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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

3280 Russell Road, 2nd Floor Quantico, Va. 22134
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Chef of Quarter serves up close competition, fine cuisine

By Sgt. Charles E. Moore | | August 16, 2002

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Master chefs visited Mess Hall 620 recently.

Actually they were the usual cooks, but this time they were allowed to whip out their personal recipes to wow the taste buds of diners.

The messman went plate-to-plate to determine the Chef of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2002. 

The rules were simple.  Marines from the Food Service Division here questioned the cooks on their general knowledge. The next day each cook designed a meal around chicken.  The best meal took the People's Choice award.  The Marine who did the best overall took Chef of the Quarter. 

Cpl. Chauncey J. Gaylord, watch cook, Mess Hall 620, bested the other cooks to take Chef of the Quarter.  He served Four Cheese chicken as his main dish.  He complemented the main course with Summer Squash Casserole.

"It's very presentable," he said during the competition.  "From what I heard it turned out good."

The meal is a favorite of the 23-year-old, Westbend, Wis., native. It's also a favorite of his wife, which he said is part of the reason he chose it.  He said it was a little more difficult without his assistant.

"This was my first time making it alone."

His biggest obstacle was the summer squash.  He said it would complement his chicken, but he had never made it before.  He didn't even know what it looked like.

"I couldn't find any pictures of what it should look like," Gaylord said.

The cook-off competition proved to be strong.

"This is probably the closest score since I've been here," said Master Gunnery Sgt. Elvin Vest, food technician, Food Service Division.  "Gunny (Delancy) had to punch the numbers in three or four times to be sure."

The winner emerged by one point.  Lance Cpl. Will H. Touchstone took the People's Choice award with stuffed tomatoes, alfredo and four types of chicken.

"It makes me feel pretty good," he said of the award.  "It makes me feel like a real chef."

"I think it's phenomenal - very delicious," Capt. Jon Davenport, operations officer,  G-4, said of the food.  "The competition between the cooks was amazing, and we can be the benefactor of their efforts.

"There's just not enough room to enjoy everything."

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