Warbirds win Warrior Chef Challenge

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --  Airman 1st Class Ernest Gaines, Senior Airman Andres Flores, and Senior Airman Courteney Jones, all chefs from the 91st Operations Group, prepare their pistachio and couscous desert during the 2009 Warrior Chef Challenge here, March 5. The Warrior Chef Challenge is a competition where two teams battle head-to-head and see who can prepare the best meal without knowing the actual ingredients. This has been the first year that the 5th Bomb Wing has participated in the challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joe Rivera)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Airman 1st Class Ernest Gaines, Senior Airman Andrea Flores, and Senior Airman Courteney Jones, all chefs from the 91st Operations Group, prepare their pistachio and couscous desert during the 2009 Warrior Chef Challenge here, March 5. The Warrior Chef Challenge is a competition where two teams battle head-to-head and see who can prepare the best meal without knowing the actual ingredients. This has been the first year that the 5th Bomb Wing has participated in the challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joe Rivera)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --  Senior Airman Natasha Mathews, Airman 1st Class Qushondra Owens, and Staff Sgt. Cory Upshaw, Chefs from the 5th Force Support Squadron, dress their pistachio chocolate puddings during the 2009 Warrior Chef Challenge here, March 5. The Warrior Chef Challenge is a competition where two teams battle head-to-head and see who can prepare the best meal without knowing the actual ingredients. This has been the first year that the 5th Bomb Wing has participated in the challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joe Rivera)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Senior Airman Natasha Mathews, Airman 1st Class Qushondra Owens, and Staff Sgt. Cory Upshaw, Chefs from the 5th Force Support Squadron, dress their pistachio chocolate puddings during the 2009 Warrior Chef Challenge here, March 5. The Warrior Chef Challenge is a competition where two teams battle head-to-head and see who can prepare the best meal without knowing the actual ingredients. This has been the first year that the 5th Bomb Wing has participated in the challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joe Rivera)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --  This shish kabob meal was prepared by head Chef Staff Sgt. Cory Upshaw and his team during the 2009 Warrior Chef Challenge here, March 5. This winning meal in the 2009 Warrior Challenge allowed the 5th Bomb Wing to take home the trophy during challenge. The Warrior Chef Challenge is a competition where 2 teams battle head-to-head and see who can prepare the best meal without knowing the actual ingredients. This has been the first year that the 5th Bomb Wing has participated in the challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joe Rivera)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- This shish kabob meal was prepared by head Chef Staff Sgt. Cory Upshaw and his team during the 2009 Warrior Chef Challenge here, March 5. This winning meal in the 2009 Warrior Challenge allowed the 5th Bomb Wing to take home the trophy during challenge. The Warrior Chef Challenge is a competition where 2 teams battle head-to-head and see who can prepare the best meal without knowing the actual ingredients. This has been the first year that the 5th Bomb Wing has participated in the challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joe Rivera)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Two teams of three from Minot Air Force Base came together for a "Warrior Chef," competition Thursday, March 5, 2009. The 5th Bomb Wing team won against the 91st Missile Wing when the three-member panel of commander judges rated their beef and vegetable shish kabobs, "a pleasure to not only the eye, but the palette as well," said Col. Robert Walker, 91st Missile Wing Operations Group commander. 

Members of the winning team were from the 5th Force Support Squadron. Members were Senior Airman Natasha Mathews, Airman 1st Class Qushondra Owens, and Staff Sgt. Cory Upshaw. 

The judges were Col. Christopher B. Ayres, 91st MW commander, Col. Parker W. Northrup III, 5th BW Operations Group commander, and Colonel Walker. Each evaluated both entrees and desserts, and then tallied the final score giving the 5th BW the night's trophy. 

The competition was held at the Dakota Inn dining facility here the evening of March 5.
The 91st MW had conducted the "Iron Chef" competition in the past (with only its own units), but this was the first year both wings competed against the other for a culinary credential. 

It appears this may become an annual trend. 

The chefs from the 91st Operations Group were Airman 1st Class Ernest Gaines, Senior Airman Andrea Flores, and Senior Airman Courteney Jones. 

The chefs were selected based on their displayed competence in the kitchen and their perceived adeptness in handling cooking challenges. They have all had experience as military chefs. 

Below are the winning recipes from the competition. The shish kabob meal was the winning entrée, and pistachio pudding was the winning dessert, both prepared by head-chef Staff Sgt. Cory Upshaw and his team. 

Beef and Vegetable Shish Kabobs
For a service of 10:
3-4 lbs of beef tenderloin
2 cups of fresh baby carrots
2 large yellow bell peppers
1-2 lbs of fresh mushrooms
Garlic salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning
Skewers (wood or metal)
Hot sauce and parsley for added flavor and color
Directions:
Cut the beef into one-inch squares and season with garlic salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning. Sauté until evenly brown and cooked to desired wellness.
Slice carrots length-wise, and then in half. Cut the yellow bell peppers into strips and slice to one-inch size. Remove the stalk of the mushrooms and cut the caps in half.
Alternating between the beef and the vegetables, carefully place each selection on a skewer. Fill skewer with a 2-3 series of all items, and garnish with hot sauce and chopped parsley. 

Pistachio Pudding Confection
Prepare pistachio pudding according to package directions. Place servings of pudding on each serving plate, and drizzle with chocolate syrup and honey. Sprinkle with dried oatmeal and dried couscous. Serve.
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