Timothy Dietzler, director of dining services at Villanova University, took home the prestigious Gold Plate Award last night from the International Foodservice Manufacturer’s Association. It was the first time in more than 40 years that the Colleges & Universities’ Silver Plate recipient was additionally honored with the Gold Plate.
The festive evening, which honors nine outstanding foodservice operators, was heavily attended by former Gold and Silver Plate recipients as well as hundreds of manufacturers from IFMA’s membership.
This year’s class of Silver Plate recipients in addition to Dietzler included Tony Almeida, director of food and nutrition for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in the health care category; Jonathan Bennett, chef and partner at Moxie, the Restaurant, and Red, the Steakhouse in the independent restaurants category; Fernando Salazar, vice president, food and beverage at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in the hotels & lodging category; Laura Lozano, facilities manager, global dining for Dell Inc. in the business & industry category; Joanne Kinsey, director of school nutrition services, Chesapeake Public Schools in Chesapeake, Va., in the elementary & secondary schools category; Major Robert James Beach, director of food services for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office in the specialty foodservices category; Andrew Puzder, chief executive for CKE Restaurants in the chain fast service category; and Michael Hislop, chief executive of Il Fornaio Corp. and Corner Bakery Cafe in the chain full service category.
The Silver Plate recipients are selected by a jury comprised of trade publication editors as well as the previous year’s Silver and Gold Plate winners. Nominations for the Silver Plate Award come from the industry at large with the majority being submitted from the manufacturer community.
Several hundred were in attendance at the IFMA gala, which took place at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers during the annual National Restaurant Association’s conference in Chicago. The festivities, which featured a wine tasting, five course meal and post-celebration wine tasting were dedicated to foodservice professionals who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement and leadership in the foodservice industry and their communities.