In the first event of its kind, the IDF (Zahal)’s Gaza Division hosted a cooking competition between various battalions located near the Gaza Strip last Monday (May 27). Over the course of the day, seven battalions participated in challenges focusing on particular cooking styles, redefining boundaries of the IDF (Zahal)’s food preparations.

The jury consisted of four professional chefs who judged the meals with high standards. The IDF (Zahal)’s Logistics Division officer, Lt. Col. Avi Motola, and other brigade commanders and officers were also in attendance, impressed by the chefs’ skills.

The participating chefs displayed their dishes – Moroccan, Persian, Indian, and Mediterranean delicacies – in seven cooking stations. They were judged both on the quality of the food and on the look and design of their work.

What’s Cooking? IDF Chefs Face Off

May 27th, 2013: The IDF (Zahal)’s first ever culinary competition in the Gaza Division

“The display is an important component because it adds authenticity,” said the Division’s Supply Officer, Maj. Emil Azran. “What the competitors have done is simply amazing.”

The competition’s winner was the Nesher Battalion, whose chefs prepared Mediterranean dishes.

“Mediterranean cuisine is very diverse and characteristic of the diversity within the IDF (Zahal),” explained the Nesher Battalion’s Station Manager, Warrant Officer Haim Nachmani. “We built the menu in advance and prepared significantly for this day. Our winning meal was a meat platter sauteed with grapes and cherries, served along with a salad and a combination of sides.”

What’s Cooking? IDF Chefs Face Off

May 27th, 2013: IDF (Zahal) soldier assists with food preparation for his station

Lt. Col. Motola, who initiated the competition, emphasized the multi-cultural aspect of the event. “I personally enjoy cooking and decided it would be a good idea to publicly show the combination of cultures, as well as raising awareness to the quality of food in the IDF (Zahal),” he said.