Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point -- Three food service specialists who support the mess hall at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, competed in the Chef of the Quarter competition here July 11.
The competition is designed to test the abilities of food service specialists from squadrons at Cherry Point including Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 and Marine Wing Support Squadron 274. The chefs prepare, cook and display food for judges who choose the winner of the competition.
The purpose of the competition is to showcase all the Marines hard work and dedication to not only their military occupational specialty, but to the Marine Corps as a whole, said Staff Sgt. Kristine R. Carrillo, the floor judge for the competition.
The Marines began preparing their dishes early, arriving at the mess hall at 4 a.m.
Private first class Evaristo Rivera III impressed the judges with his meal of fried plantains, seasoned chicken and flan, earning the first place trophy for this quarter's competition.
A first time competitor, the Wilmington, Delaware native got his inspiration from the café where he met his wife.
“This is my favorite meal,” said Rivera. “I learned how to cook most of it from watching my wife work at a café.”
For Rivera, the favorite part of the competition was watching all the Marines and judges enjoy his creations.
As the competition ended, Maj. Bradley Wimsatt, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron executive officer, presented all the competitors with an award and thanked them for their hard work.
“All the food was excellent," said Wimsatt. "Each competitor performed outstandingly."
Wimsatt thanked the Marines for their efforts and encouraged them to keep up the good work.
The mess hall hosts four Chef of the Quarter competitions each year. The winners of each quarter compete again for a chance at the title Chef of the Year. The winner of the Chef of the Year competition is presented with an opportunity to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.