By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Andre T. Richard

BREMERTON, Wash. – Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) competed in the 22nd Annual Armed Forces Culinary Competition at Olympic College, May 10.

The event, part Bremerton’s 66th Annual Armed Forces Festival, featured Navy, Marine and Army chefs from the Pacific Northwest competing in several categories, such as appetizers and desserts, and culminated in a team-based “Battling Chefs” showdown.

“The [Battling Chef’s] event was a head-to-head competition comprised of nine teams of two chefs,” said event coordinator Culinary Specialist Chief Richard Yanagihara, from Hilo, Hawaii, currently assigned to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. “It was judged based on skill, sanitation, originality, presentation, and time.”

Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Hannabass, from Culpepper, Va., and Culinary Specialist 1st Class Vince Wilson, from Houston, both assigned to Stennis, presented steak medallions with mango sauce, mashed potatoes and sautéed asparagus to the judges.

Hannabass said his experience cooking three meals a day for more than 3,000 people aboard an aircraft carrier helped prepared him for the event.

“Cooking in the Navy is very similar to the fast pace environment of competition cooking,” said Hannabass. “When you’re on such a large ship, you have to be quick in order to get everything prepared in time.”

Yanagihara said he appreciated the support of all participants and complimented them on their hard work.

“I really enjoyed watching the day’s events unfold,” said Yanagihara. “This was a great way to showcase the outstanding talents of our military cooks.”

For information on other Annual Armed Forces Festival events in Bremerton visit

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