GFS CoverGovernment Food Service

Highlights of the July 2013 Issue

Food-T II — Air Force Strategy Succeeds in Raising Satisfaction with Airmen


A set of six Air Force dining facilities renovated under the Food Transformation Initiative have successfully revived airmen's satisfaction, and the total rises to 11 with the completion of five more installations by February 2014.

Food Transformation, or Food-T, remains a strategy aimed at reversing a cycle in which airmen were using the dining facilities less and eating fewer meals there. “That was one of the primary reasons that FTI was developed and deployed,” said Fred McKenney, chief, Air Force Food & Beverage Operations Section, Air Force Personnel Center. “It's not the institutional march-down-the-line-with-your-tray configuration anymore, it's station feeding.”

FTI began a little over two years ago at six pilot locations to redefine how food is delivered to airmen by providing greater variety, as well as better availability and food quality.

Original plans were to do Food Transformation at 13 locations. Instead, a test was approved to begin Food- T at six pilot locations that operate under a contract with Aramark that began in late 2010. ...

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Achievements Being Noticed — Air Force Food Transformation
Wins NRA Award


When the Air Force made the Food Transformation Initiative (FTI) the centerpiece of several steps to improve foodservice operations it would have been content simply having airmen recognize the progress, now even the National Restaurant Association (NRA) is taking notice.

The Air Force is the winner in the Health and Nutrition category of the NRA's second annual Operator Innovations Awards. The awards, announced May 29 during the NRA's Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago, Ill., recognize achievements driving advancement in the foodservice industry, as well as fueling customer satisfaction and profitability.

“Restaurant operators are coming up with new and better ways to do business every day ... the Air Force, too, strives to meet our demanding customer needs,” said Fred McKenney, chief, Air Force Food & Beverage Operations Section, Air Force Personnel Center. “This award is for everyone involved in FTI; planners, implementers, operators and supporters.”

Operator Innovations Award winners are selected by an independent panel of 11 expert judges in five categories. In addition to Health and Nutrition, awards were presented in Food Safety, Menu Development, Sustainability and Technology. ...




 THE REWARDS OF TRAINING — Judges Give Verdicts on Best Air Force
   Foodservice Programs


Talented airmen, highly trained in fine culinary skills, enjoyed the satisfaction of a job well-done when Air Force installations judged to have the best foodservice programs received the John L. Hennessy and Air National Guard's Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth W. Disney Awards.

This is the 57th year for the competition, which is based on the entire scope of an installation's foodservice program, including management effectiveness, force readiness support, food quality, employee and customer relations, training and safety awareness.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Air Force Hennessy and Air National Guard Disney awards were presented together with the Marine Corps Maj. Gen. William Pendleton Thompson Hill awards during the annual National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. ...


 NOMINEES HOLD THEIR BREATH — Hennessy Award of Excellence
   Winners Announcement in November


As part of competition for the Air Force John L. Hennessy, Marine Corps W.P.T. Hill and Air National Guard's Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Disney awards, the experienced judges who decide the winning teams also select a group of 25, increasing to 30 this year, outstanding culinary specialists to attend the Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence, a weeklong training and education program at the Culinary Institute of America in Greystone, Calif.

These outstanding service members from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps have a unique educational opportunity to develop their culinary and foodservice management skills, as well as earn certification useful to a future in the hospitality industry.

The Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence this year is scheduled for November and gives participants an opportunity to learn new skills while also brushing up on techniques that may go ignored because they may not have the opportunity to use them often.

Service members broaden their culinary knowledge through hands-on classes, seminars and roundtable discussions with leaders of the restaurant and foodservice industries. Hosts and industry partners, meanwhile, share best practices and personal career experiences.

Awarded annually to Air Force installations with the best foodservice programs based on the entire scope of operations, the Hennessy award also includes the Hennessy Travelers' Association (HTA) Award of Excellence...


