Famous Chef Salutes the Military for July Fourth

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2007 - Famous television Chef Emeril Lagasse will salute the military with two programs showcasing recipes created by the men and women who keep the troops fed and happy.

"Emeril's Army-Navy Contest" will air on the Food Network tomorrow at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. "Emeril's Military Contest" will air the following evening at the same time. The six winners, representing each of the five branches of the military, were selected from entries in "Emeril's Military Recipe Contest."

"These folks are the real heroes," Lagasse said of the servicemembers. "You just can't understate the importance of what they do day in and day out in terms of morale. As (you'll) see from the winning recipes, the food they're turning out is pretty extraordinary.

"What better way to head into the July 4th holiday than to take these opportunities to pay tribute to our (servicemembers) for all that they, and their families, are doing for us?" he added.

>From their seats of honor at the chef's table, the winners will get to chat with Lagasse while he cooks their dishes, which of course, he'll "kick up a notch." He also takes the opportunity to share some of their culinary inspirations and personal stories with viewers at home.

"We had envisioned one special, but there were so many great recipes and stories that we expanded it so we could give them their due," said Karen Katz, executive producer of "Emeril Live."

"Emeril and the show have long had a special relationship with the military ... but even so, we were surprised at the response to the military recipe contest and delighted with the depth of talent we discovered."

"Emeril's Army-Navy Cook-off" features Lagasse cooking the winning recipes from both Army and Navy food specialists, and the U.S. Army Field Band Brass Quintet performs in the studio.

Featured in this episode with their winning recipes are:

-- Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Travis Smith, Headquarters 19th Expeditionary Sustained Command, South Korea, with his Fire Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Cilantro Cream and Grilled Cajun Catfish;

-- Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph Chiarelli, a culinary specialist aboard the USS Tarawa stationed in San Diego with his Cedar Plank Salmon Parmesan with Asian Reduction Sauce over Julienned Vegetables; and

-- Army National Guard Spc. Andrew Ruga, 222nd Transportation Company, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, and his winning recipe for Pecan Crusted Chicken over Field Greens with Caramel Citrus Vinaigrette.

"Emeril's Military Contest," which premieres June 30, features Lagasse cooking the best recipes submitted by airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines. They are joined in the studio by the U.S. Army Blues Ensemble Swamp Romp for the hour-long special featuring the winning recipes of:

-- Air Force Tech. Sgt. Wesley Williams, dining facility manager at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., who won for his Rainbow Fruit Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Fried Cheddar Grits and a Blueberry Coulis;

-- Marine Col. Stewart Navarre, Marine Corps Installations West, Camp Pendleton, Calif., who won with his recipe for Combat Steak; and

-- Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Stacey Russell, stationed at Sector Long Island Sound, New Haven, Conn., who served up her recipe for pumpkin pie.

(From a Food Network news release.)

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