On Saturday (November 12, 2016), Tropicana Las Vegas teamed up with the Military Hospitality Alliance to host the 13th annual Military Culinary Competition. The culinary event made its debut in Las Vegas this Veterans Day weekend and was hosted by Tropicana Las Vegas’ newest chef, Robert Irvine.
(Pictured above) This year, the U.S. Army Reserve was crowned the Armed Forces Culinary Grand Champions 2016.
“It was an honor to see the top culinary talent among the military branches come together in celebration of Veterans Day weekend,” said Irvine. “For the military, food is foremost in our thoughts and it’s important for these military chefs to continue to thrive in their careers. The Military Culinary Competition is a great way for the chefs to come together, have fun, and also promote an active lifestyle to keep our men and women healthy.”
Over 30 active duty military from across the world faced off during the ultimate food fight for the title of Armed Forces Culinary Grand Champions. The military chefs worked in eight teams of four, bringing together military members from all branches of the Armed Forces during this hand-to-pan competition.
During the tournament-style competition, each team was tasked with making four plates – appetizer, soup or salad, entrée plate, and dessert – from a basket of mystery ingredients over three rounds, with a limited amount of time. Each dish was then judged based on preparation, presentation, flavor and originality. Executive Chefs from Tropicana Las Vegas and M Resort, as well as Presidents of the American Culinary Federation chapters, judged the event.
The names of all winners at 13th annual Military Culinary Competition are as follows:
First Place: U.S. Army Reserve
Aqueelah James; Joseph Parker; Jeffrey Vaun; Colby Beard
Received $1,000 each
Second Place: Navy Southwest Region
Received $500 each
Third Place: Las Vegas Veterans
Received $250 each
“Congratulations to all of the winners,” said Aaron Rosenthal, General Manager of Tropicana Las Vegas. “It was an absolute honor to host the annual Military Culinary Competition here in Las Vegas, and we look forward to showcasing the spectacular talent of these young military chefs for years to come.”
To complement the culinary competition, Chef Robert Irvine hosted a special meet and greet. Irvine mix and mingled with guests, active military chef competitors, and the cast members of Tropicana Las Vegas’ newest show, Band of Magicians.