Marine Corps. Base Hawaii --
Long before the sun rose above the Headquarters Battalion parking lot, competitors were slow-roasting their tastiest dishes to prepare for the unit’s barbecue competition, April 12.
Sgt. Vince Everett, computer repair specialist with Headquarters Bn., started cooking his delectable brisket at 4:30 a.m. He took charge of his team and entered in each of the three competition categories, including chicken, pork ribs, and beef brisket. This is Everett’s second barbecue but his first time competing.
“The Marines and sailors love it,” Everett said. “Whether they have been in six months or 26 years, they enjoy the family barbeques and get-togethers. It’s kind of a welcome and a goodbye, for Marines and sailors coming and going.”
Families cooked and ate while children played beanbag games. Each team in the competition had their own tent and charcoal grill, or a multitude of grills set up in the parking lot. There were approximately 13 teams, some participating in all three categories while others chose to participate in one, or two.
Everett explained the barbecue helps everyone spend time with each other in their shops, but on a more personal level by cooking and eating some delicious food — all in the spirit of good competition.
The competitors couldn’t use gas grills, and an entry in each category had to be done at a certain time for judging. A first place winner and a runner-up were chosen for each category, receiving various prizes, including a beach grill for first place, and stainless steel utensils for runner-ups.
Three professional chefs from different restaurants on Oahu, like Triple C’s Smoke House and Grill. These chefs determined the winners after sampling each entry and deciding which ones made their taste buds go wild.
“We judge it on texture, presentation, how it’s cut, taste, if it’s soft, if it’s burnt or not burnt,” said Claude Crawford, a judge and owner of Triple C’s Smoke House and Grill.
The finger-licking entrees were brought to the judges in closed plastic take-out food containers. The judges looked at each entry and judged on the presentation. Many of the teams had their special sauces and seasonings at hand as they hoped they would win and be called the best barbecuer in the battalion.
“You can see how some of them take their grilling seriously,” said Capt. Mike Kline, service company commander for Headquarters Bn.
The first place winner for the chicken category was the Anderson Hall Dining Facility and the runner-up the Legal Beagles. First place in the pork rib category was the Anderson Hall Dining Facility and runner-up was Grill Instructors with the Installation Personnel Administration Center. First place in the beef brisket category was Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 and runner-up was the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band.
“It’s an opportunity for Marines and sailors to come out and show their barbecue recipe skills,” Kline said. “It’s a laid back
experience and a more person to person basis outside the workplace.”