Inflight catering related news

January 01, 2006

Gate Gourmet wins Silver Mercury Award

SPICE stands for Sustaining Progress In Culinary Excellence and is a skills development and improvement program for Gate Gourmet chefs. The program motivates and empowers Gate Gourmet’s frontline chefs in Europe to improve their kitchen management skills, share working practices, and experience the influence of the world’s culinary trends. The program was developed by Vice President Mike Pooley’s Centre of Product Innovation and Culinary Excellence for Gate Gourmet Europe. “We have a long tradition of culinary excellence, but after the impact of the significant challenges to the airline catering industry, we wanted to be more active in channeling the talent and energy in our kitchen brigades,” he said. “The award is a tremendous achievement for all the hard work and enthusiasm my team and the chefs have shown and the strong corporate empowerment we have enjoyed in rolling out SPICE – now we want to go global!” Pooley said. One feature of the program is the quarterly workshops that bring together colleagues from across Europe for an exchange of ideas and best practices, such as a three-day visit last fall to the Umbria and Tuscany regions in Italy. New tools also have been introduced. For instance, a new camera set was developed to allow professional style food photos. Presentations are made on specially designed tableware by Villeroy & Boch. Executive chefs have been issued new uniforms and major remodeling has been done at showrooms in key locations such as London, Frankfurt and Madrid. There were 25 finalists in five categories for this year’s Mercury competition, which highlighted a “global range of innovative and creative entries in products, services or systems,” according to Award Chairman Michael Koenig. Qantas Airways won the overall Mercury Award for its “In the Zone,” entry, an innovative training and communications initiative to support an economy class product re-launch. Qantas also was the gold winner in the “Training and Skills Development” category in which Gate Gourmet competed