Iowa Air Guard's 185th Receives Top Honors at National Restaurant Association Event

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185th Air Refueling WIng Public Affairs

The Iowa Air National Guard's 185th Air Refueling Wing Services Flight received top honors at a ceremony over the weekend while attending the National Restaurant Associations Hotel Motel show in Chicago, Illinois.

Technical Sgt. Emily Vondrak, 185th Base Services Manager along with fifteen other enlisted members of the Sioux City, Iowa based Air Guard were present when the unit was recognized as the best kitchen in the Air National Guard. The Air Guard members were awarded a traveling trophy and plaque during the awards ceremony.

This past March representatives from the Hennessy Travelers Association gave their appraisal of the kitchen in Sioux City as part of their annual culinary competition. During their visit judges were primarily evaluating food service and hospitality excellence. Technical Sgt. Vondrak said, "The main thing they look for is team work and positive attitudes."

According to Vondrak the biggest lesson she learned from the experience, was that she could use the National Guard Bureau (NGB) as a source in order to procure new equipment for her kitchen. "We always put in for unfunded's on the base level, but we never knew that NGB would fund some of these products as well; all we had to do was up channel them." Vondrak said.

The competition has organizations from around the nation competing for the Air Guard Award, named after the late Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Disney. The "Disney" award was created in 2000 as a way to promote quality meal service in the Air Guard.

The evaluation is a collaborative effort with members from the National Guard Bureau in Washington DC, the National Restaurant Association, as well as the Culinary Institute of America working together to improve food quality and service throughout the military services.

Additionally Senior Airman Amanda Gill of the Sioux City, Iowa was selected by the evaluation team to attend a week of training at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California. During her trip this summer, she will get a chance to work with some of the industry's best with all the expenses for the trip paid for courtesy of the National Restaurant Association.

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