Effingham Navy man wins culinary prize

by Tony on April 11, 2014

A native of Effingham serving as a chef in the U.S. Navy is being recognized for his cooking talent.

Culinary Specialist Seaman Jack Amico graduated from Kingswood Regional High School in Wolfeboro in 2012.

Now he’s stationed aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in Virginia.

In March of 2014 he was officially recognized by Adm. William Gortney – Commander, Fleet Forces Command, after winning honorable mention for his entry at the annual Military Culinary Arts Competitive Training event at Fort Lee, Virginia, one of the largest competitions of its kind in North America.

To prepare for the competition Amico spent about three weeks in specialized training and got ideas from his instructors on what he could prepare.

His award-winning entry was Chicken Ballotine, a root vegetable medley, nice creamy mashed potatoes and a red wine pan sauce.

Amico says 80 percent of the competitors were from the U.S. Army. Amico was one of eight cooks from the Navy to enter.

His grandfather served in the Navy and his parents run a truck driving school in Concord.

Amico has already made a deployment and enjoyed visiting some foreign ports, including France, Bahrain, Dubai and Portugal.

The admiral presented him with a special commemorative coin.

Amico says he became a culinary specialist because he already likes to cook and wants to get more training in culinary arts.