Thursday, May 29, 2014

Southampton Airport launches musical program for passengers

The UK’s Southampton Airport has launched a new musical program for passengers over the summer period featuring local musicians performing live Friday evenings. 

Each Friday evening will feature a different group of musicians and style of music to keep the terminal entertainment fresh and lively. Musicians will include saxophonists, acoustic rock bands, youth swing groups and electric string acts.

Music in the Air is a collaboration between the airport and Southampton Music Service, the lead organization for the Southampton Music Hub, a service provided by Southampton City Council in partnership with local and national organizations.

The Music in the Air program is free, open to all passengers as well as the local community and will run until July 11.

-Tanya Filippelli

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Alpha LSG student chefs earn gold at cook-off

Two Alpha LSG-sponsored student chefs from Westminster Kingsway College in the United Kingdom won a Gold designation in an international cooking contest in Hong Kong.

William Breese and Ben Townsend attended the International Colleges Culinary Competition  (ICCC) 2014 for chefs under age 23 from top institutes in Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the United States in a test of imagination, taste and presentation.
William Breeze left and Ben Townsend
right victorious in Hong Kong

The young chefs served four portions of a three-course meal composed of appetizers, a main course and dessert. The teams of two were given a set ingredients and a full larder of extras and just two and a half hours to put together the meal.

Ben and William cooked a Trio of Salmon cooked three ways to start, followed by Roasted Guinea Fowl with Foie Gras, Ballotine of Guinea Fowl and Bon Bon, and a dessert of Chocolate and Mango Marquis, Coconut Ice-Cream with Mango, Chilli and Lime Salsa.

Lecturer Barry Jones, who accompanied William and Ben to Hong Kong, said the young chefs entered three strong courses, with the Roasted Guinea Fowl demonstrating a variety of skills and cooking methods across its many elements, which came together “in an appealing and tasty plate of food that was well executed and modern.”

The judges agreed, awarding Ben and William the Gold for their Guinea Fowl dish.
Outside of the competition, the teams were also treated to a full program planned by the Principal Instructor for Western Cuisine at the Hospitality Industry Training and Development Centre, Andreas Mueller. The chefs went on a tour of the city visiting such places as the expensive Peak district overlooking Hong Kong and Kowloon and the Tai O Village, where the residents live in miniature aluminium houses and are dependent on fishing and tourism.

“Ben and William did us all proud and I was very pleased with the way they represented Westminster Kingsway College and Alpha LSG at the competition. We would all like to extend our immense gratitude to Alpha LSG for their wonderful support in this venture, and for giving these two students an opportunity to travel to a country that has broadened their horizons,” said Barry.

Alpha LSG’s Head of Culinary Academy Paul Mason, who also mentors Ben and William, said: “The International Colleges Culinary Competition is a tough test which put our students up against four of the best overseas teams. To win Gold for their main course is a triumph to be proud of and one which we hope will continue to inspire them throughout their studies and future career.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An IFCA/ITCA/WTCE veteran looks back...

News of the end of the International Travel Catering Association (ITCA) moved in the e-mail in mid-morning on a Friday in the United States. Coincidentally, it occurred on the same day as I was planning to speak with one of the people who was at the first trade show sponsored by the Association and had maintained perfect attendance through the most recent World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expos held in Hamburg.
Hugh Muir

By now, anyone who has spent time at all in the travel catering industry is aware of the group’s history and its start in 1980 London and the subsequent formation of the International Flight Catering Association. But Hugh Muir is one of the few still around who was there at the beginning. Now, as he plans to move into retirement after years with notable companies such as Update International and Watermark, Hugh took a little time to talk about the first gathering, held in the ballroom of the Waldorf Hotel in London’s Aldwych among a group of buyers and sellers who “just kept bumping into each other” in the daily business of operating and supplying airlines around the world.

“It was a nice feeling of cooperation at that point,” Hugh said, and he painted the picture of a low-key affair in contrast to the business atmosphere that has evolved with technology and grown from rather humble roots into the fast-paced event so obvious in the latest trade shows.

London was an ideal location for him, as many of the well-known airline cabin design companies had set up shop there. With an education and credentials that made him a specialist in textiles and fabric, he has worked with some of the biggest names including Landor Associates, Priestman Goode, Factory Design and Honour Branding.

In London, he took the time to browse through the 20 or so exhibitors. At one of the gatherings he met David Young, another longtime figure in travel catering and cabin services, who has since returned to his native Australia and is Chief Operating Officer of Qantas Catering Group. Hugh would later work with David at Watermark.

As the years rolled on Hugh recalled other memorable venues. In 1992, he visited Checkpoint Charlie during the IFCA conference in a newly united Berlin, having spent many years crossing the “then” border to meet with Interflug, the then East German carrier. The Scotsman also spoke fondly of the conference at his “Ain Wee Place” -- Glasgow during the height of the first Gulf War.

Hugh will be ending his attendance run as Managing Director of Paterson Muir & Partners, the consulting firm he formed in 2006. He spent the week in the Upper Hall at WTCE representing a line of products from Britain that included Dartington Crystal, Frobishers Juices, and William Edwards ceramics. He was spared the emotional task of taking down his final stand himself, but as we spoke he appeared to be quite ready to move on to a future that included golf and visiting his children in San Antonio, Texas and Vancouver. Volunteer work is planned at Coldharbour Mill, a woolen museum in Devon, UK.

“Time for the young to take over,” he said.

-Rick Lundstrom

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

LSG Sky Chefs waste initiative recycles 6.5K tonnes in U.S.

Since February 2013, LSG Sky Chefs operations in the United States has recycled 6,500 tonnes of waste through caterer’s environmental initiative “Zero Waste to Landfill."

Dale Easdon, SVP North
American Operations at
LSG Sky Chefs
As a result, the company says it has reduced greenhouse gases by 21,000 tonnes, the equivalent to taking more than 3,800 cars off the road for an entire year.

“As part of our social responsibility philosophy, our aim is to become the first airline caterer to achieve ‘zero waste to landfill’ in the U.S.,” says Dale Easdon, LSG Sky Chefs’ Senior Vice President Operations, North America.

Planners have a goal of 100% recycling for waste generated at 41 LSG Sky Chefs locations in the U.S. that up to now has gone to landfill. In addition to implementing new methods of material recycling, the LSG Sky Chefs emphacizes comprehensive training for employees and presses suppliers to introduce environmentally compatible materials and processes.

In addition, LSG Sky Chefs has purchased machines to separate, clean and compact waste according to different criteria and prepare it for recycling.