ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Members of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Heritage Cultural Committee (HCC) hosted an "Iron Chef" competition on the aft mess decks to honor Black History Month, Feb. 2.
The contest featured a "soul food" theme and provided the crew a view into African-American culture.
"We wanted to gather the crew for this event so they could experience some 'down south' soul food," said Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Davenport, USS Harry S. Truman food service officer and HCC chairman. "I was very happy with the turn out this year. It couldn't have gone better."
The four teams consisted of crew members from various departments with a culinary specialist on each team. The dishes prepared by each team were pork chops, macaroni and potato salad.
"I really enjoyed the food," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Cordarro Harris. "It was a great competition with a lot of fun and competitive spirits."
Lt. Eric Stroud, contest judge, said the meal was judged based on taste and presentation.
"Everybody won here today," said Davenport. "There were no losers in this competition."
Along with promoting Black History Month, the event served as a break and morale booster for the crew.
"I participated today to show my support and camaraderie among my shipmates," said Stroud. "It was just an all-around great event to be a part of. Having time off to come out here and unwind definitely helps boost the morale around here."
"I just wanted to come out and cook with my friends," said Harris. "I have been in security for a while, so I had to come out here and let people know who I am and what I can do."
The Heritage Cultural Committee uses events similar to the Iron Chief cooking competition to continue its mission to help broaden Sailors' awareness of diversity on aboard Truman.
"I feel like Black History Month is American history month," said Chief Machinist Mate (AW/SW) Jose Joseph. "We are all Americans and should take this opportunity to learn and grow together."
Truman's HCC coordinates unique programs highlighting different cultures every month in order to promote cultural diversity and awareness among the crew.
"The event brings more awareness and helps further educate the crew," said Stroud. "We should learn more about other people's cultures. Not just black history, but every culture."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.