Cpl. Mendoza

Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station New River

Length of Service: 3 years

Hometown: Miami, Florida

What do you enjoy most about cooking?

“Preparing the food. Getting my ingredients together and seeing the outcome of the cook. I love to see when I cook something and it turns out good. It’s nice knowing I did a good job.”

What influenced you to become a cook?

“I actually got started in the Marine Corps when I was assigned the path. I consider myself a pretty good cook so far having learned in the Marine Corps. Any time I cook for my family they’ll tell me, ‘Wow, that’s really good.’ I’m making the best of my time.”

What’s your favorite type of dish?

“Pulled pork. Anytime I see we’re doing pulled pork on the weekend here I’m the first one on it. I’ll head to the storeroom and grab that big pork shoulder and get it started. Here we do it like a Texas style barbecue.”

What’s one thing people should have in their kitchens?

“Prepared spices are helpful. My mom always has garlic around. Any kind of garlic is great. Chopped, minced or any other type. I’m a big fan. You should also make sure you have a good sautee pan. I prefer a non-stick pan.”

Do you have any advice for amateur chefs?

“It always starts off slow. When I started I was bad. I didn’t know what certain ingredients or spices were. It takes a lot of time and practice. When you get that experience though you’ll be making anything you see and want to try. ”

What do you like most about the recipe you’re providing?

“The main thing I like most about making pulled pork is slow cooking it for hours and seeing the pork just fall apart on its own. That to me is so satisfying. For the end product adding some BBQ sauce onto the pork to top it off makes it come out delicious.”

Recipe: Pulled Pork


• 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

• 1 (4 pound) pork shoulder roast

• 1 cup barbeque sauce

• 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

• 1/2 cup chicken broth

• 1/4 cup light brown sugar

• 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 1 extra large onion, chopped

• 2 large cloves garlic, crushed

• 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

• 8 hamburger buns, split

• 2 tablespoons butter

• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


1. Pour the vegetable oil into the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the pork roast into the slow cooker; pour in the barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth. Stir in the brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion, garlic, and thyme. Cover and cook on high until the roast shreds easily with a fork, 5 to 6 hours.

2. Remove the roast from the slow cooker and shred the meat using two forks. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, and stir the meat into the juices.

3. Spread the inside of both halves of hamburger buns with butter. Toast the buns, butter side down, in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Spoon pork into the toasted buns.

Yields 8 servings