Military Matters: The Battle to Be 'Iron Chef'
For one group of 10th Mountain Division soldiers, "the heat of battle" has taken on new meaning.
It's not just because of the heat in the kitchen - the two-man teams were pitted against each other in the annual North Country Iron Chef Competition.
"They'll prepare two courses. One main course and two side dishes will be prepared for the judges," said DW3 Felipe Cardozo, 10th Mountain Division food advisor.
It sounds straight forward enough, but here's the catch: just like the competitors on the Iron Chef TV show, these chefs have to incorporate certain surprise ingredients into their culinary creations.
"It's a mystery basket type competition where there are two mandatory meats that they must prepare," said Cardozo.
They were given four meat options to chose from:
With an hour to prepare their menus and a full pantry of other ingredients to work with, the sky, and the chefs' creativity, was the limit.
"It will be sort of fun for us to see what we can pull off," said Captain Jennifer Lebron, Guest Culinarians team.
The guest team's dishes included rattlesnake jalepeno poppers, a squab and black bean salad and rabbit and berry cobbler for dessert.
It's a tall order.
Unlike the other teams, the Guest Culinarians do not work in the food service field.
"I'm more acquainted with the microwave than anything else but what I lack in culinary skills and knowledge, I make up for with the desire to fight and win," said SFC Jennifer Williams, Guest Culinarian team
For the first time in the event's three year history, all of the 10th Mountain Division's brigades were able to get in on the action.
Even the 4th Brigade out of Fort Polk, Louisiana had a team in the fight.
The winners were:
1st Place - 1BCT: SPC Maria Sampang and SGT Sean Wroten
2nd Place - 4BCT: SGT Marpue Green and SPC Karmesha Mason