 SAVOR THE MOMENT — Hennessy Travelers Are Pleased to Continue
   the Tradition


As a restaurateur, Carmen Vacalebre has the expertise to recognize a good foodservice operation, and can appreciate the good work being done in military food service when doing evaluations as a traveler for the Hennessy program.

Vacalebre considers dining facilities on military bases to be great training facilities, emphasizing the balance between eating the right food and exercise. “I think the energy is there, the commitment to improve food service is there,” he said. “They are improving and headed in the right direction.”

He believes the Hennessy program is valuable to improve military food service, and insists that better training is critical to prepare culinary specialists to become professional chefs.

It is a culture shock, he said, explaining that the commercial world stresses flavor profile and profitability more than military food service does. ...

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 A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE — Hennessy Awards Remain True to
  Goals Set Over 50 Years Ago


With the John L. Hennessy program celebrating its 57th year, the tradition established more than a half century ago remains true to its original goal, while evolving to keep relevant and maintain a close, natural connection with the objectives of raising foodservice performance, as well as supporting the training of culinary specialists.

Winners of the 2013 Hennessy Awards for Excellence in Air Force food service were recognized during a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 17, 2013, at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. Also receiving awards during the reception were winners of the Marine Corps W.P.T. Hill Award, Kenneth Disney Award for the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Awards plus Air Force and Marine Corps individual awards.

Conceived as an opportunity to promote foodservice excellence through an award process that enables industry leaders to exchange suggestions with the armed forces, the Hennessy program is named for the late John Lawrence Hennessy.

Hennessy was a hotel and restaurant executive who led a special task group within the Hoover Commission, which was established by President Eisenhower to study ways to improve the efficiency of government agencies. ...


W.P.T. HILL AWARDS — Competing For Excellence:
W.P.T. Hill Awards Reward Hard Work and Contribution to Morale


Hard work and a commitment to excellence paid off for four Marine Corps garrison and field foodservice programs that are celebrating after being recognized as winners of the 2013 Maj. Gen. William Pendleton Thompson Hill Memorial awards.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Marine Corps Maj. Gen. William Pendleton Thompson Hill awards presented together with the Air Force Hennessy and Air National Guard Disney awards during the annual National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago, Ill. ...

Established in 1985, the Hill awards reward highquality food service by identifying the best mess halls throughout the Marine Corps and encouraging a commitment to excellence through competition.

The award also reaches into morale by recognizing the contribution made to improving the quality of life for Marines and Navy personnel.

Hill winners also demonstrate leadership, culinary expertise and the award-winning capabilities of Marine Corps food service specialists whose personal initiative and professional commitment are often unmatched in this difficult and demanding specialty. ...

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  Connelly Award Program Marks 45th Year


Competition encouraged by the Philip A. Connelly Award for Excellence in Army food service is a catalyst that raises the standard of culinary performance, professionalism and commitment to quality, as well as contributes to the health, morale and readiness of service members.

Established 45 years ago, the Connelly Awards program has significantly impacted the degree of professionalism associated with Army food service. Food service personnel provide the essential fuel that keeps the Army performing at its peak by providing nutritional meals for energy and concentration and contributing to a morale-boosting environment.

The award also aims to give special recognition to foodservice staffs working in Army dining facilities and during field kitchen operations for their contribution to enhancing the quality of food service provided to warfighters.

Its objectives include: improving the professionalism of foodservice personnel in order to provide the best-quality meals and service to military members; and providing recognition for excellence in the preparation and serving of food in Army dining facilities, as well as during field kitchen operations. ...


 THE CRITICS' CHOICE — Connelly Winners Have a Competitive Edge


On any given day, the foodservice teams working to prepare meals in dining facilities or field kitchens manage to satisfy a tough set of critics in the soldiers and other service members who expect wellcooked meals and swift service.

Performing well under pressure may be routine, but even the most experienced foodservice teams find a way to step up when competing for the Philip A. Connelly awards.

The Connelly program competition promotes professionalism and excellence in Army food service by encouraging teams to perform to higher standards through evaluations of appearance, food preparation procedures and sanitation.

