Kicking off the New Year with service

By Kent “The Deck Chef” & Ally Whitaker

Welcome to the New Year. It’s 2013 and we survived the Aztec end of the world or whatever the latest end of the world scenario was. As far as I’m concerned nothing can ring in the New Year like being with your family and friends. Well, actually one thing can. You could make a resolution to lend your culinary and cooking skills to a greater good.

Every year Ally and I ask our fellow foodies, barbecue buddies and grill masters to consider the fact that your skills can be of use to your community.

It’s pretty simple; we have a skill that is fun on game day, competition day and family cookout day. That skill can also be put to use in a number of other manners. Please take a few moments during the New Year to investigate on how your culinary skills can be put to use in your hometown and region.

You could volunteer as a cook for the Red Cross, the Salvation Army for your local emergency services or even flip burgers at the little league ball fields during the season. Why not offer your skills to a local church, service organization or VFW during their next BBQ fundraiser. It goes without saying that community kitchens and other organizations that cook meals for those in need of some help are always on the lookout for a few good volunteers.
No matter what your community offers in the way of volunteer cooking you should consider giving a few hours of your time in 2013 in order to make your hometown a better place.

So, instead of the normal recipe for a sauce or a rub or even a grilled side dish I offer you this simple recipe for success in the New Year.

Share your skills and talents with others!

Ally and I hope everyone has a safe, productive and fun New Year with your family and friends.

Kent Whitaker is a cookbook author and culinary writer with 10 published books. He is also member and AUXCHEF for the United States Coast Guard Aux. Kent and his wife Ally live in East Tennessee with their son Macee and two spoiled dogs. Kent's books are available or can be ordered at any book store or online at . Look for Kent on twitter at

Photo Courtesy of Navy Adopt A Ship - Michael Harants: Naval Supply Systems Command
If you are a chef looking for a way to give back to your community and help serve those who serve us you should look into the NAVY Adopt A Ship program or the Coast Guard Auxiliary AUXCHEF program.

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