Jeff Tech Culinary Arts students take the MRE Challange

(L-R); Chef Jaclyn Steele, Staff Sgt. Jose Longoria, and Cpl. Sabbatha Forcey.

MRE. Meal Ready to Eat. It’s what our military personnel use out in the field when they get hungry. It’s easy to prepare and provides protein and other essentials, but they may not be the best when it comes to taste. That’s where the MRE Challenge comes in.

Students in the Jeff tech Culinary Arts program participated in the challenge on February 21. Their mission was to take a regular MRE and turn it into a gourmet meal. The challenge came from Staff Sergeant Jose Longoria, the local Army recruiter, who approached Jeff Tech Administrator Dr. Barry Fillman with the idea.

During the challenge, Staff Sgt. Longoria got to taste the creations.

“It’s really impressive,” he said.

Chef Jaclyn Steele, the Culinary Arts instructor at Jeff Tech, said the students were doing four courses, a drink, an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert.

“They have to use the MRE in one of the courses,” she said.

The students had a practice day before diving into the challenge, Steele said, which boosted their confidence.

They did get a surprise while preparing their meals. Chef Steele found a bag of Skittles in one of the MREs, which meant the students had to find a way to include them.

Staff Sgt. Longoria said he felt the students may be on to something.

“I have an assistant with me (Corporal Sabbatha Forcey) who’s involved with a unit that goes out into the field,” he said. “She’s actually taking some notes and some ideas to go ahead and take back to the unit.

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