On March 6, Chef Mike Herbert and seven culinary students from NOVA’s Annandale Campus traveled to Fort Lee in Petersburg, Virginia, for the 42nd Annual Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event.
While there, the students observed many displays which included chocolate work, tallow (wax), aspic, pulled sugar, pastillage and gum paste. NOVA students were able to see how the contestants used color, contrast and flow in their presentations, and took away many good ideas for their works. The group also observed a market basket competition among many of the military culinary teams. A panel of chefs observe and judge the teams on how well they organize and execute their presentation, as well as sanitation, taste and creativity.
The students ate lunch prepared by the Fort Campbell Culinary Team. For only $5.55, the students enjoyed a first course of grits cake with shrimp, micro greens with orange vinaigrette, citrus beurre blanc, parsley chive oil, jicama and green apple relish. The second course featured veal loin topped with herbed mousseline, braised en croute, potato dauphinoise, butternut squash puree, pea puree, braised pearl onion, basil compressed tomato w/an apple whiskey reduction sauce. To round out the meal, dessert featured chocolate mousse, bourbon genoa over a feuilletine, vodka macerated fruit and classic vanilla bean ice cream on a bed of candied pecans w/a strawberry coulis. To state everyone enjoyed their meal, especially at that price, is an understatement.
Those who attended agreed it was a truly worthwhile experience and garnered a number of good ideas for their own presentation.