Navy Chef brings home win during Army-Navy Cook-off

Photo By Ted Nichols | U.S. Navy Culinary Specialist 1st Class James Monoski captured the fifth win for Navy in the seven years the Army vs. Navy cook-off has been held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Jan 12.



Story by Samantha Lohr 

Naval Supply Systems Command 

For the fifth time in seven years, a Navy Culinary Specialist (CS) won the Army vs. Navy Cook-off at the 107th Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Jan 12.

The pressure was on for both chefs with an audience of several hundred peppered with retired and active military from all services divided between Army and Navy. The crowd cheered on their side in hopes they would create the best dish.

CS1 (SW/AW) James Monoski claimed victory along with his team of local media personalities, Ali Lanyon and Dan Tomaso from Harrisburg’s ABC27 news.

Each team had only 30 minutes to create a dish from surprise ingredients from agricultural products grown, produced or processed in Pennsylvania. The ingredients included chicken thigh quarters, sausage, potatoes, mushrooms, quark cheese, maple syrup, chicken rub and other spices.

With the help of his sous-chefs, Monoski plated seared chicken thigh alongside rustic mashed potatoes with quark cheese and sausage and sautéed mushrooms with a maple balsamic reduction.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is held every January at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. It is the largest indoor agricultural event in the United States, offering 24 acres of exhibition space under one roof. The event attracts more than half a million visitors every year.

A four-person judging panel evaluated the final dishes from both teams, the judges were John Moeller, former White House chef and author of “Dining at the White House – From the President’s Table to Yours”; Marc Ferraro, executive deputy secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; Senior Chief Jason T. Rohrs, Special Command Aide Program manager, Office of the Commandant, United States Coast Guard; and Greg Wagner, senior manager, Internal Technical Support for Comcast NBCUniversal.

Later in the afternoon, CS1 (SW/AW) Abby Swisher provided a cooking demonstration of her favorite meal Chicken Riggies. The live audience of at least a hundred was given the opportunity to sample the meal. While cooking, she engaged with the crowd and spoke about her Navy journey and the continued opportunities the Navy provides her.

Today’s CSs have greater culinary instruction than ever before. With more than 7,300 Navy CSs across the globe, ready to adapt to the nature of their deployment. They are taught taste and nutrition are important when creating meals for their shipmates because nothing impacts Sailors’ morale more than the food prepared for them.

NAVSUP is headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employs a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 25,000 military and civilian personnel. NAVSUP and the Navy Supply Corps conduct and enable supply chain, acquisition, operational logistics and Sailor & family care activities with our mission partners to generate readiness and sustain naval forces worldwide to prevent and decisively win wars. Learn more at, and

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