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Chef Training In The Navy

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(KTVI) – Bruce Piatek is a chef instructor at Le Cordon Bleu in St. Louis. Bruce embarked aboard the supercarrier the George HW Bush May 13 for a two-week trip to provide hands-on training to the culinary specialists (CS) on board, many of whom had never had the opportunity to experience industry practices.

The program is part of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative to improve nutrition and quality of life for sailors.

Adopt-a-Ship Segment with Le Cordon Bleu in St. Louis
Chef Bruce Piatek

 Watermelon Salad & Citrus-Segmented Vinaigrette



  • 4 watermelon planks, 8-inces long, ¼-inch thick
  • 1 ripe avocado, quartered, peeled, seeded, fanned
  • 2 bunches watercress, or choice of greens
  • 4 slices cucumber, sliced lengthwise, very thin
  • 12 toasted walnuts, seasoned & tossed with olive oil
  • 4½ in. medallions artisan goat cheese, or cheese of your choice


  • ½-cup fresh orange segments
  • ½-cup grapefruit segments, fresh
  • ¼-cup cranberry juice
  • ¼-cup orange juice, from fresh orange
  • ¼-cup grapefruit juice, from fresh grapefruit
  • 1/3-cup honey
  • ¼-cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½-cup canola oil
  • 1-tsp orange zest, blanched, chopped
  • 1/8-tsp grapefruit zest, blanched, chopped
  • 1-tbl fresh mint, chiffonade
  • 1-tbl minced chives, fresh


  1. In a stainless steel bowl, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette except for the citrus segments. Stir well.
  2. Oncemixed, stir in the segments without breaking them apart. Set aside.
  3. After peeling the watermelon, cut four rectangular planks and lay them on the center of a chilled 12” plate.
  4. Next, divide the watercress into four bunches and wrap the cucumber strand around the center of each bunch, thus, securing each bundle.
  5. Toss the watercress bundles in the vinaigrette and lay on top of each of the watermelon planks.
  6. Place the fanned avocado on each of the plates, by the left top corner of each watermelon plank.
  7. Position the walnuts beside each of the avocado fans.
  8. By the bottom left corner of the plank, stand a piece of the goat cheeseup on end.
  9. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette on top of the watermelon and around the plate.
  10. Fan three citrus segments around the goat cheese, taken from the vinaigrette. (2-orange, 1-grapefruit segment per salad)
  11. Serve within 10 minutes of plating.