While Delaware North operates all visitor services for NASA at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex — everything from creating exhibits such as Space Shuttle Atlantis to operating bus tours to the launch pads at the legendary space center — the global hospitality company also stays true to its roots in operating food and beverage services at the iconic educational and tourism destination.
Recently, the food and beverage team at the visitor complex made the most of an opportunity to show what it can do in the kitchen, bringing back two first-place awards — for the Judges Choice Twist and Best Decorated Booth — from the 30th Annual Chowder Cook-Off in nearby Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Executive Chef Gidget Wickham and Sous Chef Derek Neighbor represented the culinary team at the competition, serving a delicious homemade chowder and the award-winning Sweet Almond Cornmeal Shortcake. Howie Dorough, from the 90s band Backstreet Boys, was one of the seven judges who chose the Sweet Almond Cornmeal Shortcake as first place for the “Twist” category.
Emily McQuade and Hilda Fraticelli, special event managers, supported the visitor complex by serving chowder and assembling about 2,000 servings of shortcake. The booth was decorated to resemble a boat dock, complete with shells and fishing net.
In the photo at right: From left to right, celebrating first-place awards in the Cocoa Beach, Fla., Chowder Cook-Off are Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's Derek Neighbor, Emily McQuade, Hilda Fraticelli and Gidget Wickham.