Northwest Sailors Participate in 20th Annual Armed Forces Culinary Arts Competition

Story Number: NNS120514-20Release Date: 5/14/2012 3:18:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chris Brown, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Military food service personnel from surrounding Northwest installations competed in a culinary arts competition at Olympic College, Wash., May 12.

Eight teams comprised of service members from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Naval Station Everett, Naval Base Kitsap, Naval Hospital Bremerton, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), and USS Maine (SSBN 741) gold crew competed in eight categories which included best garnish, cake decoration, pie, barbecue ribs, chicken wings, hors d'oeuvres, chili and an hourlong iron chef competition.

"It's fun to get all these other culinary specialists from around the region in one room to compete against each other," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Jamika Miner, USS John C. Stennis. "I want to win, but the real fun is just getting to compete against all these other great chefs."

Judging criteria included use of the theme, taste, presentation, originality and color coordination.

The iron chef portion featured a mystery basket with three items, which were not revealed until the start of the competition. Each team was required to produce a dish using all three ingredients. Teams were judged on organization, cleanliness, execution, originality, taste and seasoning.

"As a junior Sailor I really learned a lot from watching the more experienced Sailors compete during the iron chef competition," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Kenzel Wooderd, USS Ronald Reagan. "They really kept their cool cooking under all this pressure. I can't wait to do it next year."

The winners in first place from each category were USS John C. Stennis for chili and chicken wings, Naval Hospital Bremerton for decorated cake and barbecue ribs, Joint Base Lewis-McChord for hors d'oeuvres, USS Ronald Reagan for pie, Naval Base Kitsap for garnish, and Naval Station Everett for the iron chef competition.

The overall winner for the competition went to Naval Base Kitsap for the third year in a row, winning the garnish category and placing in top three in six different categories.

"It was amazing to see what kind of food these Sailors could put out during this competition," said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Wilson T. Sydgnstricker, Naval Supply Systems Command, Fleet Logistics Center, Puget Sound. "The variety of food was really something special and it was incredibly difficult to judge."

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