September 22 2016  |  Catering

Preferred Meals Chef claims IFSA competition bragging rights

By Rick Lundstrom

Chef Bob Rosar, second from right, poses for pictures with, left to right Chris Kinsella, Vice President of Sales and Services at Gate Gourmet, Chef Marcel Lagnaz, Senior Vice President of Operations at Gourmet Foods, Chef Sam Choy, one of the event's judges and Tracy Fischbach, Director, Sales and Service at Gate Gourmet

CHICAGO -- Chef PJ Lemoncelli showed visitors to this year’s International Flight Services Association Expo that sometimes a little more time and love is needed to get things right.

Lemoncelli (left) with his sous chef assistant Bruce Jenkins

Despite running six minutes past the allotted time to prepare and plate his entrée and appetizer, and losing points as a result, the Executive Chef at Preferred Meals in Berkeley, Illinois impressed the judges with his entry of an Asian beef tenderloin with sweet and spicy mushroom miso glaze and pan roasted fingerling potatoes. 

Lemoncelli said he felt his entrée was flavor packed and had proper texture to impress the judges, despite running over time.

“I put my heart on the plate and cooked with passion,” he said.

This year, the chefs worked with five ingredients to create the appetizer and entrée: sea asparagus, white miso paste, king trumpet mushrooms, langoustine and beef tenderloin.

This is the ninth year IFSA has hosted a chef’s competition, and this year’s event was again hosted by former Gate Gourmet Executive Chef Bob Rosar who recently retired. Other chefs competing this year were: Ahlam Abdullah of LSG Sky Chefs, John Doggett of Flying Food Group, and Gaurav Gaur of Emirates Flight Catering.

In addition to all-important bragging rights, Limoncelli will be able to take his wife to Hawaii, winning two tickets from Hawaiian Airlines

The Chef's Competition capped two days of trade show, and presentations that drew an estimated 850 registrants to this year’s IFSA Expo. Look for more coverage and news in the days to come.

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