FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Preparing savory dishes can be a treat of its own, but adding a positive atmosphere and fierce competitors increases the fun of cooking. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently hosted a "Chopped"-style cooking competition at the Culinary School of Fort Worth for WWP Alumni, family support members, and guests. All WWP Alumni who attended received a framed letter from United States Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) thanking them for their service and wishing them luck in the contest.
Attendees were treated to appetizers prepared by the chefs and students of the school, followed by a chef demonstration.
The cooking competition emphasized why veterans are uniquely suited for collaborating and quick thinking under pressure. In teams of four, the competitors had 30 minutes to create dishes that the school's chef instructors would judge in the following categories: "best-tasting," "most creative," "most restaurant-ready," and "most colorful."
National Guard veteran and WWP Alumnus Brittany Waites learned a useful skill. "I learned a better way of cutting an onion, and found that very helpful since onions go in almost everything."
Two teams who won a grand prize for their "best overall dish" received a private dinner prepared by noted chef Timothy Prefontaine at The Fort Worth Club. The grand prizes were presented to winning teams by United States Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Texas), who all attendees had a chance to meet.
Marine Corps veteran and WWP Alumnus Wes Adair, and his wife, appreciated the surprise of finding out they would be competitors—and ultimately one of the two teams to win the grand prize. "We had no idea we would be participating in a competition, but we did!" Wes said. "We were a little nervous, but mostly excited to be a part of what was going to take place."
Jarrod Tallman, Marine Corps veteran and WWP Alumnus, said the unexpected presence of Congresswoman Granger was a highlight. "It was a pleasant surprise to have Kay Granger stop in to present the winners with their awards," he said. "The event was magnificent! My wife and I had a wonderful time, and we appreciate receiving the note from Ted Cruz."
Brittany, Wes, and Jarrod agreed on one of the most important reminders of the event: they are not alone. "WWP is truly an amazing organization that cares about veterans and their families," Wes said. "The organization is truly making a positive impact on injured veterans around this great nation."
Brittany agreed: "Sometimes I fail to realize that we are not alone, so it was great to talk and connect with other WWP Alumni who share similar lifestyles."
Jarrod credits WWP with his motivation to resume an active lifestyle. "I feel empowered to get back in shape and plan to remain healthy for years to come. WWP has gotten me back into biking and the gym three times a week. This has assisted with my recovery from depression, and put me in situations where I can receive help and assist other wounded veterans with like backgrounds."
Currently, WWP is serving more than 100,000 wounded service members, their family members, and caregivers through 20 free programs and services. As part of its mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, two of its programs— Peer Support and WWP Alumni— address the challenges returning veterans face with readjusting to civilian life. Bonding and camaraderie with other wounded veterans through a variety of events and activities is a valuable way for injured service members to make progress at every stage of recovery.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project