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National Restaurant Association - Industry celebrates military men and women

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Industry celebrates military men and women

Enhancing culinary techniques were just part of the weeklong event.

Servicemen and women from all branches of the military met recently at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus for a weeklong forum to enhance their cooking skills.

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation hosted the 2017 Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence, July 31 to Aug 4. It featured interactive tasting seminars, instruction on creating healthful but flavorful menu items and making the most of leftovers, among other things. CIA instructors taught all of the classes at the forum, which was attended by more than 40 active service members.

NRA chairman Jeff Davis, second from right, advised the servicemen and women on pursuing industry careers.

This year’s forum, on the CIA’s Greystone campus in St. Helena, Calif., marked the restaurant industry’s 61st year of support of the armed forces. NRA chairman Jeff Davis participated in this year’s CEO panel. Davis, the chairman and CEO of Oklahoma-based United States Beef Corp., the largest franchisee of Arby’s Restaurant Group and an owner-operator of six Taco Bueno restaurants in northwest Arkansas, told attendees he always looks for dedicated people who work hard when hiring potential employees.

U.S. Navy servicemen and women get ready for the day's events at the forum for excellence.

Rob Gifford, the educational foundation’s executive vice president, said the forum is a great way of preparing military men and women for their civilian careers after they transition out of service.

“Each year, we look forward to hosting these men and women who devote their lives to serving us,” he said. “This forum provides the opportunity to learn from the best and eventually prepare themselves for meaningful careers in the industry.”

Servicemen put finishing touches on a dish during a culinary session at the forum.

More than 250,000 servicemen and women will separate from active duty each year for the next five years. At the same time, the restaurant and foodservice industry expects to create more than 800,000 new jobs. In addition to the forum, our educational foundation offers training and support to military foodservice personnel through various training programs and a virtual career fair.

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