Culinary Institute of America at Greystone Hosts 2014 Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence
Military meals will get a world-class culinary upgrade at the 2014 Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone in Santa Helena, Calif., Oct. 6-10, 2014. This annual National Restaurant Association Military Foundation (NRAMF) event recognizes outstanding military servicemen and women from various foodservice operations at Air Force, Air National Guard, Navy, Marine Corps Military Sealift Command installations/ships around the globe, and offers training, education, mentoring and networking.
This year’s program places increased emphasis on 110 percent utilization of ingredients and leftovers and healthy preparation aligned with the U.S. Military’s Healthy Base Initiative. Participants in the week-long educational program will hone their culinary and foodservice management skills by participating in interactive seminars, hands-on cooking activities, and mentoring and career-coaching sessions. Highlights include interactive sessions on flavor dynamics and global cuisine, repairing and reviving recipes, and techniques for cooking seasonal dishes. On Thursday, the agenda includes Unitized Group Ration (UGR) breakfast, lunch and dinner challenges, as well as a healthy meal recipe challenge.
Following their graduation on Friday, students will tour the Napa Wine Train’s exclusive kitchen and some participants will cook alongside Chef Kelly McDonald during the wine train dinner service. Chef McDonald has a long history of supporting military members and their families and comes by it through his own personal experience. His father, Dick McDonald, is a WWII veteran and was part of the 82 airborne division that dropped into Normandy on D-day. McDonald will be on-hand on the Napa Wine Train to talk to the students and share his experience.
“It is truly humbling to be able to give back to our military servicemen and women, when they are giving so much for our industry and our nation,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president, strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “Events like the Armed Forces Forum allow us to connect with military personnel to further develop the skills and passion that will help them transition into rewarding restaurant careers.”
According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), more than 250,000 military veterans are employed in the restaurant industry. In the next five years, the NRA projects the number of additional employment opportunities to increase by 25,000.
As a donation to the NRA Military Foundation, Anheuser-Busch is the 2014 Supplier in Residence for the Salute to Culinary Excellence, and will sponsor the NRA Military Foundation’s welcome reception at its Budweiser brewery in Fairfield, Calif. Participants will experience a beer and food pairing seminar led by fifth-generation brewmaster and past president of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, George Reisch, who leads the company’s brewmaster outreach.
“For more than 150 years, Anheuser-Busch, its employees, its foundation and its family of wholesalers have supported America’s armed forces through numerous programs and philanthropic efforts, and this is one more way in which we are able to lend our support,” said Reisch. “Beer is the perfect complement to food, and an excellent ingredient, too. We are pleased to provide additional culinary training to enhance and build on their current skills, while also positioning them for rewarding careers in the restaurant industry once they are no longer on active duty.”
In addition to Anheuser-Busch, several well-known foodservice and hospitality companies generously support the NRAMF, including Ecolab, Hobart, BJ’s Brewhouse, Sodexo, Ventura Foods, Rose Packaging, Aramark and Sysco, among many others.
The following military personnel will participate in the 2014 Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence:
- Cpl Kelly Adams – US Marine Corps, Beaufort Air Station, SC
- A1C Ashlee Barkeloo – Air National Guard, 182nd Airlift Wing, IL
- A1C Gavin Barker – US Air Force, Offutt AFB, NE
- CS2(SW) Ricky Bemis Jr. – US Navy, USS Pearl Harbor
- A1C Angela Berg – US Air Force, Aviano Air Base, Italy
- CS2 Shielamarie Cabunoc – US Navy, Naval Base Ventura County, CA
- SSgt Latonia Clark – US Marine Corps, Combat Logistic Battalion 451, NC
- A1C Benjamin Cole – US Air Force, Aviano Air Base, Italy
- SSgt Ricardo Dixon – US Marine Corps, Combat Logistics Regiment 37, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, Okinawa, Japan
- Sgt Geri Embler – US Marine Corps, Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron, NC
- SrA Mirelys Feliciano-Bezares – US Air Force, McConnell Air Force Base, KS
- CS3 Jaqueline-Daya Friend – US Navy, USS George H W Bush
- SSgt Tyler Gaswint – Air National Guard, 185th Air Refueling Wing, IA
- GSgt Luis Guardado – US Marine Corps, 1st Marine Regiment, Camp Pendleton, CA
- CS3(SS) Daniel Gum – US Navy, USS City of Corpus Christie
- Sgt Cordarro Holmes – US Marine Corps, Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan
- SrA Steven Johnson – US Air Force, Nellis Air Force Base, NV
- SrA Joon (Jeff) Kim – US Air Force, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ
- Civilian Reginald Lampkin – Military Sealift Command, USNS GRASP
- SrA Audrey Manis – Air National Guard, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, TN
- SrA Norman Martinez – US Air Force, Yokota Air Base, Japan
- Sgt Misael (Misa) Medina – US Marine Corps, Headquarters Platoon, NC
- SSgt Luis Mendez Jr. – US Marine Corps, Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA
- CS3(SW) Roy Mosby – US Navy, Naval Base Kitsap, WA
- Sgt Daniel (Dan) Russo – US Marine Corps, 25th Marine Regiment, MA
- SSgt Mark Seay – US Air Force, Hurlburt Field AFB, FL
- A1C Amy Tordea – US Air Force, Whiteman Air Force Base, MO
- A1C Isata Tucker – US Air Force, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ
- TSgt Joshua Veiga – Air National Guard, 102nd Otis Air National Guard Base, MA
- A1C Savannah West – US Air Force, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
- Sgt Christopher (Chris) White – US Marine Corps, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, CA
- CS2 Terry Yocham – US Navy, USS John Paul Jones
The NRA has a long history supporting the military dating back to 1956, working to build career opportunities for military personnel, veterans and their families. In 2012, the NRAMF was established to strengthen the hospitality industry’s support to the Armed Forces and to honor the dedication, pride and fellowship of the military foodservice personnel. The CIA has its own military connections, making it the ideal venue for continuing education for military foodservice personnel. The CIA was founded by culinary educator Frances Roth and Katherine Angell in 1946 as a vocational training school for returning World War II veterans.