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Armed Forces Day weekend satisfies appetite

Chris Larsen, left, presented the overall first place award to (left to right) Michael Dacanay, Josh SaVoy and Sean Corcoran of Naval Base Everett’s All-American Restaurant team. - Wesley Remmer/staff photo
Chris Larsen, left, presented the overall first place award to (left to right) Michael Dacanay, Josh SaVoy and Sean Corcoran of Naval Base Everett’s All-American Restaurant team.
— image credit: Wesley Remmer/staff photo

OC culinary

arts competition headlines weekend of food.

Chefs from the Army, Navy and Air Force proved last Saturday that memorable menus make great days even greater.

Competing in a culinary cook-off at Olympic College after the Armed Forces Day parade, the military’s finest food-lovers showcased kitchen charisma to hungry onlookers at the Advanced Acoustic Concepts Military Culinary Arts Competition, MC’d by M.J. McDerrmott of Seattle’s Q13 FOX News.

Judged in six categories — cake decorating, sugar arts, garnish display, hors d’oeuvres, a chili cook-off and “Iron Chef” competition — teams showcased a wide range of talent.

“The ladies and gentlemen have done a wonderful job,” Michael Higgins, former president of the Washington State Chefs Association, said of the participants.

Fort Lewis, Naval Hospital Bremerton, Naval Base Kitsap, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Everett Naval Base, USS Nevada (SSBN 733) and McChord Air Force Base all participated.

After a panel of judges sampled the food, judging general apperance, taste, colors and harmony, presentation and creativity, display of skill and originality, Naval Base Everett’s All-American Restaurant team took the overall top prize.

“It’s my first competition,” Michael Dacanay, Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (AW), said after his team took first. “I’ve got butterflies.”

Joined by Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Joshua SaVoy, Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Adalberto Araiza and Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Sean Corcoran, Dacanay’s team served a main dish consisting of curry-stuffed tenderloin, shrimp pate, rice pilaf and a medley of vegetables.

“It was great,” Araiza said of the competition. “Just cooking with the guys ... It was challenging (and) it was fun.”

In his third cook-off event, SaVoy echoed his teammates’ thoughts, explaining how the military is complete with great chefs.

“It’s a good time to together and show the talent that’s in the military,” he said.

Featuring bacon as the “secret” ingredient, the Iron Chef competition headlined the day’s events.

Everett took first in Iron Chef and Naval Base Kitsap grabbed second, while McChord Air Force Base earned third.

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