New bizav caterer offers a taste of the Carolinas

 - March 19, 2008, 6:37 AM

Business jet passengers and crews who move regularly through the Carolinas will discover a new business aviation caterer at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

GoGo Jet launched its service this summer. In addition to the usual dishes designed to meet a broad range of business aviation passenger expectations, the staff is providing a unique regional taste with origins in the kitchens of North and South Carolina.

It seemed appropriate, according to owners Brenda Paauwe Navori and husband Cornel Navori, for a catering kitchen located near the border between the two southern states. Among the specialty dishes are bourbon-mustard pork medallions with apple chutney, turkey cutlets sauteed with Georgia pecans in brown pan gravy, low-country crab au-gratin and North Carolina-style pulled pork barbecue. For the serious southerner, there is also a black-eyed pea ragout, collard greens and whipped sweet potatoes. And for dessert: shortbread banana pudding and bourbon pound cake.

Brenda Navori told AIN that the catering service is the brainchild of a team made up of corporate and commercial pilots, flight attendants and aviation managers. “We’re the first crew-owned and -operated in-flight catering facility in the country,” she said. When not occupied with catering, she still works as a business aviation flight attendant and her husband flies as a corporate pilot.

In addition to the international airport in Charlotte, GoGo Jet also serves fields in Greensboro, High Point, Concord, Hickory and Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Greenville, Spartanburg, Columbia and Rock Hill, S.C.

GoGo Jet has already received unofficial “preferred vendor” approval from fractional operators CitationShares, Flexjet and Flight Options. Encouraged, the Navoris have plans to open a second in-flight catering kitchen in the North Carolina capital of Raleigh “sometime next spring.”

In addition to the aviation experience of the core staff, GoGo Jet has the services of award-winning chef Chris Swinyard as executive chef and director of culinary operations. Swinyard was executive chef of the Red Sage in Washington, D.C., when it received the “Restaurant of the Year” award from Esquire magazine. Catering to the sweet tooth is pastry chef Kendal Holman, who trained at Johnson & Wales in Charleston, S.C.

Brenda Navori said the kitchen is now taking orders through its Web site (www.gogojetinflight.com). “We couldn’t be happier with the response from the industry.”