Camp Pendleton, CA --
Sgt. Chewanea Roberts and Cpl. Kimaney Hilton, Food Service Specialists, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, took first place during the first competition Marine Corps Installations – West Culinary Team of the Quarter competition of the fiscal year 2017 here, Dec. 7, 2016.
Judges score the teams based on proper cooking and safety regulations, sanitation practices, proper food handling, proper yields, and making food look attractive.
“I’m so proud about how everyone is putting their all into our job,” said Donovan Brown, the regional executive chef of Sodexo West."
The 1st place winners received a plaque of the Culinary Team of the Quarter will have a chance to go to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. First, second and third place winners were also awarded medals.
“We have an amazing food service now,” said Brown. “We have more choices than ever before. A Marine can eat as healthy as they want. We just have all the options available.”
The teams were given a mystery basket of ingredients that the competitors had to use in an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Among the ingredients were spinach, lobster and pork loin.
For the appetizers the winners made spinach sautéed with lemon juice, garlic cloves and a dash of salt as well as lobster stuffed mushrooms. Their entrées were lemon butter lobster tail and pineapple ginger pork loin. Finally, for dessert they made pineapple with a glazed topping.
“We both did so much from day one to now,” said Hilton. “You can see that we have improved a lot. We laughed, we relaxed, we enjoyed it. I would say for a lot of people who come out here think too much about it, but they forget to enjoy the competition.”
Brown added that these competitions help to sharpen the skills of an important job in the Marine Corps.
“If you think about it there are only two things a Marine needs: a bullet and a sandwich,” said Brown. “We provide the sandwich. If you think about it, no warrior is worth anything without being fed, that is our job. Our job is to keep the Marine’s moral up with great food in the morning and all throughout the day; keeping the warrior fueled, this has to be one of the most important MOS fields the Corps has.”
Roberts and Hilton will go on to compete in the MCI-West Chef of the Year Competition in 2017.