Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. -- 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 Dec. 12.
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 the Marines’ hard work and dedication to not only their military occupational specialty, but to the Marine Corps as a whole, said Sgt. Alexis L. Blankenship, the narrator for the competition.
The Marines began preparing their dishes early, arriving at the mess hall at 4 a.m.
Lance Cpl. Jaylen M. Thomas, representing H&HS, impressed the judges with his meal of fried chicken, dirty mashed potatoes, sweet cream corn, asparagus and fried Oreos, earning the first place trophy for this quarter's competition.
A first-time competitor, the Atlanta native got his inspiration from food he ate during childhood.
“I grew up on chicken,” said Thomas. “It’s a meal I know how to cook well and I wanted to stick to my strengths.”
For Thomas, the competition was an opportunity to show his abilities as a Chef and a Marine.
As the competition ended, Lt. Col. Jeremy L. Gettings, the commanding officer of H&HS, presented all the competitors with an award and thanked them for their hard work.
“I want to thank all the competitor for a job well done," said Gettings. "Each competitor performed outstandingly, but there can only be one winner."
Gettings thanked the Marines for their efforts and encouraged them to keep up the good work.
“The job that you do as food service specialist is not an easy one,” he said. “You keep operations running on this base 365 out of the year.”