George L. Miller, chief of food & beverage operations for the United States Air Force, was named the winner of the IFMA Gold Plate award at the annual gala Gold and Silver Plate banquet, held during the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago on May 23. Miller, who had won the Silver Plate award in the Specialty Foodservices category, bested the Silver Plate winners in the other commercial and noncommercial foodservice categories to win the Gold.
The announcement was met with surprise and immediate acclaim.
Saying that it was one of the finest honors he had ever had in his life, Miller thanked his nominator, Dick Hynes of Hobart Corp., his wife of 47 years, Mary Miller, and the service men and women of the U.S. Air Force who "made it possible."
"When I received the call that I had won this award, I asked my top three people to come in to hear the phone call, because I simply didn't believe it," Miller said. "I never expected this."
The Gold and Silver Plate awards banquet was held at a new venue this year, the spectacular Grand Ballroom on Navy Pier, and moderated by the Food Network's Chef Robert Irvine. The annual event was sold out with a 20 percent increase in attendance over last year.