Lance Cpl. David Bahena, a native from Chicago, Ill., and Lance Cpl. Erika Williams, a native from Locust Fork, Ala., win the Chef of the Quarter competition, at the mess hall on Marine Corps Air Station Camp Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, April 26, 2019. Marines compete in the final challenge to win the competition. (U.S. Marine Corps imagery by Pfc. Karis Mattingly)
Lance Cpl. David Bahena, a native from Chicago, Ill., and Lance Cpl. Erika Williams, a native from Locust Fork, Ala., win the Chef of the Quarter competition, at the mess hall on Marine Corps Air Station Camp Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, April 26, 2019. Marines compete in the final challenge to win the competition. (U.S. Marine Corps imagery by Pfc. Karis Mattingly)

Chef of the Quarter competition

by Pfc. Karis Mattingly
Marine Corps Installations Pacific

CAMP FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan-- Food service specialists from across Marine Corps Installations Pacific competed in the Chef of the Quarter competition at the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Mess Hall April 26, 2019.

​After a written test and oral board, three teams of two competed head-to-head in a cooking challenge. The Marines were given guidelines and the required ingredients for their dishes. Each team created an appetizer, entree and dessert that included the mystery ingredient: pineapple.

​“This competition is beneficial for the Marines who really enjoy cooking,” said Lance Cpl. Marquis Jones, a food service specialist with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines mess hall on Camp Hansen. “We get to show off and test our skills.”​

Each team brought out their three-course meal to the judges. One by one each judge gave feedback from the presentation, execution and taste of the dish. After the judges talked amongst themselves, they announced Team 1 as the Chef of the Quarter winners.

​Team 1 consisted of Lance Cpl. Erika Williams and Lance Cpl. David Bahena, food service specialists with Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 on Camp Foster.

“Our hard work finally paid off,” said Williams, with a smile on her face.

According to Williams and Bahena, they both loved cooking at home and being food service specialist in the Marine Corps has expanded their skills.

“I'm just proud we’re taking the win back to our unit, taking it back home,” said Bahena.

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