Mighty Ninety Airman returns from Joint Culinary Training Exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman Andrew Poynter
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

Airman Christian Graham, 90th Force Support Squadron Food Services, completed the Joint Culinary Training Exercise at Fort Gregg-Adams, Virginia, Mar. 10, 2024.

Graham was chosen to participate in the event after he engaged in a chef competition at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. While there, several enlisted aides observed him competing and  recommended him for the JCTE, where he would go on to become one of the members of the student team. Their assignment at the exercise was to create a four course, six plate meal within 90 minutes.

“I never thought, joining the Air Force, that I would be able to do something like this,” said Graham. “To be able to participate in these cooking events as part of my job is amazing.”

The JCTE is the largest military culinary competition in the country,  held annually since 1973, except for the years of 1991, 2003 and 2021, during Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively. It is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation, with the purpose of showcasing the talents of military chefs from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. This year marks the 48th JCTE, but despite the event’s long history, this is only the third year in which an Air Force team has participated.

Graham said that his passion for cooking comes from his experiences cooking with his father, and this ultimately led to his decision to join the Air Force as a member of the food services career field.

The student team won a bronze medal at the event.  After his performance at the JCTE, Graham’s leadership will recommend him to be the leader of the student team at the next year’s JCTE.