INTERNATIONAL. The Moodie Davitt Report and sister title The Foodie Report today proudly unveil the shortlist for this year’s Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Awards hosted by Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The shortlist was drawn from almost 250 entries, representing all sectors of the burgeoning airport food & beverage sector (plus a special award for railway station dining).

The awards, which recognise and reward best practice in the sector, will be presented on 22 June during the Gala Dinner of FAB 2017. Besides the winners (and in some cases Highly Commendeds), regional winners will also be named in certain categories where the judges consider the respective entries to have been of appropriate quality. A number of special Judges’ Awards are also being presented.

FAB attracts a who’s who list from the world’s leading airports, railway station operators and F&B concessionaires.

“In some categories, for example casual dining and airport bar, we were overwhelmed with entries”

Preliminary judging for FAB awards took place in London recently. The main judging panel comprised Martin Moodie, Founder & Chairman, The Moodie Davitt Report & The Foodie Report; David King, Founder, King & King; Anders Barsøe, CEO of Letz Sushi; and Alan Gluck, Senior Manager, ICF.

They were joined by special judges Pete Redman, Chef Director, Bartlett Mitchell (for the ‘La spirito de vojaĝado’ culinary competition); and for #AiroftheDog Great Airport Cocktail Award, in association with Copper Dog Whisky, Calum Lawrie, Country Manager UK, Copper Dog Whisky and Andrew Torrance, Managing Director, Copper Dog Whisky. The four shortlisted candidates below will take part in a #AiroftheDog ‘shake-off’ in Toronto.

Where results are too close to call, further diligence is currently being conducted, via anonymous site visits, social media research and confidential interviews.

“We can already reveal that the FAB class of 2017 represents a continuation of the sharp upward quality momentum that we have witnessed – and championed – in recent years.”

Commenting on the shortlist, Martin Moodie said: “Judging the 2017 FAB Awards has been a phenomenally exciting but hugely challenging task.

“In some categories, for example casual dining and airport bar, we were overwhelmed with entries; while in others complex questions of definition and conceptual interpretation arose that made the evaluation both difficult and educational. The extensive shortlists in certain categories once more reflect not only the high interest level but also the consistent quality. The process is not yet complete – the judges are still undertaking further analysis in some cases to ensure FAB truly represents the cream of the crop. But we can already reveal that the FAB class of 2017 represents a continuation of the sharp upward quality momentum that we have witnessed – and championed – in recent years.”

This year the judges asked nominees to focus on five key criteria:

  1.  Innovation
  2. Performance
  3. Suitability for the travel channel
  4. Service
  5. Quality

The shortlist entries are as follows (showing operator and/or brand plus airport location)

Airport Coffee, Non-alcoholic Beverage Shop of the Year

  • Argo Tea; Argo Tea, Chicago O’Hare International Terminal 2
  • Emirates Leisure Retail; Costa Coffee, Dubai International Terminal 2
  • Emirates Leisure Retail; Hudsons Coffee, Sydney International
  • HMSHost North America; Starbucks, Los Angeles International Terminal 6
  • Lagardère Travel Retail; SO! COFFEE, John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice
  • Metropolitan Airports Commission; Roasting Plant, Minneapolis–St Paul International
  • OTG; World Bean/World Nectar, Newark Liberty International
  • SSP Frabel; Joe & the Juice, Nice Côte d’Azur
  • SSP Sweden; OAK, Stockholm Arlanda
  • SSP Switzerland; NZZ Café, Zürich
  • TRG Concessions; Joe’s Coffee House, London Gatwick

Airport ‘Food to Go’ Offer of the Year

  • Areas; Blue Window, Los Angeles International Terminal 3.
  • Autogrill Group; Exki Takeaway, Brussels
  • Dallas Fort Worth International; Garrett Popcorn Shops
  • Emirates Leisure Retail; Giraffe Stop, Dubai International Terminal 3
  • Joe & The Juice, Sydney Airport Terminal 2 Domestic
  • Marqette; Marqette, Dublin Terminal 1
  • OTG; Dynamic Concepts, Newark Liberty International
  • Pret A Manger; London Heathrow Terminal 5
  • SSP Frabel; Pret A Manger, Paris – Roissy Charles de Gaulle Terminal 3
  • Travel Food Services; Food@Gate, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai

Airport Bar of the Year

  • Crews; Rock & Brews Bar & Grill, Los Angeles International Terminal 1
  • Dallas Fort Worth International; Bleu Mediterranean Bar
  • Delaware North; Coopers Ale House, Adelaide
  • Emirates Leisure Retail; The Draft House, Dubai International
  • HMSHost International; Heineken Bar, Amsterdam Schiphol
  • HMSHost North America; Blu2O; Los Angeles International
  • Marqette; Dublin Terminal 1
  • OTG; Tacquila, Newark Liberty International
  • SSP America; Ducky’s, Tampa International
  • SSP America; Union Street Gastropub, San Francisco International
  • SSP America; UrbanCrave, Orlando International
  • Emirates Leisure Retail; Heineken Bar; Sydney
  • TRG Concessions; Nicholas Culpeper, London Gatwick

