Culinary Arts Program
The Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training Event (MCACTE) promotes growth in the culinary profession with special attention to the tenets of modern culinary development-ability, practicality, nutrition, workmanship, economy, presentation, creativity, and concept. The training event provides an opportunity to raise culinary excellence and professionalism. It recognizes individual and team efforts, while providing incentives and recognition in the form of certificates, medals, trophies and continuing education hours’ credit that may be used toward credentialing.
The MCACTE at Fort Lee is the largest military culinary competition in the North America. Since 1973, the competition has been held each year with the exception of 1991 and 2003, during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The competition is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation and showcases the talents of military chefs from around the globe in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
In 2008, the Army Chef of the Year competition was changed to the Armed Forces Chef of the Year and chefs from all branches of service became eligible to compete for this highly coveted award.
In 2009, The Army Center of Excellence, Subsistence officially became the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, further integrating chefs and culinarians from each branch.
In 2013 the event’s name changed to MCACTE, the Installation of the Year changed to Culinary Team of the Year and Field Kitchen competition became the Military Hot Food Kitchen competition.
The MCACTE continues to focus on the Student chef – our future. Live cooking events and static food displays continue to set the stage for daily public viewing at the Fort Lee Field House (B6008). The current format mirrors the structure of the World Culinary Olympics held every four years in Erfurt, Germany. This annual event has it all; ice sculptures, pastries, seafood, wild game and amazing centerpieces made of all edible items. From aiolis to zabaglione, it can all be seen during the annual MCACTE. We look forward to seeing these young military chefs in action. Everyone is encouraged to see the various teams of military chefs fully engaged in competitive training during the 2015 event.
U. S. Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT) :
The U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT) is the U.S. National Military Culinary Team, which is part of Team USA, sanctioned by the ACF. USACAT competes at local, national, and international culinary competitions, as well as provides training and conducts demonstrations all over the country. The Commanding General, USAQMS appoints the team manager and members. As of 2008, the USACAT is open to all branches of service, with one slot available per branch.
The purpose of USACAT competitions is to offer the military chef an opportunity to sharpen and broaden his or her cooking skills. USACAT members are obligated to share knowledge with whoever wishes to learn. This ultimately benefits the military diners in troop dining facilities in garrison and on the battlefield.
Advanced Food Service Training Division Contact Information:
AFSTD Chief: (804) 734-3274 / DSN: 687-3274
- AFSTD NCOIC: (804) 734-3103 / DSN: 687-3103
- AFSTD Admin: (804) 734-3106 /DSN: 687-3106
Last updated on:
September 11, 2014