VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors from USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) competed in the annual Best of the Mess competition at the Founders' Inn in Virginia Beach, Jan. 22.
The annual event is a fundraiser for the Chief Petty Officer Scholarship Fund (CPOSF), which grants financial aid to high school students preparing to attend college.
Culinary specialists (CS) from USS McFaul (DDG 74), Naval Weapons Station Norfolk, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, USS Bataan (LHD 5), Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) also competed in the event.
"We have culinary teams throughout the Tidewater area participating," said Joe Schnurbusch, president of the CPOSF. "This year we have seven teams competing. Each team has three cooks, and their jobs are to prepare food for all of our guests. At the same time, they must have the food prepared and presented to a panel of judges on a plate [in the time allotted]. They will only be judged by what they present and the ingredients they used."
Teams had 72 hours to prepare their stations and recipes prior to the competition.
"The beautiful thing about this event is the culinary specialists don't get a lot of time to prepare," said Cmdr. Jim Strauss, GHWB's supply officer. "It's kind of like an 'Iron Chef' competition."
The winners for Peoples' Choice Award, Best Food and Best Presentation all went to USS Abraham Lincoln.
"It was fun; if you come to an event and you do something like this, then you have to have fun," said Culinary Specialist (CS) 1st Class Ito Rucker, GHWB's team leader. "You're going to make mistakes, but it's okay. You can try again another time, but come out and have a good time."
Team participants were chosen based on their daily work performance and their ranking in the galley as junior and senior Sailors.
"One of the best things about doing this is it shows our junior CSs that there's more to being a CS than what they see in the galley every day," said Rucker. "A lot of times they're working in the galley, and they can feel unappreciated for the job they do ... This is something for them to just come out and celebrate their job and the role we play. They can be proud, see that the CS community is big and also that it has a lot of opportunities for them in their career."
Bush is currently undergoing a planned incremental availability period at Norfolk Naval Shipyards in Portsmouth, Virginia.
For more news from Bush visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77 or www.facebook.com/ussgeorgehwbush.