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Navy Culinary Specialist Wins Army/Navy Cook-Off at Largest US Indoor Ag Event

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (NNS) -- A Navy Culinary Specialist (CS) won the Army vs. Navy Cook-off at the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Jan. 11.

Culinary Specialist 1st Class Frida Karani, Enlisted Aide to Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul J. Selva, led a team of local media personalities to create a dish of sausage croquettes on a bed of mushrooms, nut tilapia over squash and potato puree, all topped with a beet reduction and apple slaw.

Karani teamed up with Harrisburg FOX 43 television news reporters Andrea Michaels and Trenice Bishop [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQCPCnRiJpw] to be her sous chefs, while her competitor Sgt. Adalberto Campos teamed up with ABC 27 reporters James Crummel and Ali Lanyon [http://abc27.com/2018/01/11/pa-farm-show-thursday-celebrates-milk-military-members/].

Each team was surprised with a basket of mainly Pennsylvania-sourced ingredients. Ingredients included lamb sausage, apples, tilapia, squash, mushrooms, beet juice, and more. Both teams had access to common pantry items. They were given 30 minutes to prepare the most appealing dish. 

The suspense was gripping as hundreds of Pennsylvania Farm Show attendees cheered on the Army and Navy teams. 

A team of four judges rated the dishes based on taste, presentation, harmony of ingredients, visual appeal, and originality. One judge noted the Navy had a dish where they could taste the food with their eyes. Another said the Navy had "spectacular food placement," which was very "visually appealing." 

The dishes were rated on flavor, texture, cooking technique, visual appeal, proportion of sauce to garnish, use of colors, and overall creativity. Karani prevailed with the highest score and was named the competition's winner. 

When asked about her experience, Karani said, "Coming from Kenya, we eat everything fresh, which gave me the experience of knowing how to use fresh ingredients, and that helped me here."

She added, "Our leadership coming out shows good support and leadership can see the trainings they give us as Sailors," referencing attendance of Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) leadership, including NAVSUP Commander Rear Adm. Jonathan A. Yuen. 

"Congratulations to CS1 Karani," Yuen said. "Our CSs put their all into the work they do each day. We owe a lot to them for ensuring our Sailors are well-fed and well-nourished."

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.

NAVSUP provides U.S. naval forces with quality supplies and services. With headquarters in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP oversees logistics programs in the areas of supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation, and security assistance. In addition, NAVSUP is responsible for quality-of-life issues for our naval forces, including food service, postal services, Navy Exchanges, and movement of household goods.

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