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Brisket cook-off tasteful success

By Pfc. Brian J. Holloran | | August 19, 2005

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The Marines of Personnel Support Detachment 13 held a brisket cook-off at the Infinities enlisted club Aug. 19 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event helped raise money to defer the cost of tickets to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball this Nov. The brisket was five dollars a plate, which included both potato or macaroni salad, and beans. The Marines also were selling refreshments.

“The cook-off was the brainchild of mine and Gunnery Sergeant (Don J.) Shirley,” said Sgt. Eduardo R. Galvez, grounds safety noncommissioned officer and Houston native. “It started with me and him talking about who cooked the better brisket. We always joked about having a cook-off to decide which was better. Then we had the idea to use the cook-off to raise money for our Marine Corps Ball tickets.”

Even though the cook-off itself didn’t begin until 11 a.m., for many of the contestants it began much earlier.

“There’s fifteen and a half hours in this brisket,” said Lance Cpl. Joseph Sullivan, legal assistant chief, and Yuma native. “My shop took four-hour shifts watching the meat while it cooked through the night. Even our officers took a shift. In fact, Captain (Dawn M.) Steinberg let us cook the brisket in her house. There were ashes all over her floor.”

Even with all the legal staff working together, they were not sufficient enough to beat Master Sgt. Marguerite F. Crawford, Marine Aircraft Group 13, administration chief and Black Mountain, N.C., native, according to the judges who awarded Crawford the first place prize for her oven-cooked brisket.

Second place went to one of the masterminds behind the cook-off.

Shirley, an Austin, Texas, native, said he took second place using one of his hometown recipes.

Third place went to the team from legal assistance.

The competition was close, said petty officer first class Tony H. Richardson, Aero medical safety corpsman and native of Megargel Texas. Choosing one team to be given first place was difficult.

“When I was judging I took everything into account –tenderness, texture and of course taste,” said Richardson. “Even though (the legal center) finished in third place, their brisket was the best tasting. The cook-off was a great idea; it should definitely be done again, but in November, when it’s not one hundred and ten degrees outside.”

“The cook-off was a great idea,” said Sullivan. “It helped boost morale and added some friendly competition.”

Regardless of who won or lost, the outcome was great food for all those involved.

“This is my first time eating this kind of meat,” said Cpl. Brian T. Joseph, Consolidated Personnel Administration Center, administration chief and Miami native. “It is really good; I really like the smoky flavoring.”

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