MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Three Marines with the Cherry Point mess hall were given the privilege to compete in the Chef of the Quarter competition June 27.
The first place winner, with his Mexican style fried taco dish, was Pfc. Carlos Medinarivas, a food service specialist with Marine Wing Support Squadron 271.
“The dish I chose was something I knew and could improve on,” said Medinarivas.
Medinarivas said the Chef of the Quarter competition was a great learning experience for him and opened doors into cooking he had not yet been able to explore.
Winning the title automatically qualifies them to compete in the Chef of the Year. Winners of the Chef of the Year will be given a chance to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.
“The Chef of the Quarter competition gives the Marines an opportunity to showcase their own skill set,” said Master Sgt. Danny O’Connell, the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron food service liaison. “These Marines, typically, are following the armed services recipe cards. This gives them the chance to make the food their way.”
Lance Cpl. David Sullivan, a competitor and food service specialist with H&HS, said the Chef of the Quarter competition gave him more freedom with his cooking.
“It’s not so by the book, because there is no book,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan came in third with a steak and shrimp plate.
Lance Cpl. Kerry Walton, a competitor and food service specialist with H&HS, came in second in the competition with a Jamaican style chicken dish.
The competitors were judged on style, taste and presentation. They also had to complete a job aptitude test on knowledge of their job.
The competition was close but in the end, Medinarivas prevailed.
Cherry Point mess hall personnel will host the fourth quarter Chef of the Quarter and the Chef of the Year competitions in the fall.