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NEWS | Dec. 6, 2016

Culinary Specialists go three rounds in "Chopped" cooking finale

By Seaman Sarah Myers, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan -- A Sailor assigned to Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet has won Yokosuka's top culinary competition, Dec 5.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Juan Castilloadame, a culinary specialist, bested four other Sailors in the finale to win the third annual "Chopped" Yokosuka championship cooking competition, held by Morale, Welfare, and Recreation and the Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka's (CFAY) Adm. Matthew C. Perry "Jewel of the East" General Mess.

Castilloadame said he anticipates his win will motivate the Sailors he works with. "They can't imagine someone like me winning a competition like this," he said, "so I think I'm motivating them to strive further."

The competition started Nov. 28 with 16 contestants from various commands. The finale featured three rounds; Contestants had to prepare an appetizer, entrée, and dessert under a time limit using must use mystery ingredients.

The competition, which is modeled after the popular Food Network television program with the same name, aims to give opportunities for Sailors to use their culinary talents in a creative way to express themselves.

"It gives the culinary specialists an opportunity to showcase their talent they don't get to normally showcase on the ship," said Petty Officer 1st Class Victor Alfonsomarrero, who's assigned to CFAY's general mess.

The other finalists were Petty Officer 2nd Class Reynald Laurentino, assigned to the USS Benfold (DDG-65), Petty Officer 2nd Class Huy Pham, assigned to the USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), and Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Flowers, assigned to Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet.


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