MWSS-271 Food Service Marine Wins Chef of the Quarter Award
Marine Corps Air Station - Cherry Point NC
Normally, Sgt. Destany Weatherwax is prepping meals for thousands of Marines. But, on Dec. 8, 2016, she instead focused her culinary skills on impressing judges while navigating a kitchen full of food service specialists during the Chef of the Quarter competition aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, Dec. 8, 2016.
As part of the competition, judges evaluated three food service Marines on the preparation, taste, and display of their dishes. The Marines participating in the competition demonstrated their creative spin on specialized dishes they chose for the competition.
Weatherwax, a food service specialist assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 271, Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, won the competition and was named Chef of the Quarter for the wing Before beginning her career in the Marine Corps, Weatherwax knew she wanted to be a chef. “I chose this job,” said Weatherwax. “I already knew how to cook and was passionate about it.”
Weatherwax volunteered for the competition, but winning was not the motivation to compete. “I came into this competition not really thinking about winning,” said Weatherwax. “I just wanted to have fun and do something new. I just happened to come out on top.”
Weatherwax credits her love of cooking to a culinary class taken during her sophomore year of high school, where she first learned the art of cooking.
“My best friend and I took the class, made some really great food, and learned a lot,” said Weatherwax. “That’s really where my love for cooking first came from.”
One of the main reasons she enjoys cooking is the creative opportunity found within the culinary arts. The competition focused on smaller portioned meals, which allowed for exploration of the art of food service, explained Weatherwax.
“A lot of things you learn from experience,” said Weatherwax. “I have seen other competitions and, now having competed in one, I can give advice to other Marines who are looking to compete. I can help them with the table designs and give them other ideas that may help them in the competition.”
Weatherwax had a piece of advice, not only to food service Marines, but to all Marines. “Keep your head high,” said Weatherwax. “Confidence is key.”
Having earned the Chef of the Quarter award, Weatherwax will now compete in the highly coveted Chef of the Year competition at the end of the fiscal year.