Navy Chef Competition
In May, a friendly culinary showdown between Russian and American navy chefs in Vladivostok, Russia, provided the setting as a number of local restaurant chefs, food industry leaders and media in this eastern Russian port city were exposed to high-quality cuts of U.S. pork and beef.
The crew of the USS Blue Ridge arrived in Vladivostok, Russia, for the festivities marking the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. This was the 7th Fleet’s flagship’s sixth visit to Vladivostok, which is the main base of the Russian navy’s Pacific Fleet. Along with their Russian counterparts, U.S. crew members paid tribute to the memory of World War II veterans and the American and Soviet soldiers who were killed in the war.
The visit featured many cultural and sporting events, including a USMEF-sponsored cooking competition matching U.S. and Russian navy chefs. Five pairs of chefs participated, with one U.S. chef and one Russian chef competing on each team. While the competition was friendly, the teams’ cooking skills were well-tested - with each having only 15 minutes to prepare culinary masterpieces featuring U.S. beef and pork. Judges included several U.S. and Russian navy officers, U.S. Consulate Officer Dan Sweet, Tatyana Kalenik, director of the Institute of Food Technologies and Commodity Science, and Roman Ivanischev, general director of Russia’s Anons Restaurant Agency and president of the Far Eastern Restaurateur and Hotelier Association.
Support for the competition, which was held at Fabrica, a well-known Vladivostok restaurant, was provided by the Beef Checkoff and Pork Checkoff Programs and the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP).