2010 Accomplishments — Keep Them Coming.

I recently asked chefs across Delaware North Companies to e-mail me their favorite accomplishment from 2010. Here is what I received from Chef John DiGiovanni CCC, PC II. I will continue to post these as I receive them from our chefs.

Every day in the kitchen, regardless of whether a chef is executing another successful event, reading up on a new product or technique or teaching one of his/her younger cooks some of the basics…we are all striving to learn something new. We take inspiration from, but do not dwell on the past. The party’s over, it’s time to get ready for the next one. What did we learn today? What can we improve upon? I am proud to work for a company that encourage us to develop ourselves and to be surrounded by great people who want to see us succeed and push us to get there

Chef John at work.

There were two major accomplishments for Columbus Sportservice that I had the opportunity of overseeing this year. They were obtaining our ISO 14001:2004 certification for our GreenPath program and our part in the NHL’s Rock and Wrap it Up program.

As a chef, I rely on Mother Nature, as well as my purveyors, to deliver the best product to me for our guests. Is it important in return to do what I can to return the favor, not only to Mother Nature but to my community.  Buying local and sustainable products is a start, but through the GreenPath environmental management system, we have brought in environmentally friendly materials, started a recycling program, reused office paper and when you look at the big picture…it all really starts to add up. There was a great deal of preparation for the ISO audit in addition to the day-to-day operations of the kitchen. It was a great feeling to excel in the audit and receive the ISO certification, but it would not have been possible without the hard work and support of the management team!

I was also involved in heading up the NHL’s Rock and Wrap it Up program for Nationwide Arena. Just as the other 29 NHL teams do in their community, our culinary team takes leftover food (that which meets our high-quality standards) and donate it to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank as part of its Second Servings Program. There has been a great deal of positive feedback, not only from the media, but from our guests as well for this program.

Here is an article from the Columbus Dispatch and here is a video seen on Blue Jackets TV and the NHL Green Website.

But, enough about 2010, that’s so last year. It’s time to focus on the next event which will see Detroit come to town. It’s time to focus on 2011. On a personal note, January 2011 will be the month during which I welcome my fourth son, Vincenzo, into the world. In the kitchen, the daily questions will be asked and answered.

What are we going to learn today?

What are we going to do to achieve our personal and team goals?

Stay tuned or attend a Blue Jackets game to find out.


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