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Commander, Submarine Group Two


 
 
120428-N-UA460-043 FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (April 28, 2012) Adm. John C.
Harvey, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, delivers remarks during
the opening ceremony of the 2012 Fleet Week Port Everglades Galley Wars.
Galley Wars featured teams from each of the ships participating in Fleet
Week. Four U.S. Navy ships, a submarine and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter are
participating in Fleet Week Port Everglades 2012, an event designed to show
the investment Americans have made in their Navy and increase awareness
in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence. (U.S. Navy photo by
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Johnson/Released)
 
Culinary Specialists Go to Battlestations in Fleet Week Galley Wars
 
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (NNS) -- More than 30 culinary specialists assigned to ships participating in Fleet Week Port Everglades 2012 competed in Galley Wars April 28 at Hugh's Culinary in Oakland Park, Fla.

The event was designed to test the kitchen skills of participants and recognize their superior talents in the field of culinary arts through a fast-paced cooking competition, an event Hugh's Culinary owner and event organizer Hugh McCauley said is intended to bring the military and civilian communities closer together.

"Our main goal is to promote some camaraderie between the military and the community," he said. "We all enjoy the opportunity to interact with each other and mingle and this event is a great way to do that."

The competition featured one team from each ship, including the multi-purpose amphibious assault Ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile destroyers USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and USS Gettysburg (CG 64), the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS DeWert (FFG 45), the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bernard C. Webber and the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Dallas (SSN 700). Each team had one hour to prepare two identical platters composed of several courses with at least one of those dishes including the secret ingredient - swordfish.

"It's one of those things you can't really prepare for," said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Curtis Pacheco of Wasp. "You don't really know what you'll be working with until you get there. It was the first time I had done something like this and it was really fun," said Pacheco. "There was definitely a lot of competitiveness in the kitchen between the ships."

"Every participant from the ship has to bring their A-game to succeed here," McCauley said. "It's always a challenge, but they always bring their individual expertise and pull together a team effort to overcome a difficult environment."

Once the dishes were plated, they were judged by five celebrity judges. This year's Judges Choice Award winner was Dallas and the Audience Favorite Award winner was Bernard C. Webber.

However, winning and losing were not the most important aspect of the event, said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SS) Josue Ramirez, a culinary specialist assigned to Dallas.

"They all had great attitudes and teamwork," he said. "They were really some of the best cooks in the Navy and it was a great experience to compete against them and learn from each other."

According to McCauley, the competition was fierce and it was extremely difficult to choose a winner.

"All the teams were really close and they all did a great job at using their experience. Every one of them did a superb job with the secret ingredient and every team put forth a tremendous effort. All of them should be proud," he said.

The Navy's more than 7,000 culinary specialists (CS), deployed around the globe, feed on average more than 92 million wholesome and nutritious meals per year, ensuring the Navy's fighting forces operate at peak performance and are ready to respond to threats worldwide. Navy commanding officers agree that nothing impacts Sailors on a day-to-day basis more than the food CSs prepare for them; they believe these top quality meals contribute directly to Sailor quality of life and morale. Today's CSs have greater culinary instruction than ever before. With even more advanced training on the way. Sailors, both afloat and ashore, can look forward to even healthier and better-tasting meals in the near future.

Four U.S. Navy ships, a submarine and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter are participating in Fleet Week Port Everglades 2012, an event designed to showcase the investment Americans have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.