Airport Wine Bar of the Year

  • Areas; Ferrari Spazio Bollicine, Milano Malpensa
  • Autogrill Group; Rosso Intenso, Roma Fiumicino
  • Restaurant Works; CRÚ Food & Wine Bar; Dallas Fort Worth International
  • OTG; Vinifera, Toronto Pearson International
  • SSP America; Le Grand Comptoir, George Bush Intercontinental
  • SSP Finland; Wine & View, Helsinki
  • SSP Switzerland; Walter, Zürich
  • Taste Inc; Vino Volo, All locations

Airport Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year

  • Areas; California Pizza Kitchen, Los Angeles International Terminal 1
  • CasualFood; Goodman & Filippo, Düsseldorf
  • Dan Food Service Corporation; Gachi House of Sushi, BWI Thurgood Marshall
  • Emirates Leisure Retail; The Bistro by Wolfgang Puck, Sydney International Terminal 1
  • HMSHost International; Kebaya, Amsterdam Schiphol
  • HMSHost North America; Publican Tavern, Chicago O’Hare
  • Paradies Lagardère Travel Retail; III Forks, Los Angeles International
  • Paradies Lagardère Travel Retail; Bar Symon, Pittsburgh International
  • OTG; Little Purse, Newark Liberty International
  • Select Service Partner Hong Kong; Yung Kee, Hong Kong International
  • SSP America; Wahlburgers, Boston Logan International
  • SSP America; Hard Rock Café, Tampa International
  • Stone Arch; Stone Arch at MSP, Minneapolis–St Paul International
  • TRG Concessions; Wondertree, London Gatwick
  • The Italian Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck/PhaseNext Hospitality; Dallas Fort Worth International

Airport Upscale Dining Restaurant of the Year

  • Areas; Gastrohub, Madrid Barajas
  • HMSHost International; Crystal Jade, Beijing Capital International
  • HMSHost International; Pier Zero; Helsinki
  • HMSHost North America; L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel; Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International
  • OTG; Saison; Newark Liberty International
  • SSP America; Lift Bar and Grill, Vancouver International
  • SSP Denmark; Aamanns, Copenhagen
  • SSP Finland; Fly Inn Restaurant, Helsinki
  • Vancouver Airport Authority; Globe@YVR, Vancouver International

Airport Foodhall of the Year

  • Marqette; Marqette, Dublin
  • OTG; LGA Food Hall, LaGuardia
  • Our Home; Food Empire, Incheon International
  • Select Service Partner Hong Kong; East to West Food Market, Hong Kong International
  • SSP America; The Eatery, Tampa International
  • SSP America; Five Borough Food Hall, John F. Kennedy International
  • Sydney Airport; Domestic Casual Dining Precinct, Terminal 2
  • Tastes on the Fly; Napa Farms Market, San Francisco International

New Food & Beverage Concept of the Year

  • Booster Juice; Booster Juice Fit & Fun Zone, Toronto Pearson International
  • CasualFood; Goodman & Filippo, Düsseldorf
  • Changi Airport Group; Hello Kitty Orchid Garden – A Kitty-fied Dining Experience, Singapore Changi
  • Emirates Leisure Retail; The Draft House, Dubai International
  • HMSHost North America; Book & Bourbon, Louisville International
  • OTG; Daily, Newark Liberty International
  • SSP Hungary; Tashba Gourmet Bar, Budapest International
  • SSP America; Five Borough Food Hall, John F. Kennedy International
  • Stone Arch; Stone Arch at MSP, Minneapolis–St Paul International

F&B Marketing & Promotions Campaign of the Year

  • Autogrill Group; Bistrot Digital Communication Strategy, Multinational
  • Changi Airport Group; Changi Loves Kids, Singapore Changi
  • HMSHost North America; Airport Restaurant Month, Multiple locations
  • Paradies Lagardère Travel Retail; No Kid Hungry, US airports
  • OTG; Truffle Week, Newark Liberty International
  • Travel Food Services; Indonesian Festival at GVK Lounge, Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Terminal 2

Customer Service Initiative of the Year

  • Areas; Areas Increase Customer Satisfaction program, Multiple locations
  • Autogrill Group; MyAutogrill, Multiple locations
  • HMSHost North America; Guest Experience Team, Multiple locations
  • CS 03; Incheon International Airport
  • MarketPlace Development; Merchant Development Program, Reagan National and Dulles International
  • OTG; Desire Program, Multiple locations

