Region Southwest Culinary Specialists Test Cooking Talents during Competition

Last Updated : 5/10/2011 12:21:49 PM

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Culinary specialists assigned to bases throughout the Southwest gathered at the galley aboard Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, Calif., to compete in the Navy Region Southwest Culinary Competition March 1.

The competition offered an opportunity for the participants to showcase their cooking talents and a chance for winners to move on to the annual Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Culinary Competition in Washington, D.C., later this year.

This was the fourth year CNRSW has sponsored the event, which included culinary specialists representing eight commands.

Judges were Rear Adm. William D. French, commander, Navy Region Southwest; Capt. Yancy B. Lindsey, Naval Base Coronado commanding officer; Executive Chef Joaquin Cueva; Executive Chef Dorance Aldridge and television personality "Sam the Cooking Guy."

"For those who have been in the military for a while, we know about the experienced resourcefulness of our CSs," said Lindsey.

Lindsey said Navy culinary specialists have always been great cooks as well as war fighters, and the Navy would not be able to accomplish its mission without the forces that provide the nourishment to fight.

During the competition, the eight teams had two hours to create a dish that demonstrated skill, presentation, and a unique tasting experience.

First place honors went to the team from Naval Amphibious Base Coronado:

Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Jorje Luis Garcia Jr.
Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Victor Marrero

Both were awarded an executive knife kit, 80-piece garnishing set, MP3 player, gift card and will advance to compete in Washington, D.C.

Second place was awarded to the team from Naval Base Point Loma:

Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Thomas McCormick
Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Daniel Cabrera

Both were awarded an executive knife set, 80-piece garnishing set, and a 10-speed bicycle.

Third place went to the team from Naval Base Ventura County-Port Hueneme:

Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Mark Morante
Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Abram Goodloe

Both were awarded a 10-speed bicycle, a five-piece baking set, and a gift card.

"It was an amazing feeling," said Garcia after finishing in first place. "I've always had a passion for food, so it was a great experience to be here. It was my first time competing, so I definitely didn't expect to win. If anything, it was because of the daily planning and great teamwork between my team mate and me."

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