Snapshots: So you think you can cook…

Clarence Metz: Army cook


I admit it. I’m a Top Chef fan.   

Not that I can whip up such amazing creations myself, but I really enjoy seeing how these talented chefs pull off the seemingly impossible in such a limited amount of time. And under some really difficult environments.   

But did you ever see those episodes where the contestants are told they must cook a gourmet meal for 300 people? And even though the serving portion usually ends up being some spoon-sized, artistic dollop on a tiny plate, the contestants usually all have the same freaked-out expression on their faces.   

One meal for 300 people?   

Oh. My. God.   

(Cue the laughter from all those current and ex-military cooks)   

Let’s look at this challenge from a military perspective.   

One meal for 300 people…and all day in which to prepare this single meal??   

Really? Wow, talk about an easy day!   

Considering that military cooks prepare three meals a day for anywhere between 200 and 1,100 soldiers, these professionals know what it takes to move out smartly in a kitchen. And let me clarify that we’re not talking MRE’s here, either. These are professionally trained experts who know that a hot shower and a tasty, hot meal go a long way toward keeping up morale.   

After all, winning a war isn’t just about intelligent weapons and brilliant strategy. Full stomachs and an appreciation for those filling them, also plays a major part.   

Want proof?   

Check out this amazing barbecue served up at Chulmae Air Base in Korea and see if it doesn’t inspire some weekend grilling of your own.   

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