While you may not see roasted lamb with risotto or caramelized onion and parsnip soup on your next deployment, that’s what Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SS) Derrick Davenport whipped up to win two gold medals at the Military Culinary Arts Competition.
The competition, which took place March 6 to 15 at Fort Lee, Va., pitted active duty service members from all branches, DoD civilians, Army reservists and National Guardsmen against each other, a Navy release said.
Davenport won gold for chef of the year March 5, achieving a career-long goal.
“I felt like it was four years of preparation,” Davenport said in the release. “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.”
He took home another first place title in the international category the next day, where he worked with Army Sgt. Sarah Deckert to beat military chefs from Germany, Canada and France, an Army release said. All chefs were given mystery ingredients — rack of lamb, pheasant, red snapper, scallops, various fruits and vegetables, and rice — to create a four-course meal in only four hours.
Davenport, who works for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, enlisted in the Navy in October 2000.
This year marked the 38th Military Culinary Arts Competition.
“The competition is designed to train and improve the overall level of food service professionalism,” said Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Russell Campbell, chief of Advanced Food Service Training Division at the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence.