YOKOSUKA, Japan – Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Jerome Feliciano was awarded the Master Chefs Diploma of Culinary Excellence by the World Master Chefs Society, July 10 at Fleet Activities Yokosuka.
The World Master Chefs Society is a distinguished professional association of 25 international chapters. The membership is exclusive boasting only 350 World Master Chefs from countries all over the world including Japan, Belgium, Turkey, India and the United States. Potential members go through a rigorous selection process before induction. To qualify, a chef must be an Executive Chef and demonstrate extensive knowledge of the catering and hospitality industry.
Feliciano is the fifth active duty enlisted service member to receive this honor in the history of Department of Defense. He established excellence in the culinary industry through competition, civilian culinary recognition, and culinary education. Feliciano demonstrated all three while serving in the U.S. Navy.
“I attribute all my success to the Navy,” said Feliciano. “This is an honor and a privilege.”
Feliciano is currently serving as enlisted aide to Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet. Prior to his current service to Sawyer, all of Feliciano’s duty stations served outside the continental United States with five of eight tours in Japan. Feliciano also served as enlisted aide to Vice Adm. Howard, Naval Forces Europe. Other tours include Naples, Italy and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
In 2015, during Exercise Joint Caterer at the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom, Feliciano led his team to earn bronze medals in catering against 30 chefs.
“He’s an educator; he made sure other chefs got certified; he stepped into the role of being a Master Chef.” said Chief Culinary Specialist Sean Zugsmith, World Master Chefs Society member. “All [Feliciano] did today was get recognized for it.”
Feliciano took it upon himself to learn the various aspects of the restaurant and food service industry. While serving, he graduated from Virginia Advance Culinary School in September 2012 and became a certified American Culinary Federation Executive Chef.
“There’s no elevator to the top,” said Feliciano while addressing junior culinary specialists during his final remarks. “Use all the resources the Navy has to offer and it can take you where you want to go.”