturday to March 11. It is the largest culinary competition in the United States and is open to military chefs from all branches of the Armed Forces, according to information from the U.S. Army Quartermaster School.
The competition, sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation, has taken place every year since 1973, with the exception of 1991 during Desert Storm and 2003 during the Iraq war kickoff, according to information from the school.
This is the second year III Corps has sent a team to the competition. The Fort Hood team was formed the summer of 2009 and first competed a year ago. Soldiers walked away with a individual and team medals, including the Judges Special Award for their cold food display table.
New team members were chosen this summer to replace those who left Fort Hood for other installations or got out of the Army. They immediately began training with the team, providing food and displays for Fort Hood events and leading weekend classes for the public. The team buckled down after the holiday season and began rigorous preparation for the competition.
Master Sgt. Anthony Roscoe, team manager, said last week the team has its eye on the Installation of the Year title this year.
The team hosted an open house Thursday to unveil the theme and show the public what it will take to the competition.
The team's 2010 theme was honoring victims of the Nov.. 5, 2009, shooting at Fort Hood. This year's theme is classical music and the key elements to that design are music-themed dishes and ice carvings, an upside down wedding cake and a life size model of Ludwig van Beethoven made of tallow and chocolate.
The theme was chosen because keeping designs clean and classical is something the judges - who come from across the world - look for, Roscoe said.
The soldiers tried to make their pieces stand out this year, incorporating movement and music into their displays.
To learn more about the competition, visit http://www.quartermaster.army.mil/jccoe/jccoe_main.html.
III Corps and Fort Hood Culinary Arts team
The team roster for the 36th annual U.S. Army Culinary Arts Competition Feb. 26 to March 11:
Master Sgt. Anthony Roscoe, team manager
Staff Sgt. Kyral Hayward, team executive
Chef Mark Murgia, team advisor
Sgt. 1st Class Zamain Brown
Staff Sgt. Rhonda Rivers
Sgt. Rose Picard
Sgt. Anita Bowman
Sgt. Lois McEachern
Sgt. Rafael Vazquez
Spc. Sean Whitehurst
Spc. Keldrick Owens
Spc. Rebecca Kuschka
Spc. Diego Ortiz-Carrillo
Spc. Luke Brigham
Spc. Shawn Farley
Spc. Christopher Cunningham
Spc. Gerardo Ortiz-Gonzalez
Pfc. Alexandrea Long
Spc. John Philipp
Spc. Katrina Guillen