Bringing heat, cooking meat
The fragrance of exquisitely cooked meals filled the southside mess hall here March 15, 2013, as the Chef-of-the-Quarter Competition concluded with a cooking contest between Food Services’ top three chefs.
“I’m proud of my Marines, I think they did a great job,”said Staff Sgt. Julia Criqui, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron assistant messhall manager. “I hope they strive to be the best and continue the good work as the future of the Marine Corps in food service.”
The first step of the cooking contest was a written test. From there, the three highest scoring Marines battled for perfection in a knowledge board and uniform inspection before the cooking event.
“I think this competition is important because it gives the Marines a chance to show off their individuality,” said Criqui. “Sometimes, as Marines, we have to do things in a big group. But, given just a random item like pork, you can do a million things with pork.”
Even though only one Marine could win, the culinary tourney gave each participant a chance to hone his skills.
“It’s kind of like birth, that’s my baby back there, I created that,” said Lance Cpl. Jose Montalvo, H&HS food services Marine and winner of the competition. “It’s hectic, but once you get to that last hour, hour and a half, you’re just scrambling for any amount of time you can scrape up. But after you throw it out there and it’s done with, you’re golden.”
Once the meals reached completion, they were displayed before a board of judges, consisting of Lt. Col. F. Lance Lewis, H&HS commanding officer, Lt. Col. Thomas A. Wagoner, Station Judge Advocate, Navy Lt. Takana Skelton, H&HS chaplain, and Sgt. Maj. Peter W. Ferral, H&HS sergeant major.
There is one more Chef-of-the-Quarter competition slated for this fiscal year. The winner from that event, along with Montalvo and the two previous winners, will face off to see who is the top chef of the year aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.