This last week, CwtT was honored to be at the graduation exercise for Vets2Chefs. This program, from the wonderful people at Warrior Gateway, took a group of veterans and put them through a 30-day culinary bootcamp run by Chef David James Robinson at his Bezalel Gables Fine Catering & Events.
The facility is much more than meets the eye. The space you see here is below the main dining room, which can be seen here with Chef David and some of the guests:
The graduation exercise was a dinner prepared for some seventeen food and wine enthusiasts, including some local notables. CwtT was delighted to have two representatives there, as the group of veteran chefs was even more outstanding than the delicious food.
The dinner was developed and prepared by the veteran chefs, who also served the meal. Here’s a shot of them preparing to serve one of the eight courses:
When you say they did everything, we do mean everything including cleaning up as they went:
This is (most) of the first class to go through the culinary bootcamp program
Cooking with the Troops is proud to have provided some encouragement and chef’s kits to this first group in the Vets2Chefs program. You can read more about the event here.
Short bios on the first five:
Kevin S. Kett, U.S. Army and Army National Guard-active. 14-years’ service in the Infantry. Currently resides in Tucson, Arizona and serves in the Florida Army National Guard.
Michael Hardiman, U.S. Army stationed at Fort Drum, New York. Deployed to Iraq in June 2004, deployed again in 2005 and was injured by two roadside bombs in Iraq. Was in the 2nd Battalion 14th Infantry Regiment of 10th Mountain Division. 7 years, 3 months, 19 days active duty.
Nicolette Maroulis, U.S. Navy, explosive device dog handler.
Phillip M. Parker, currently active-duty Air Force served 19 years and planning to retire next year. Stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Originally from San Antonio, Texas. Previously assigned to bases in Germany, Korea, Alaska, Hawaii. Deployed 3 times to Saudi Arabia and twice to Iraq.
Shirley Perezacosta, retired U.S. Air Force, currently living in Pisa, Italy. Has three boys, 19, 17, 13. Deployed 3 times to Kyrgyzstan (hub to Afghanistan), Asia and Europe.