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    NAS Sigonella Named Best Overseas Galley

    NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA, Italy (Apr. 6, 2023) - Naval Air Station Sigonella’s galley, Ristorante Bella Etna, was awarded 2023 Capt. Edward F. Ney Memorial Food Service OCONUS General Mess of the Year, Apr. 6, 2023.

    “This award is a great honor,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joe Mattia, from Dallas, Food Service Officer of Ristorante Bella Etna. ”It’s amazing that we’ve won the Ney here so many times. It’s a testimony to all the hard work that our Sailors and employees put in.”

    Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central (EURAFCENT) installations have won the OCONUS Ney award six years running. Ristorante Bella Etna won 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021’s Ney awards. This is their fifth win in six years.

    The Ney award was established in 1958 by the Secretary of the Navy and the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA) to improve food service operations, and is given annually to galleys both at shore and sea. This award recognizes the best general messes in the Fleet who achieve a 5-star rating from a Navy evaluation team. It is the highest honor given to food service workers in the Navy.

    Ristorante Bella Etna is a critical part of the mission at NAS Sigonella. The galley feeds Sixth Fleet’s P8 squadrons, U.S. Air Force components, Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center, and several other essential tenant commands that make NAS Sigonella the “Hub of the Med.” NASSIG is strategically located to provide mission-essential support to the fleet and warfighter throughout the European theater. Bella Etna fuels the service members providing that support.

    The award is a rigorous process that involves a surprise spot-inspection of the galley and of the food itself. The inspection is conducted by IFSEA members and senior Navy mess-management leaders who conduct a thorough inspection. While the inspection is considered to be difficult, demanding excellence and every category must score a 95% or higher, for NAS Sigonella, it was just like another day.

    “It was like any other inspection for us,” said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Cory McClair, from Lancaster, Penn. “The inspection has three separate days for three separate inspections. The inspections cover sanitation, production, administration, food, every aspect of the galley, and its production from start to finish. From our back dock to the food lines, we are inspected.”

    On the first day, the administrative side was inspected.

    Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Cherry Andres was responsible for handling four separate categories in food service administration. Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Louise Anne Ramos, from Bulacan, Philippines, handled the administration for the logistics of running the galley, to include more than 120 binders, constantly updating instructions and food orders to ensure everything was up-to-date.

    On the second day, sanitation was inspected.

    “Everything is inspected during the sanitation day,” said McClair. “From the back door, to the front, everything in-between is inspected. Absolutely everything has to be within safety standards, from refrigeration temperatures and inventory. Anything can be inspected and if something is out of line, it’s considered a critical hit. Our cargo team was an immense help.”
    The last day, considered “The Show,” was the third and final day of the inspection.

    “We had pizza and pasta to showcase our Sicilian counterparts that work here,” said McClair. “We had a local drummer and flag twirlers so the inspector could truly immerse himself into the Sicilian culture.”

    The galley welcomed support from Culinary Specialists at housing, Logistics
    Specialists at First Division, and Culinary Specialists at the hospital all showed up to give support.

    “This award isn’t just a galley prize anymore,” said McClair. “It’s an award for NAS Sigonella.”

    Other Ney Award winners for 2023 representing CNIC are Silver Dolphin Bistro at Joint Base Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in the category for the West Coast, and Capt. Edward F. Ney Hall in Naval Station Newport, R.I., for the East Coast.

    NAS Sigonella's strategic location enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to deploy and respond as required, ensuring security and stability in Europe, Africa, and Central Command.



    Date Taken: 04.06.2023
    Date Posted: 05.05.2023 08:19
    Story ID: 442122
    Location: SIGONELLA, IT 
    Hometown: BULACAN, BUL, PH
    Hometown: DALLAS, TX, US
    Hometown: LANCASTER, PA, US

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