Fort Gordon culinary students heat up kitchen for worldwide competition

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News 12 This Morning/Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014

FORT GORDON, Ga. (WRDW) -- "It feels good. Every time I see the stuff coming out of the kitchen and see what they've come to--It makes me proud every time," said Sgt. Gabriel Earl, Fort Gordon's culinary team leader.

Earl has been teaching the team since the fall of 2013.

Now, they're ready to showcase their talent sat the 39th Annual Culinary Arts Competition held in Fort Lee, Virginia, where culinary teams from across the world come to compete.

"It's the biggest culinary competition in North America," said Earl. It feels great to be able to go partake in something like that. The judges aren't just military chefs. They are civilian chefs that--some you see on TV everyday."

"They're going to look for creativity [and] the taste for sure. It's exciting," said Private First Class Krystal Coulter, a Fort Gordon culinary team member.

Since Coulter joined the culinary program, she says she's come a long way to now having her own dish for the competition.

"It is called 'Duck a la Coulture,'" she explained. "I started out not knowing what dish I wanted to prepare. And, the next thing--we knew. And it has been fun...rewarding." ¤

"They've come from knowing almost nothing about knife cuts, to putting out what's [been] described as five star food," said Earl.

To help prepare, the team's been doing practice runs for brigade leaders in the days leading up to the event.

"It gives them a practical exercise in plating for people, for judges," Earl explained. "These are the plates they're going to take to Fort Lee to compete with."

"I have been practicing my duck plate for quite some time now and I'm ready just to get it done and over with and hopefully come home with a medal," said Coulter.

Medals will be awarded in gold, silver and bronze and the week long event takes place March 9 - 14.

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