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Naval Hospital Bremerton cooks up competition

Naval Hospital Bremerton hosted a good-natured and great-tasting contest among staff members recently with an inaugural barbecue competition.

The event featured teams from the command’s Chief Selectees, First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA), Second Class Petty Officer Association (SCPOA) and Junior Enlisted Association (JEA).

The rules allowed for each group to have one barbecue sampling of pork, beef and chicken. The meat had to be raw, but could be marinated prior to the event. Any sauces and rubs to be included and used also had to be applied prior to the cook-off.

The prepared entrees were then grilled before the three-man judging panel of Capt. Mark Brouker, NHB commanding officer; Cmdr. Kurt Houser, acting NHB executive officer and acting Command Master Chief Hospital Corpsman Thomas Countryman.

“The food was incredible,” Houser said. “I don’t think I’ve eaten this well since Thanksgiving and our dining room meal is always excellent as well.”

The event originated as a challenge put out by SCPOA. Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Bryan Talley cooked up the event as a good way to bring the command together.

“I love to cook,” Talley said. “There are only a few ways that really bring people together and food is usually at the top.”

The judges were greeted and overwhelmed with full plates of sizzling and steaming samples. Notable dishes included Cornish game hens with grilled asparagus from SCPOA and spinach and cheese-stuffed chicken from JEA.

Although the culinary competition seemed tight throughout, the judges finally picked JEA by unanimous decision as winning the competition. But JEA wasn’t the only group to come away feeling victorious, for every one in attendance also came away a winner by getting to enjoy some homemade barbecue for lunch.

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