Sixth Annual “Grill Off” May 28 Between U.S. Military Branches Takes on South-of-the-Border Staple for Spiciest Competition Yet


SAN PEDRO, Calif. – May 24, 2023 – Celebrating  L.A.’s long standing love and fascination with the taco, this Memorial Day Weekend’s “Galley Wars” grilling competition at LA Fleet Week® will challenge chef teams from the United States Navy, Marine Corps., Coast Guard, and Army to serve up their best surf and turf version of California’s favorite go-to entrée. And don’t forget the salsa!

Culinary specialists from the four competing military branches will take up their positions on the Battleship IOWA fantail at noon on May 28 to once again engage in this annual gastronomic battle, putting tacos center stage for the first time. Sponsored by FOX Entertainment, the taco challenge gives teams just 30 minutes to grill up their best surf and turf taco creations to be taste-tested by a panel of four high-profile taco-loving judges.  

Using only ingredients that are generally “standard galley issue” to create their dishes, along with locally sourced proteins, each Galley Wars two-person team will be plating up one meat taco, one fish taco, an accompanying side dish for each, as well as the team’s best shot at homemade salsa. The winning team will be awarded the coveted Galley Wars 2023 Champion engraved plaque. But more importantly, they will hold LA Fleet Week Galley Wars bragging rights until Memorial Day weekend 2024.

The LA Fleet Week Galley Wars competition was first held in 2016, when  competing culinary specialists cooked up versions of traditional “steel beach” barbeque fare held on Navy vessels for sailors and their families. Other themes throughout the years have included “best burger” and best “surf and turf” entrée. This year marks the first nod to the wildly popular and ubiquitous taco.

Galley Wars will take place Sunday, May 28 at noon on the fantail of the Battleship IOWA. Like many LA Fleet Week events, Galley Wars is free and open to the public, but audience seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

LA Fleet Week is a multi-day celebration of our nation’s Sea Services that takes place annually on the LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles. First held in 2016, the event has become a Southern California tradition attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year. The Port of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, Battleship IOWA and LA Fleet Week Foundation are founding sponsors of LA Fleet Week, which is now among only a handful of Navy Fleet Weeks in major U.S. coastal cities.

The Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club is LA Fleet Week’s presenting sponsor for 2023. See all supporting sponsors here.

For the latest updates on LA Fleet Week 2023, visit, follow the event on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @LAFleetWeek, or search the official hashtag #LAFleetWeek.

The busiest seaport in the Western Hemisphere, the Port of Los Angeles is North America’s leading trade gateway and has ranked as the No. 1 container port in the United States for 23 consecutive years. In 2022, the Port facilitated $311 billion in trade and handled a total of 9.9 million container units, the second busiest calendar year in the Port’s 116-year history. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs across the Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. 

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Leigh Smith
Media Relations
Port of Los Angeles
Arley Baker
Senior Director of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
Port of Los Angeles
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