Culinary students were given several MREs, the prepared meals soldiers typically eat, to create a new dish. The 2,000-calorie packs are meant to keep troops fed in the field, but are not known for their culinary excellence. It was a challenge for the students to come up with something interesting and tasty.
Three teams of high school students from the area participated and were supervised by their instructors and two New York Army National Guardsmen. Their creations were critiqued by a panel of four judges, which included (seated in photo left to right): Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo; Stewart's Shops Regional Manager Mike Hartshorn; Emil Baker, the Employer Outreach Director for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve; and Prime at Saratoga National Golf Course Executive Chef Brandon Johnson.
Team Saucy Stars and Stripes was chosen as the winner. Their MREs were Chili Mac and beef taco which they turned into a version of a crunch wrap supreme. Team Junior Dogs placed second making a delicious dessert of pop tarts served with a whipped cream and the cocoa protein powder from their MRE. All three teams made excellent dishes. The judges were impressed with how the students were able to elevate the MRE into gourmet meals.