140 guests gathered at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport in Florida last Tuesday (23rd) to celebrate the much-anticipated grand opening of the DaVinci Inflight Training Institute.
The event – sponsored by Silver Lining Inflight Catering, B.E. Princess, Airware and Satcom Direct – heralded the arrival of the world’s first, comprehensive professional flight attendant training school.
The creation of DaVinci is a long-time aspiration of Paula Kraft, an icon in the business aviation inflight catering industry with her Tastefully Yours catering base in Atlanta, and a regular columnist at BlueSky News.
Paula, together with business partner Scott Arnold, will offer inflight service, culinary, food safety, and cabin safety training at the new 6,500 sq.ft. facility, which includes a student lounge and reception, culinary lab, meeting rooms, wine tasting room and a mock flight department area that will test graduates on the entire inflight service experience. Bespoke products and services, including new galley technology, food packaging and presentation will also be available at DaVinci, ensuring greater passenger safety and satisfaction.
Drawing on his decades of experience as an inflight service and cabin safety trainer for numerous business aviation flight departments, Scott Arnold has designed all of the trainDAVINCI courses to include soft skills, service etiquette and cabin safety programs at the preliminary and elite level. Included in the courses offered, there will be numerous culinary classes covering a multitude of topics for a single day of attendance to weeklong in-depth elite classes. Classes have been capped at 12 students to maximize the training experience for all levels of experience, and focus on the development of each student.
“Our school stands apart from the rest of the other training companies as we will not only provide industry expert programs but also from current life experiences,” said Scott. “Every instructor is experienced and currently working as a corporate flight attendant, cabin crew, caterer or business aviation professional. We are literally ‘talking the talk’ and ‘walking the walk’. Our programs are continually updated to be the most relevant, current, and innovative in our ever-changing industry,” he continued.
“TrainDAVINCI’s unique teaching approach will not only engage our students but also empower them to be successful. All of our cabin safety courses are CRM driven and focus on communication skills and the cabin crew and flight deck experience during an emergency.”
DaVinci Subject Matter Experts (SME) offer various specialty courses featuring; RADAR and aviation leadership, conflict resolutions, butler inflight service, modern culinary techniques, international protocols and food protection manager certification training.
“We have intentionally partnered with the best of the best for our SME’s who are all highly respected leaders within their perspective fields of experience and expertise,” said Paula.
In co-operation with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, students will also be able to enroll for several online courses, available as stand-alone programs or blended, designed to be completed prior to attending a specific course at trainDAVINCI. The wide variety of online courses include topics such as: SMARTtraveler for passenger cabin safety or personal travel safety, The Professional You, Pilot Essentials, Food Allergens, Special Meal Planning, Menu Writing, and updates on the Food Safety Modernization Act and Safety Management System training – relating the catering prepared and served on board – as well as proper handling for food served from global catering sources, including aviation caterers, restaurants, hotels and home chefs.
TrainDAVINCI is aligned with the following companies; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, MedAire, CornerStone Strategies, Moore Life Leadership, Silver Lining Inflight Catering, B.E. Princess, On Air Dining, AvMaSSi, International Water Guard, Big Chef and Satcom Direct.
Atlanta-headquartered aviation food packaging company, Airware, has taken a 1,000 square foot showroom and office space at DaVinci to showcase their inflight products, which range from disposable products to bespoke china, crystal and linens. Airware will provide all the food service training equipment for DaVinci’s service trainer, demonstration hangar, and, of course, the culinary classroom.
“We feel that for someone to be confident serving in the air they should be trained using similar equipment on the ground. As such, Airware will assist in the courses that specialize in the care, maintenance, and use of the equipment, said managing partner, Amanda Kraft. “We also want to provide the crew members with the knowledge of different types of products available – glass versus crystal, silver versus stainless steel, porcelain versus bone china, cotton versus linen – so cabin crew know how to handle and care for it saving the operators money in the long run.
“Airware provides items that can help the third crew member transform their meal service into an anticipated event. There’s so much we can do through food to enhance a passenger’s experience!”
Daniel and On Air Dining have become synonymous with developing contemporary methods of creating the highest standard of food and he will be using this experience to teach students about the physical and biological effects that flying has on the human taste experience and how food, created to be eaten at altitude, differs from food on the ground.
As well as the science, he will be talking about modern presentation methods and cooking techniques, such as sous vide, and the way to use different varieties of salt and umami flavours to produce the best taste.
Commenting on his role at DaVinci, Daniel Hulme said, “Paula Kraft is one of the leading voices in the world of private aviation catering so when she decided to create a training school dedicated to the industry I wanted to be involved. Paula has made it clear she wanted partners who are the best in their field so we are delighted to participate and have the opportunity to teach some of our unique methods.”