By Sr. Airman Abbigayle Williams
Things heated up during a friendly cooking competition at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, the first stop of the 2019 USO Celebrity Chef Tour, featuring David Viana, Kevin Scharpf and Justin Sutherland.
The chef trio—who were all contestants on season 16 of Bravo’s “Top Chef"—are traveling across the U.S. on a USO tour to boost morale at various military installations, meeting with service members and holding cooking competitions.
At the F.E. Warren AFB cooking competition, teams (which consisted of five airmen and one celebrity chef) had one hour to prepare a dish using a surprise ingredient: lamb.
Each team had to create one six-serving dish, featuring the surprise ingredient, with no formal recipe. After the hour was up, all of the dishes were ranked by five judges on texture and doneness, taste and tenderness, creativity and originality, and portion and nutrition balance. The scores were tallied together for a final total.
In addition to boosting morale, Col. Carolyn Ammons, 90th Mission Support Group commander, said having the chefs here was extremely educational for the airmen.
“This is good practice for when they deploy,” Ammons said. “It develops new skills and techniques before they go out and essentially run a whole kitchen in a missile field.”
Each team received glowing reviews from each of the judges, but only one team could win: Chef Kevin Scharf’s team, which featured Sr. Airman Angela Bolanos, Sr. Airman Tejah Ellis, Airman 1st Class Jonathan Cunningham, Airman Jasmine Moore and Airman Sharon Zayzay.
The winning team’s dish was orecchiette pasta and lamb stew.
-This story originally appeared on DVIDS.net. It has been edited for USO.org
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