CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, JAPAN
Story by Lance Cpl. Zachary Larsen
Every year the best Mess Halls are inspected by members from both the National Restaurant Association and Headquarters Marine Corps. The inspectors judge the cleanliness and operations of the mess hall, and they inspect the food for taste, preparation and storage.
Three representatives came to judge the mess hall, Lt. Col. David Hunley, director of food services with Marine Corps Installations Command, MGySgt Anthony Gonzales, a food service specialist with Headquarters and Support Battalion Marine Corps Installations West, and Mr. Robert Rice, a representative from the National Restaurant Association.
“Everyone is involved today, from the manager of the chow hall from the Lance Cpl. to the director of the chow hall,” said GySgt Shakelia Woods, assistant mess hall manager with Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “Marines put a lot of hard work into painting the building and making the outside of the building look good. They also studied the SOP for cooking procedures and sanitation.”
The best performing mess hall from the inspection will be awarded the Major General W.P.T. Hill Award and be named the “Chow Hall of the Year”.
“Only the best of the best get to compete in the food service community,” said MSgt Juan InzunzaRodriguez, the manager of Mess Hall 488 with Headquarters and Support Battalion Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “This competition is import because it rewards the mess halls that are doing well and the Marines in those Mess Halls,” said InzunzaRodriguez.
Mess Hall 488 is the only mess hall on Okinawa to be nominated to compete for the Major General W.P.T. Hill Award.
“No matter the outcome of this inpection, we will use the tips and recommendations the inspectors give us to make this mess hall even better,” said InzunzaRodriguez.
The winner of the competition will be announced in June and will be flown out to Chicago, IL for the awards ceremony.