At ease! Join the fun – CalVet’s 7th Annual MRE Cooking Challenge at the State Fair is Tomorrow

Don’t forget CalVet’s 7th Annual MRE Cooking Challenge Thursday, July 18, at the California State Fair! Come watch top area chefs and members of the military test their skills as they transform Meal-Ready-to-Eat military field rations into tantalizing triumphs.

The event, a highlight of the State Fair’s Military and Veteran Appreciation Day, begins at noon in Cal Expos Cooking Theater, California Building B. Whet your appetite for the upcoming cooking challenge, with the introductions of the veterans and celebrity chefs, a brief culinary history of the MRE, and hosted trivia session. You can also meet with the participants and sample bites from an MRE, getting a taste of what our military men and women dine on in the field.

Participants in the 2018 Challenge face off.
Participants in the 2018 Challenge face off.

At 3 p.m., Deborah Hoffman of CalVet will be the colorful analyst during the second course. Chefs will vie for three randomly chosen MREs placed in the pantry, or whatever remains. Using their culinary skills and available ingredients, the Meal-Ready-to-Eat will become edible artworks.

The main course begins at 6 p.m., hosted by V101 radio personality Big Al Sams. The veterans and chefs will team up to complete their mission: To turn MREs into appealing and tasty meals, using their skills and available ingredients. Judges will pick the winner based upon taste, presentation, skill, and showmanship. Celebrity chefs include Bryce Palmer of Mulvaney’s, Jon Clemons of The Porch, and Aaron Anderson of Purple Pig Eats. Palmer also is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

The crème de la crème will be revealed at the awards ceremony, which begins at 7:15 p.m. u

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