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MacDill’s Diner’s Reef in the running for Hennessy award

Senior Airman Darian Boston, a food services journeyman assigned to the 6th Force Support Squadron, prepares a meal, Jan. 30, 2020 at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Senior Airman Darian Boston, a food services journeyman assigned to the 6th Force Support Squadron, prepares a meal, Jan. 30, 2020 at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Boston is the Diner’s Reef January “chef of the month”. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Rito Smith)

Airmen from the 6th Force Support Squadron Diner’s Reef dining facility work to break down the kitchen line after providing lunch to service members across the installation at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 30, 2020.

Airmen from the 6th Force Support Squadron Diner’s Reef dining facility work to break down the kitchen line after providing lunch to service members across the installation at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 30, 2020. The Diner’s Reef is currently being judged for the 2019 John L. Hennessy Award for the best dining facility in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rito Smith)

Airman 1st Class Joshua Acosta, (right) the store room clerk at the Diner’s Reef dining facility provides food to be used in a recipe at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 30, 2020.

Airman 1st Class Joshua Acosta, (right) the store room clerk at the Diner’s Reef dining facility provides food to be used in a recipe at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 30, 2020. The facility is in the running for the 2019 John L. Hennessy Award, which is given to the team that presents the best food service program in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Rito Smith)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The Diner’s Reef was judged Jan. 30-31, 2020, for the 2019 John L. Hennessy Award at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

The Hennessy Trophy is named after a hotel and restaurant executive that led a group to improve military food service. The award has been presented for over 60 years to the dining facility team that presents the best food service program in the Air Force. It is based on the entire scope of an installation’s food service program.

“The Airmen are the most important part,” said Tech. Sgt. Dayne Wallace, a kitchen manager assigned to the 6th Force Support Squadron. “Their job is to provide fuel for the bodies so that service members can have their minds on the mission and not their stomachs.”

The competition is broken into three different phases: submission, assessment and selection, and an evaluation.

“After we submit an inspection form, the top bases are selected to go to the next step,” said 1st Lt. Natsuko Moden, the food operations officer in charge. “The entire award is based on the performance of our Airmen.”

The evaluation process, which is conducted by a four member team, can take up to two days. Evaluations look at kitchen operations, serving and dining operations training, personnel readiness and sanitation, and repair maintenance and management.

“Thanks to the hard work the Airmen put in day in and day out, making sure things like our production logs are accurate and temperature checks and waste logs are being done, we are a finalist for region one,” said Moden. “Their motivation to work and bring extremely high quality service into the dining facility has helped immensely.”

Each unit must exhibit excellence in management effectiveness, force readiness support, food quality, employee and customer relations, resource conservation, and training and safety awareness in order to be selected as the winner.

The Diner’s Reef dining facility is a 2015 Air Force level winner and 2018 Air Mobility Command level winner.