Certified Master Chef Steve Jilleba, corporate executive chef for Unilvever Foodsolutions in Lisle, Illinois, and American Culinary Federation (ACF) Culinary Team USA manager, announced that U.S. Army Master Sgt. Mark Morgan was named pastry chef for the internationally acclaimed culinary competition team, ACF Culinary Team USA.
“Mark brings a vast amount of experience in international culinary competition to the team and will be a huge asset,” Jilleba says. “We are proud to welcome him as we get ready to compete in November at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg.”
Morgan, a recipient of the bronze service medal, is chef and senior enlisted aide to General Martin E. Dempsey of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe, Virginia, and is an avid culinary competitor. Following in his father’s footsteps, he has served on the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT) since 1997 as a pastry chef and advisor. The team won gold and silver medals at the 1998 Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg; was named world champions in the military category at the 2000 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA), or “culinary Olympics,” in Erfurt, Germany, in 2000; and earned a gold medal in hot food and cold food, placing second overall, at the 2008 IKA. In addition, Morgan was the 2000 Army Chef of the Year and has earned numerous gold, silver, and bronze medals in ACF-sanctioned competitions, as well as five best in show.
Morgan joined the Army in June 1994. He attended basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and advanced individual training at Fort Lee, Virginia. He graduated from the U.S. Army Airborne, Ranger Indoctrination Program, Jumpmaster and Pathfinder schools at Fort Benning, Georgia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. His assignments have taken him across the U.S., and he has been deployed several times to Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.
MSG Morgan joins six other chefs on the team and replaces Andrew Chlebana, who withdrew in August. They are: Timothy Bucci of Oak Forest, Illinois, associate professor at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois and member of ACF Louis Joliet Chapter; Ben Grupe of St. Louis, sous chef at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis and member of ACF National Chapter; Joseph Leonardi of Johnston, Rhode Island, executive chef at Somerset Club in Boston, member of ACF Rhode Island Chapter and ACF Culinary Team USA Captain; Timothy Prefontaine of Fort Worth, Texas, executive chef at The Fort Worth Club and member of ACF National Chapter; Kevin Storm of Ballwin, Missouri, executive chef at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis and member of Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.; and Eddie Tancredi of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, sous chef at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs and member of ACF Columbus Chapter.
The team’s first international culinary competition is November 20-24 at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg. Members will train individually and as a group to hone their cooking skills and perfect their techniques. Team practices will take place at the following Johnson & Wales University campuses: September 18-22 in Providence, Rhode Island; Oct. 4-8 in Charlotte, North Carolina; and October 20-22 in Miami.
Sponsors of ACF Culinary Team USA are Chef Revival, Johnson & Wales University, Unilever Foodsolutions, McCain Foods, Sara Lee Foodservice, Villeroy & Boch, ACF Philadelphia Chapter, ACF South Bend Chefs and Cooks Association, and YoCream International, Inc.