Surface Warfare Magazine
Sharing stories and news from Sailors across the U.S. Navy’s Surface Forces
 
4/27/2015
Iron Ships, Iron Chefs
New Orleans and Navy Chefs Team Up During Fleet Week Seafood Cook-off

NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- Sailors from the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Cole (DDG 67), USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) and Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Dauntless (WMEC 624) competed alongside Royal Navy frigate, HMS Lancaster (F229) and Royal Canadian Navy Destroyer HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 923) in the "New Orleans Fleet Week Seafood Cook-Off" during New Orleans Fleet Week April 26.

Culinary Specialists from each of the nations' participating ships were paired with local chefs to create unique dishes out of local produce and freshly caught seafood.

Competition

The dishes were judged by a panel consisting of top Navy and Marine Corps leadership including Rear Adm. Cynthia Thebaud, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet, commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, and Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, commander, Marine Forces Reserve.

The event began with cook-off participants taking a trip to a local grocery store, located in downtown New Orleans, to shop for fresh ingredients for their recipes.

For the main event, each team was paired up with a well-known Louisiana chef and had 20 minutes to prepare a dish.

Along with the ingredients they purchased, competitors also had to use some combination of Louisiana's crab, oyster, shrimp, fish, or crawfish to assemble a unique and delicious creation.

 

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"The opportunity to work with local professional chefs was invaluable," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Steven Desnoyers. "Being able to compete against the best that each of the services has hones your skills and really promotes unity...not only among U.S. Sailors, but also the other nations represented here as well."

When the timer ran out, the finished (and some unfinished) dishes made their way to the judges' table. Judges rated the culinary creations on three factors: presentation, creativity, and taste.

"Honestly, all of the dishes were phenomenal," said Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet. "It's great to see the various service members having some good-natured competition while getting to know each other. On the most basic level, it's how you create such a strong and unified force."

When all was said and done, Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Julie Ngyuen, assigned to Wasp, was named the overall winner.

"It was a great learning experience," said Nguyen. "We all learned so much and I hope we get the chance to do something like this again."

New Orleans Fleet Week 2015, a weeklong celebration, is an opportunity for the citizens of New Orleans and the surrounding area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services. Surface Warfare Magazine

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