Living the Dream

Posted by lex, on August 11, 2010

That’s what Culinary Specialist Chief Brandon Parry is doing at Commander Naval Air Forces, US Pacific Fleet, having placed second in a national culinary competition: *

For the appetizer, Parry served an eco-safe Sablefish caught by hook-and-line off the San Diego Coast, endive jam, cod fritter, and pickled squash with a classic beurre blanc butter sauce. Next up was a Blazei mushroom soup – whose healthful properties might cure cancer, Parry claimed – with cognac cream, almond gremolata and cracker.

Parry created a truffle-injected veal tenderloin for the main dish, which he served with caramelized onions, green beans and carrots, fresh herbs and croquettes made from Point Reyes, Calif., Blue Cheese and potato, accented with orange marmalade.

“I had a lot of suggestions from my friends and people I respected about what I should prepare,” Parry said. “At the end of the day, you’re only as good as your last meal, and for this competition, I needed to be the chef that I am – I needed to be me. I feel I put out the best product possible and made the best meal I could.

“It was an honor to cook and compete against the chefs that were there … a true thrill of a lifetime.”

I’ve got at least five pounds on me that I attribute to three years dining at the admiral’s mess at CNAF, although – to his credit – my former boss there managed to keep his cadaverous physique quite nicely.

On the other hand, I recollect that I used to slim down quite nicely when deployed aboard aircraft carriers, where the Navy cooks – God bless and keep ‘em – had to serve 5000 people over a two hour block, three times a day, day after day for months on end with no days off. I don’t remember many servings of truffle-injected veal tenderloin, nor cognac cream neither.

It’s never really been a matter of talent, but scale. Congrats to Chief Parry.

* Link updated 04-16-18 – Ed.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Navy, San Diego

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