A Fort Gordon Thanksgiving feast for soldiers doubled as a decorating contest and cook-off Thursday, and the elaborate spreads and dancing turkey of Dining Facility 1 took first prize.
“This is considered the Super Bowl of food service,” said Carlos Keith, installation food program manager for the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon. “One time annually they have an opportunity to really show their skills and ability during Thanksgiving time, and the soldiers benefit.”
Tables overflowed with elaborate concoctions such as a mashed potato and cornbread cake topped with two Cornish hens and huge spreads of candy and fruit at Dining Facility 1, which opened last month.
“All the workers get really hyped up today,” Keith said. “There is great anticipation to see who wins the best decorated competition.”
Starting at 11 a.m. the first of an estimated 8,500 soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen, retirees and family members arrived for the Thanksgiving feast they weren’t having at home.
“This is pretty extraordinary for the Army,” said Pvt. Jose Cavala, who was missing family members in California while attending Advanced Individual Training 25 Sierra to learn satellite communications systems at Fort Gordon. “It’s better than what we usually get.”
Workers with Fort Gordon dining contractor F&B foods had prepared about 1,400 pounds of turkey, 950 pounds of ham, 600 pounds of shrimp, 400 pounds of prime rib and 400 pounds of steamship round to feed the troops.
As the feasting continued, Fort Gordon Commanding General Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison presented Dining Facility 1 with the “Best Decorated Facility” award.