By Wayne Barnett
Special to the Mountaineer
Fort Carson’s Spc. Shawn Hafele took top honors in the cold platter entry by winning best exhibit in show at the 37th annual Military Culinary Arts Competition in Fort Lee, Va., Feb. 29-March 7.
The event featured 340 competitors, 28 teams and 950 entries and showcases the best of the best across the armed forces.
The 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Soldier’s display consisted of cured salmon and crab roulade wrapped in leeks, salmon and scallop terrine with roe in a saffron chaud-froid, crab salad, corn salad, orange sauce and a roasted vegetable terrine.
“I was really shocked I won best of show,” Hafele said. “The way the new competition is set up it’s like running a marathon … I didn’t have a lot of time to pre-prep four platters as I usually would. I didn’t even think I was in the running for it, so I was overwhelmed (when I found out I won).”
Hafele was selected to represent Fort Carson on the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team at the 2012 Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany in October.
“It has always been a dream of mine and I am looking forward for the opportunity to compete,” he said.
Hafele helped lead the Fort Carson team to a sixth place overall finish with a gold and three silver medals. The team brought home a total of 21 medals in various categories.
“I feel our team did a great job, being a young team and going up against more seasoned cooks,” said team leader Sgt. 1st Class Javier Carrasco, 64th BSB, 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.