Active Duty Army Ranger Named #3 Pastry Chef in World

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The World Association of Chefs has named Master Sergeant Mark Morgan of the U.S. Army Rangers as one of the three best pastry chefs in the world, as reported in the local newspaper of Fort Monroe, Virginia, where Morgan is based. He earned the distinction at the recent Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg, where he represented the U.S. culinary team and won two gold medals.

Morgan has also been honored in his day job as an Army Ranger. At some point during his six tours of duty--two in Iraq and four in Afghanistan--he was awarded the bronze star. He is currently the aide to General Martin Dempsey, who runs the Army Training and Doctrine Command, also known as TRADOC, at Fort Monroe. The local paper describes his prize-winning desserts:

His peanut butter ganache earned him third place among 55 pastry chefs. Morgan also prepared four desserts, which together, were called “Pumpkin and Spice”. They included a spiced pumpkin custard; walnut cake inside a coconut blossom; red currant compote; and a cinnamon beignet on poached pumpkin petals, a trio of cranberry, and honey, yogurt and pumpkin sorbet with a pumpkin-thyme essence.

If that's not impressive enough for you, Morgan was actually an alternate for the U.S. culinary team. He didn't know he would be competing until the regular pastry chef dropped out two months before the Luxembourg World Cup. The U.S. Army is not know for its loose "take a few weeks off to go follow your dreams" policies, but Morgan somehow found time to practice. "I'm not as good as I used to be – it’s been 10 years," he said. Those would be the 10 years when he was fighting in two wars.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.