News: Mess halls aboard base hold chili cook-off
Story by Lance Cpl. Justin Rodriguez
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- On one of the coldest days of the year, mess hall employees and service members gathered for the Mess Hall Chili Cook-Off aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Jan. 31.
Chefs from seven mess halls aboard the base prepared their best chili for a taste test allowing patrons to sample their chili creations and vote for their favorite.
“We plan on having the cook-off annually,” said Gary L. Walls, general manager of Mess Hall 227 aboard base. “When we started planning it, we thought it would be a good way to bring our staff together and build some team spirit, all while competing against each other. There was a lot of planning involved, but I’m glad to see it finally come together.”
The seven participating mess halls were given the opportunity to set up their own table with designs and style to lure patrons to their station.
“The event has been designed to display novelty and flair in the mess halls,” said Barry Lee, district manager of mess halls aboard base. “It’s supposed to create levity and excitement.”
While creating their own personal chili recipe, each mess hall team was responsible for noting nutritional statistics, recipe ingredients and quantity.
“When I walked into the mess hall I was not expecting to see something like this going on,” said Lance Cpl. Shane P. Korthas, an intelligence specialist with 2nd Intelligence Battalion. “All the staff workers did a fantastic job. I’m sure events like this not only raise their morale and build team spirit within the kitchens, but it also shows the Marines they care for us and want us to have a great experience when walking into any mess hall. They all did a great job of putting it together.”
When the event came to a close, Mess Hall 303 proved to have the best chili and was named chili champs.
The winning mess hall is slated to get home-court advantage during the next chili cook-off next year, said Walls.