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Chef of the Quarter competition

By Cpl. John Wilkes | | April 18, 2013


A potent aroma of delicately cooked cuisine flooded the inside of Mess Hall 6012 aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, April 11, as the first quarterly Chef of the Quarter competition reached its culmination.

Sodexo, the Marine Corps’ mess hall management company, hosted Marine and civilian chefs from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and MCRD Parris Island.

The competitors began their day at 5 a.m., chopping, slicing, simmering and baking their dishes to perfection.

Chefs from the competing bases participated in a workshop and took a written test to earn their chance to compete for their spot as chef of the quarter.

Marine and civilian teams exercised time management creating three dishes from scratch in a limited amount of time. To prepare the dishes, competitors were given a list of ingredients that they must develop a menu from.

"The Chef of the Quarter competition allows Marines and civilians to expand their horizons and get outside their comfort zones," said Joey Carles, area operation manager with Sodexo.

As the assessment proceeded, other diners, including leaders of the Tri-Command, poured into the mess hall for the chance to sample the food. While the scores for the competition were tallied, patrons indulged in the buffet-style presentation of food.

The panel composed of 12 unbiased judges, sampled each dish, one-by-one.

The competition is judged based on many categories such as sanitation, presentation, taste, temperature and more.

With diverse taste preferences, appeasing the different judges helped ensure the competition remained close.

"Each team did very well today," said Carles. "The food was excellent and judging this competition was very difficult."

At the conclusion of the competition the winners were announced.

In first place was team three from Mess Hall 6012 aboard MCRD Parris Island. Coming in at a close second was team two from Mess Hall 590, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD Parris Island. Third place was from team one from Mess hall 6012 aboard MCRD Parris Island. Fourth place was team four from Mess Hall 2080 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

Each member of the winning team received a 10 piece cookware set and got to take home the trophy for their chow hall.