Not only is top-level performance required to win the Philip A. Connelly competition, but teams must be consistent as the long and grueling evaluation process stretches over several months.

Teams earn special recognition as they advance through the evaluation process. Awards are presented in five categories with a winner and runner-up selected in each. ...


 TRAINING AND RECOGNITION — Connelly Evaluators in This Year's
   Awards Program Look Back


The Army Philip A. Connelly awards program is best known as a competition to select the best foodservice teams, but it is also recognized as a training opportunity guiding culinary specialists to become proficient and better qualified in essential skills.

Evaluators play an important role in the training. Each evaluator brings areas of expertise and experience while measuring the foodservice teams against the Connelly criteria. Results of the evaluations show the teams the standards that need to be followed and where they need to improve.

This educational aspect helps the Connelly awards program to improve military food service, as well as bring recognition to the important job of preparing meals for service members.

Competition this year brought out the best in all the teams according to three evaluators who share their thoughts about the teams and the criteria they focus on. ...


REDNOUR AWARDS — Motivating Foodservice Excellence


Coast Guard units enjoy meals skillfully prepared in galleys ashore and afloat by foodservice teams that train and practice to improve their ability and expertise.

A motivation for each Coast Guard Unit foodservice team to improve its performance and achieve excellence in food service is the Forrest O. Rednour Memorial Awards. ...

Awards this year were selected in the categories of: Large Afloat, Large Ashore, Medium Afloat, Medium Ashore, Small Afloat and Small Ashore.

In addition to the team awards, a Food Service Specialist of the Year was selected.

The Forrest O. Rednour Memorial Award Program for Excellence in Food Service and the Food Service Specialist of the Year Awards are intended to recognize Coast Guard units with outstanding dining facility and food service specialists. ...

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DLA TROOP SUPPORT — Supply Corps Captain Set Sail:
Hansen, Director of Subsistence at DLA Troop Support,
Retires After a 29-Year Navy Career


Shortly after enlisting in the Navy and starting boot camp in April 1984, Mike Hansen was aboard the guided missile frigate USS Underwood, getting his first experience at sea, and beginning an education that would lead to a long military career culminating in his retirement in June as the director of subsistence, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Troop Support.

A small ship, the Underwood is what Hansen said the Navy terms a “two-supply officer operation,” which means the supply officer doubles as a foodservice officer.

“On the Underwood, I ran that galley,” he said. “Everyone has some type of exposure like that; unless they are on large decks their entire life, then they might not have a chance to do it.”

Looking back, he considers the Underwood an “interesting education” where lessons are learned the hard way, but determining amounts and utilization was also a natural tie-in with the math skills he sharpened while earning an undergraduate degree in accounting from Washburn University in 1983 before enlisting in the Navy. ...

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Fish and Seafood Catching On — Soldiers Hooked On Performance,
Health and Diverse Flavor Profiles


Much advice is available to guide service members on how to eat smart, partly in support of campaigns aimed at reducing obesity, but also encouraging service members to meet nutritional requirements.

Most prominent are the Soldier Fueling Initiative and Go for Green labeling program that identify foods that should be eaten often, moderately or less frequently. At a time when traditional approaches to diet and nutrition are being reevaluated, fish and seafood are getting more consideration.

“The Army foodservice operations are taking note of the high quality of many available fish and seafood products, and the increasing interest of diners in those choices,” said the Army's Quality Assurance Division (QUAD) in a written response to questions about seafood. “The interest is founded on both sensory experiences and on the health and performance benefits of consuming fish more frequently over the week.”

In the Army, model menus developed for contingency operations (CONOPS), which is controlled by the chief Concepts, Systems and Policy Division (CSPD), and Quality Assurance Division each include more fish and seafood.

“Menus for general population feeding and those supporting the Soldier Fueling Initiative Initial Military Training (IMT) have incorporated substantial fish and seafood over the meals,” said the QUAD and CPSD. ...