Individual Food & Beverage Offer of the Year in a Railway Station

  • CasualFood; Quicker’s, Frankfurt and Hamburg stations
  • HMSHost International; Bistrot Centraal, Utrecht Central Station
  • JD Wetherspoon; The Booking Office, Waverley Railway Station
  • Lagardère Travel Retail; L’Etoile du Nord, Paris Gare du Nord Station
  • SSP UK; Gino D’Acampo – My Restaurant, London Euston Station
  • Travel Food Services; Raildhaba – Vishakhapatnam (Vizag), Visakhapatnam (Vizag) Railway Station

Airport Food & Beverage Reflecting ‘Sense of Place’ of the Year

  • Copenhagen Airports; Copenhagen
  • Emirates Leisure Retail; James Boag’s Upper Deck, Launceston
  • Finavia Corporation; Helsinki Airport
  • HMSHost North America; Book & Bourbon, Louisville International
  • JFK International Air Terminal; Five Borough Food Hall, JFK Terminal 4
  • Lagardère Travel Retail; La Plage & Pan Garni, Nice Côte d’Azur
  • Stone Arch; Stone Arch at MSP, Minneapolis–St Paul International
  • Travel Food Services; GVK Lounge (Domestic) by TFS Performa, Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Terminal 2

#AiroftheDog Great Airport Cocktail Award 

  • Doug Draper; HMSHost North America; Cocktail – Copper Clouds
  • Gavin George;  OTG Apropos; Toronto Pearson International; Cocktail –  The Copperdog Carry-On
  • Joe Ehlenz; SSP America; Lolo American Kitchen and Craft Bar;  Minneapolis–St Paul International; Cocktail – The Red Eye
  • Dominic Hawksworth; TRG Concessions; Manchester Airport; Cocktail – Life in the Old Dog

‘La spirito de vojaĝado’ – ‘The spirit of travel’

  • Autogrill; Creative Carbohydrates
  • Emirates Leisure Retail; The DSA Burger
  • Tastes on the Fly ; Mariskoj Aventuro
  • TRG Concessions; A Global Bowl for the Soul

Airport Food & Beverage Offer of the Year

  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol; Amsterdam Schiphol
  • Changi Airport Group; Singapore Changi
  • Copenhagen Airports; Copenhagen
  • Dubai Airports Company; Dubai International Concourse D
  • Finavia Corporation; Helsinki
  • Greater Toronto Airports Authority; Toronto Pearson International
  • JFK International Air Terminal; JFK Terminal 4
  • Paradies Lagardère Travel Retail; Long Beach
  • OTG; The Toronto Pearson Experience, Toronto Pearson International
  • OTG; The United Experience at EWR, Newark Liberty

As reported, FAB 2017  will be accompanied by a high-class conference programme  and an eclectic social programme, courtesy of host Toronto Pearson International Airport and leading concessionaire partners. The conference agenda features contributions from leading Canadian chefs, airports from around the world, plus the industry’s leading F&B concessionaires.


The Hockey Hall of Fame: An iconic Toronto venue for the Welcome Cocktail at FAB 2017, hosted by Autogrill/HMSHost

On 21 June, the Welcome Evening and Opening Cocktail will be hosted by Autogrill/HMSHost at the iconic Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The event will feature menu items from HMSHost-operated restaurants at Toronto Pearson International including Twist by Roger Mooking, The Hearth by Lynn Crawford, and LEE Kitchen by Susur Lee. The evening will also feature Chef John Placko.

SSP will sponsor lunch on day one of the conference (22 June), showcasing the work of leading chefs Paul Wahlberg (Founder of Wahlburgers) and Massimo Capra (Boccone Trattoria), both of whom run signature restaurants at Toronto Pearson. They will also speak about their influences and trends in the F&B market in a special conference session preceding lunch.

A spectacular Gala Dinner on 22 June, hosted by OTG, will see the FAB Awards 2017 presented.

On the afternoon of Friday 23 June, delegates are invited to join SSP America, Toronto Pearson International Airport and The Moodie Davitt Report for what promises to be a memorable conclusion to FAB 2017. Guests will be transported to Toronto’s Historic Distillery District (departure 4.30pm) for a reception. This coincides with the launch of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, one of North America’s premier jazz festivals, which begins the next day. Visitors will have the chance to explore the Distillery District’s many shops, restaurants and entertainment venues during the evening.

Registration for FAB 2017 is open at this link. Companies can register three or more people at the same time and benefit from a special -25% discount.

Travel restaurateurs OTG, SSP, Areas, Autogrill and HMSHost are Platinum Partners of this year’s FAB Conference. Lagardère Travel Retail is a Bronze Partner with additional sponsors including Booster Juice, Mango Tree, Travel Food Services and The Restaurant Group.