December 11 2018  |  Catering

The Middle East welcomes The Mercurys

By Rick Lundstrom

Winners raise ‘em high at the close of the December 10 Mercury Awards dinner in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI - A pleasant evening of dining, sipping Argentinian Malbec wine from Trapiche, and laughter kicked off events in the UAE capital city December 10 as attendees of this year’s SIAL Middle East began their week by recognizing the contributions of companies in the travel catering industry for the 37th Mercury Awards.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was a striking blue and white presence across the water from the Shangri-La Hotel where this year's awards were held, and a crescent moon hung high in the sky above the festivities. Throughout the evening, winners in five categories received a gold-plated statue bearing the likeness of the Roman god whose name inspired the awards while the event’s host, Jeremy Clark, kept the atmosphere light and jovial.

Linden Coppell, Head of Sustainability at Etihad Airways, poses with the PAX International Pay it Forward Award and the magazine's Editor-in-Chief, Rick Lundstrom

In addition to the Mercurys, PAX International honored the efforts of Etihad Airways to raise awareness and combat the depletion of wildlife through its association with the Born Free Foundation, a partnership now going into its fourth year. For its efforts, the airline received this year's PAX International Pay it Forward Award.

Event host Jeremy Clark kept things moving and jovial through the night

But the stars of the show were the innovative products that judges awarded from a selection of finalists. Below are the winners of this year’s Mercury Awards.

Category One: Airline Meal

Airline Meal - Economy Class: Tops Foods for its Vegan Ambient Lasagne

Category Two: Service Concept

Service Concept - Economy Class: D & F Marketing for its warm cookie service for Delta Air Lines

Highly Commended Certificate: SATS Ltd for its SATS Culinary Consultant's Panel

Service Concept - Premium Class: En Route International for its Business Class cheese service, a selection of cheeses and garnishes packaged to improve crew handling and enhance shelf life

Category Three: Food Product

Food Product - Snack: Beemster for its “Beemster Bun” Premium Cheese Snack based on the traditional Dutch sausage roll

Highly Commended Certificate: Mr. Lee's Pure Foods Co. for its healthy, gourmet snacks

Food Product - Savory: Zadi-Dates and Saudia Catering for its salad dressings infused with the flavor of dates

Food Product - Sweet: Savarin for its frozen deserts with single pop-out action and flowing sauce topping

Category Four: Beverage

Winner: Fibs for its Virgin Gin and Tonic non-alcoholic cocktail, available in two flavors

Category Five: Equipment

Equipment - Passenger: Kaelis for its beverage pot developed for British Airways, and Sola Cutlery Netherlands for its Durban hollow handle design

Highly Commended Certificate: WESSCO International for its Casper Bedding for American Airlines' long-haul and transcontinental routes

Highly Commended Certificate: RMT Global Partners and United Airlines for the airline's dessert bowl and pre-departure glass in the airline's Polaris service

Equipment - Production: Diversey for its remote guidance diagnosing technology for iOS and Android smartphones

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