By Airman 1st Class Jodi L. Jordan
16th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFNS) -- The Oasis Cafe Dining Facility at Hurlburt Field holds the title of Air Force best, earning the John L. Hennessy Jr. trophy for 1997 in the single-facility category.
The Hennessy Awards are sponsored by the National Restaurant Association and presented to the Air Force winning bases' representatives during the annual National Restaurant Association meeting and exposition. The awards were named for John L. Hennessy, a respected restaurateur and industry leader who was assigned to the Hoover Commission to find ways to improve food service within the military.
Winning the trophy was recognition for the varied roles services squadron airmen have to play at Hurlburt Field, according to Brig. Gen. Norty Schwartz, 16th Special Operations Wing commander.
"We've always known that the 16th Services Squadron provided the best in food services to our Air Commandos," said Schwartz. "The Hennessy proves we're the best in our Air Force too. Whether providing flight meals or special dinners to airmen at home station, services squadron airmen have excelled because they understand their customer base here, they believe in the special operations mission, and the considerable demands placed on all Hurlburt Field airmen."
Hennessy represents the "gold ring" for Air Force food service workers. Each year, the best food service professionals are put through their paces by an eagle-eyed team of evaluators selected by the Services Agency headquarters.
The Hennessy evaluators spend about 45 days visiting bases that make the grade and are chosen to compete. Installations having only one facility serving at least three meals per day, five days per week are classified in the single facility category. The multiple facility category bases have more than one main dining facility.
While visiting a base, they evaluate every aspect of the food service program, working from a checklist of more than 140 items. Major categories include management effectiveness, force readiness support, food quality, employee and customer relations, resource conservation, training and safety awareness.
Awards will be presented at the National Restaurant Association Show May 17, in Chicago. Among the 12-person delegation going to Chicago is Senior Airman Joseph Caldiero, the Oasis Cafe Flight Kitchen manager. Caldiero was chosen for the prestigious Travelers Association Award, which recognizes individuals who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, attitude and culinary skill.
Air Force News Service story, dated April 9, 1997.
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