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National Restaurant Association - Promoting military foodservice careers

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Promoting military foodservice careers

Earlier this month, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation brought together military servicemen and women to celebrate their commitment to serving our country and our industry. This year’s Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence was an inspiring and educational event at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus in St. Helena, California.

This year’s forum attendees gather at the CIA’s Greystone campus for a group shot

Now in its 11th year, the weeklong event gave service members an opportunity to show off and hone their culinary skills, compete to create healthy menu options and receive accolades for their service. This year’s forum marked the 61st year of our industry’s commitment to, and partnership with, the armed forces. The forum is one of many ways our Educational Foundation promotes the industry’s good work.

Senior Airman Alexander Garrison salutes as he receives one of two Art Myers Awards of Excellence 

At the forum, CIA instructors led seminars and educational programs for more than 40 culinary specialists from all branches of the military. Attendees participated in interactive tasting seminars, learned cooking tips and heard from instructors about a range of culinary topics.

NRA Chairman Jeff Davis speaks at the CEO panel

Several NRA and NRAEF board members also attended. NRAEF Chairman Greg Hamer, NRA Chairman Jeff Davis and board member Roz Mallet participated in a CEO mentoring panel. Board members Glenn Brady, Ted Burke, and Pete Mihajlov joined Hamer, Davis and military leadership for an appreciation dinner at the magnificent Trinchero Family Estates in Napa Valley. Sodexo was the “Quality of Life” sponsor.

NRAEF Chairman Greg Hamer addresses the crowd at the appreciation dinner

With more than 250,000 veterans working in our industry, the Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence is just one example of how the Educational Foundation provides training and support to military foodservice personnel. It also conducts virtual career fairs, Military Foodservice Awards and other programs.

Want to learn more about the event? We received coverage from Task and Purpose, a news and culture website aimed at the next generation of American veterans, which also ran a behind-the-scenes live Facebook video.

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