Food service Marines compete for best Marine Corps’ birthday cake

By Lance Cpl. Jose A. Mendez Jr. | 2nd Marine Division | November 07, 2013

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Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, Sgt. Maj. Bryan K. Zickefoose, the 2nd Marine Division sergeant major, and Master Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Butler, the food technician for G-4 Food Services observe a cake during the 2013 Marine Corps birthday cake competition aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 6, 2013. Food service Marines were tasked with creating a cake for celebrating the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday.

Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, Sgt. Maj. Bryan K. Zickefoose, the 2nd Marine Division sergeant major, and Master Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Butler, the food technician for G-4 Food Services observe a cake during the 2013 Marine Corps birthday cake competition aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 6, 2013. Food service Marines were tasked with creating a cake for celebrating the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Jose A. Mendez Jr. )


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Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, smiles while inspecting a cake created by food service Marines during the 2013 Marine Corps birthday cake competition aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 6, 2013. The Marines were tasked with creating a cake for celebrating the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday.

Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, smiles while inspecting a cake created by food service Marines during the 2013 Marine Corps birthday cake competition aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 6, 2013. The Marines were tasked with creating a cake for celebrating the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Jose A. Mendez Jr. )


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Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, judges a cake created by food service Marines during the 2013 Marine Corps birthday cake competition aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 6, 2013. The Marines were tasked with creating a cake for celebrating the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday.

Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, judges a cake created by food service Marines during the 2013 Marine Corps birthday cake competition aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 6, 2013. The Marines were tasked with creating a cake for celebrating the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Jose A. Mendez Jr. )


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Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, judges a cake created by food service Marines during the 2013 Marine Corps birthday cake competition aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 6, 2013. The Marines were tasked with creating a cake for celebrating the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday.

Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, judges a cake created by food service Marines during the 2013 Marine Corps birthday cake competition aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 6, 2013. The Marines were tasked with creating a cake for celebrating the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Jose A. Mendez Jr. )


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Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, and Sgt. Maj. Bryan K. Zickefoose, the 2nd Marine Division sergeant major, pose with Lance Cpl. Travis V. Stark and Lance Cpl. Sydney R. Cayou, the winners of the 2013 Marine Corps birthday cake competition and their cake aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 6, 2013. Food service Marines from various units on Camp Lejeune competed to create the most appealing cake for celebrating the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday. Stark was representing 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, and Cayou was representing Headquarters Battalion.

Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, and Sgt. Maj. Bryan K. Zickefoose, the 2nd Marine Division sergeant major, pose with Lance Cpl. Travis V. Stark and Lance Cpl. Sydney R. Cayou, the winners of the 2013 Marine Corps birthday cake competition and their cake aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 6, 2013. Food service Marines from various units on Camp Lejeune competed to create the most appealing cake for celebrating the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday. Stark was representing 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, and Cayou was representing Headquarters Battalion. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Jose A. Mendez Jr. )


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE --

The 2nd Marine Division G-4 Food Services hosted its first Marine Corps cake competition, to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday. The food service Marines received classes and began baking Oct. 28 and the cakes judged Nov. 6, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

Eight Marine food service specialists faced off in heated battle baking, icing and stacking cakes to the most perfect form they can create.
 
Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, Sgt. Maj. Bryan K. Zickefoose, the 2nd Marine Division sergeant major, and Master Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Butler, the food technician for G-4 Food Services, judged the competition.
 
The cakes and teams were judged on seven criteria, the Marines’ appearance and attitude, cake appearance, straightness of lines, smoothness of icing, uniformity and levelness of tiers.  
 
“These are all terrific cakes and you should all be proud of your work,” Lukeman said. “It was so competitive that it came down to a split decision.”
 
After much deliberation the judges came to a final decision and selected the cake created by Lance Cpl. Travis V. Stark, a food service specialist with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, from Boyne City, Mich., and Lance Cpl. Sydney R. Cayou, a food service specialist with Headquarters Battalion.
 
“I am very proud of my cake. Right now I’m feeling a big rush. I just want to go run around and scream ‘I won!’” Stark said.
 
For most of the Marines this was their first time baking cakes. So learning and working under the time constraints and pressure of wanting it to be perfect for the Marine Corps’ birthday turned out to be a rewarding experience for them.
 
“It is a really big honor to be given the opportunity to make a Marine Corps birthday cake,” said Stark. “It was a long journey filled with fun and a lot of frustration.”
 
After the competitions the cakes were distributed to different mess halls around Camp Lejeune for celebratory birthday meals.
 
“Baking is an art and we just decided to let our creativity shine,” added Stark.

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