Kenyan-American wins Armed Forces ‘Chef of Year’ honors

fridaNavy Petty Officer 1st Class Frida Karani wows judges for Armed Forces 2016 top chef honors

“Nowadays, women are giving men a run for their money,” said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Frida Karani, personal chef to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and this year’s Armed Forces Chef of the Year.

Frida Karani, a petty officer first class in the U.S. Navy co-worker, in March this year, won the Armed Forces Chef of the Year competition, becoming only the second woman to win in the event’s 41-year history. Army Sgt. Sarah Deckert was the first, in 2014.

Karani is none too shy to gloat a little. She noted women are excelling because “Equal opportunity and hard work always pay off.

“The competition was pretty tough,” said Karani, 35, a classically trained chef who first studied culinary arts in her native Kenya. “All the chefs were very well trained.”

Karani should know. Working with a basket of mystery ingredients, she wowed the judges with a four-course menu she developed that included seared red snapper and fried smoked oysters served with gnocchi in a clam-tomato broth.

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