105th Airlift Wing Cooks Place Second in National Guard Food Service Competition

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Airman 1st Class Luz Garcia

STEWART AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, NEWBURG, NY (06/22/2013)(readMedia)-- The 105th Airlift Wing's Services Flight finished second in an Air National Guard nationwide competition which judges air wing food service operations.

The evaluation involved an on-site visit by a team from two inspectors from the National Restaurant Association and an evaluation of the organization and management of the Stewart Air National Guard Base dining facility.

The inspectors looked at kitchen operations, the serving and dining experience, sanitation and maintenance of the facility, overall management and the training and basic airmanship skills of the 30 members of the flight, said Master Sgt. Anastasia Baldassari, the Stewart Air National Guard Base services manager.

The Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Disney Award mirrors the John L. Hennessy Award presented to Active Air Force units in recognition of outstanding food service.

The Air Force Award, named in honor of the Chairman of the War Food Committee during World War II, recognizes Air Force Food Service Excellence.

The Disney Award was created in 2000 as a specific Air Guard award because of the differences in the way the reserve components of the Air Force operation as opposed to an Active Duty base, Baldassari explained.

Participating in the awards competition gave her Airmen a chance to focus on the bigger picture of food service operations, besides just preparing meals, Baldassari said.

While the 105th finished second in the overall national competition, 105th Airman 1st Class Luz Garcia was selected for to receive the Hennessy Travelers Association Award.

The award recipient participates in a week-long culinary arts training program at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California.

The award takes its name from the members of the National Restaurant Association who volunteer their time, and spend their own money, to travel to Air Force and Air Guard Bases to evaluate food service for the Hennessy and Disney Awards.

Garcia, who is a Consolidated Edison Customer Service Representative in civilian life, lives with her son, Allen, in the Bronx. She joined the Air National Guard in 2011.