FORT LEE, Va. (NNS) -- Navy personnel won gold, silver, and bronze medals during the 38th Annual Military Culinary Arts Competition at Fort Lee, Va., March 6-15.
The Navy team earned a silver medal in the hot kitchen competition and bronze in the chef of the year category, while Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Derrick Davenport, who works for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, won a gold medal for chef of the year.
"I felt like it was four years of preparation," said Davenport. "It feels good. It's a weight off my shoulders. It doesn't mean I'm going to stop competing; it just means I've reached a goal that I was striving for."
Davenport works with two previous winners of the chef of the year, and said they often give him a hard time. However, it was the judges who gave him some concern during the competition.
"In the critique, the judges are very firm and let you know areas where you can improve, so I thought I didn't do as well as I thought I did," said Davenport. "When I saw the gold medal (on the tally) there, I was shocked."
Active duty service members representing all service branches, Department of Defense civilian employees, U.S. Army Reservists and National Guardsmen competed in the event.
The competition reflects the joint training environment of the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence (JCCoE), part of the U.S. Army Quartermaster School, Combined Arms Support Command.
"The competition is designed to train and improve the overall level of food service professionalism," said Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Russell Campbell, chief, Advanced Food Service Training Division, JCCoE.
Other events at this year's competition included the nutritional hot food challenge, live cooking competitions and demonstrations, cold food displays and live ice carvings.