It was a dining experience like no other as top military chefs from across the Armed Forces created a five-Star, five-course meal for military guests January 17th at the USO Warrior & Family Center at Fort Belvoir.
Executive chefs representing the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and Space Force designed inspiring dishes that showcased their culinary expertise and creativity. As the sun set on Fort Belvoir, the USO’s state of the art kitchen transformed into a five-star restaurant where the chefs prepped and cooked culinary works of art. Guests were able to experience the culinary process first-hand, while learning about military chef life as each course was beautifully plated and served right in front of them.
Now in its seventh iteration, USO Chef’s Table allows culinary specialists to express their artistry in a fun and collaborative environment. “All of us work these jobs on a regular basis, but we don’t all get to work together,” said one of the program’s creator and host, CSC Scott Jeffries. “When you get this many talented people under one roof… it’s pretty unique.”
For military guests, the program provides the chance to experience world-class fine dining without the DC price tag. “What the USO does on a daily basis is so important,” said Colonel William C. Bentley III, and the Chef’s Table is “a great opportunity to say thanks and do something special” for our servicemembers. The event, which happens quarterly, is open to all active duty in the National Capital District through a highly-competitive lottery system.
As the USO continues to evolve its offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of the modern military, the USO Chef’s Table represents a growing trend of creative engagement. “Our mission is to serve every day. When we can give a service member an experience they don’t have the opportunity or resources for, it’s extra special. This night puts service members and their special guest in front of the military’s elite chefs, to be treated like the VPs they are,” said Lisa Marie Riggins, USO Southeast Regional President, and Executive Director of USO NCD.
The USO Chef’s Table Experience will return this spring to Fort Belvoir. Stay up to date on this, and tons of other exciting USO events and offerings, by following @USOMetroDC on all social medias and through the USO App on iOS and Android.
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