Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Robert Shulman enters chef contest

By Northwest Military News Team on May 16, 2013

Organizers of Alaska Air Cargo's annual "Copper Chef Cook-off" have announced the contestants in this year's chef competition.

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OK, only one to us. Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Robert Shulman, a 31-year Airman and chef, will represent Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 446th Airlift Wing during the chef competition at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow at Seatac Airport.

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That's right, 6:30 a.m. It's a yearly tradition for Alaska Airlines to fly in the first Copper River Salmon of the season - Alaska's premier wild salmon - touching down before the sun comes up, then forcing the area's best chefs to cook the fish in a competitive atmosphere.

Let's read an excerpt of a press release from the 446th Airlift Wing PAO:

Shulman, a Portland resident, will compete against three of Seattle's finest chefs to see who will create the best salmon recipe. The chefs will have 30 minutes to prepare and serve the first catch of the season to a panel of judges, including Jay Buhner, Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer; Mike Fourtner, deckhand on the F/V Time Bandit, as featured on Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch; Chief Master Sgt. Tony Mack, 446th AW command chief from JBLM; and Jeff Butler, Alaska Airlines' vice president of customer service-airports and cargo.

"This event helps showcase the proud relationship the Air Force Reserve has with Alaska Airlines and hundreds of other employers and industry leaders here in Washington," Mack, Shulman's command chief said. "Chef is only one of hundreds of vocations in the Reserve, and allowing one of our finest to compete is a testament to the relationships we have within the community."

In a special tribute to the military, Alaska has invited 10 of the 446th AW's Citizen Airmen to join in cheering on the chefs and enjoying the season's first Copper River salmon.

Through Alaska Airlines partnership with Fisher House, Alaska donates air miles to assist U.S. service members injured and wounded due to their service to their country.