Olympic College Hosts 25th Annual Armed Forces Culinary Arts Competition

Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Gaddis IV, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest

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 BREMERTON, Wash. – Olympic College hosted the 25th annual Armed Forces Culinary Arts Competition at the college’s Bremer Student Center in Bremerton, Washington, May 6.

Each year service members from Naval Base Kitsap (NBK), Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Naval Station Everett (NSE), Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) and other commands throughout the Pacific Northwest come together to compete in a battle of culinary ability for the title of ‘Iron Chef.’

“I’m excited to taste the talent of the Pacific Northwest today during the competition,” said Capt. Alan Schrader, NBK commanding officer.

JBLM won the overall competition with a score of 950 points, NASWI placed second with 313 points, and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) came in third with 294 points.

“I think it’s great we have so many competitors this year and all of the branches and veterans alike,” said Chef Chris Plemmons, a judge from Olympic College. “I’m honored they have come together to compete and allowed us to host and judge the competition.”

There were eight categories for the entire competition: Chili, Ribs, Wings, Cake, Hors d’oeuvres, Desserts, Hot Food Kitchen Floor, and Overall.

“When you watch the competitors, you can see them thinking on how they will use the ingredients and what they will make,” said Capt. Mike Elmstrom, commanding officer, Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC).

The event was open to the public and there was a large turnout.

“This is my eighth year judging the culinary competition,” said Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent. “This is the first year Olympic College has had its own team compete.”

The competition was the kick-off for Armed Forces Week, according to Mayor Lent.

NASWI took home the title of best wings, cake and chili, while JBLM won the hors d’oeuvres and desserts categories, pushing their points high enough to win the overall category.

“I love the challenge,” said Army Specialist Aaron Miseray, from South San Francisco, assigned to JBLM. “Fear is what drives me. This is my first year competing on the grand scale.”

As the teams prepared to present their main dishes for competition to the judges, spectators roamed around and ate food prepared by other participants.

“It makes me feel like I’m making all the right decisions as an effective leader and an even more effective follower,” said Miseray. “To set the standard for a new breed of aggressive and efficient 92 Golfs [Culinary Specialists].”

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