Local Marine wins Camp Pendleton cooking competition

Local Marine wins Camp Pendleton cooking competition
Sgt. Sean Dodds
Sgt. Sean Dodds

(WMC-TV) – A Memphis native is bringing more fame to the Bluff City for something it is already known for – good food.

Before he became a Marine, Sgt. Sean Dodds learned to cook.

"I went to culinary school when I was 17 years old and graduated at 19 before joining the Marine Corps," said Sgt. Dodds.

Sergeant Dodds competed and won the "Chef of the Quarter" contest for Camp Pendleton.

It was the first time he has competed. Requirements in the top chef-styled competition include a main dish using pork, a lobster side, vegetables, and a dessert.

Sgt. Dodds explained his two-man team's plan.

"Lobster bisque over savory grits with roasted pork loin with country vegetables and a made from scratch apple sauce," he said.

They hit a snag when they couldn't find heavy cream for the bisque. Instead they went with a lobster salad, which turned out to be a good choice.

"They said it was the hit of the day," said Dodds.

It was an industrious move that scored big.

"They ran into a problem, they changed, they were able to adapt to the situation," said food contest judge Dave Browser.

Their ability to adapt played a role in the decision as the marines were judged on all sorts of categories including taste, smell, looks, preparation, and punctuality.

As a prize for winning, Sgt. Dodds will have the opportunity of attending the Culinary Institute of America.

As he celebrates, the City of Memphis can add another "top chef" to its list.

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