Deep in experience, with a passion for delicious cuisine.
Meet the Air Gourmet® Team
We’re delighted you’ve stopped by our online home. Barry Saven, our President, leads a team with a passion for the culinary arts, experienced in meeting the very highest expectations for customer service. We can even help with those details — fragrant cut flowers, the right reading material, linens — that can make life in the air that much more satisfying and pleasurable for your clients.
Meet our sister company, Gourmet Celebrations
If an Air Gourmet® dish or service strikes the fancy of your passengers, you’ll be glad to know Gourmet Celebrations is ready to provide that very same dish or service on the ground. Our professional event coordinators are ready to assist you anytime.
Los Angeles: 310.253.7705 Las Vegas: 702.649.7358
- Barry Saven, President
- Christopher Hajji, Executive Chef General Manager
- Dwayne Lortie, Executive Chef
- Carla Cockriel, Vice President Sales & Marketing
- Carol Hanscom, Client Services Manager
- Greg Hoffman, Controller
- Elmer Huezo, Operations Manager
- Beth Bjorklund, Director of Sales
Barry Saven, President
Born and educated in South Africa, Barry has orchestrated and lead the growth and development of Air Gourmet® since 1996. He thinks of himself as a conductor of a very talented, well-polished orchestra — he doesn’t play a musical instrument, yet as the “face” of the orchestra, he gets much of the credit for the fine music produced! Passionate about people — staff and clients included — Barry motivates and encourages his “orchestra” to always be the best possible in all they do. He is a very detailed oriented leader and appreciates the need to perform at a near perfect level. He loves traveling and is always in search of new and better ways to improve Air Gourmet®.
Christopher Hajji, Executive Chef & General Manager
Born in 1951, Christopher was raised in Rabat Morocco , where he attended the Ecole Hotelier of Rabat Culinary Institute, at the young age of 18. Soon after graduation in 1971, Christopher moved to France where he spent one year of intensive culinary training with renowned French maitre de cuisine Marius machet. Christopher went back to morocco in 1973 to open les Martinets restaurant in Rabat. In 1979 he was offered a job in Los Angeles to open the Marrakesh restaurant, a Moroccan eatery. In 1980 Christopher traveled to Honolulu and fell in love with the Hawaiian islands. He obtained a job at as executive chef at Chez Michel restaurant, one of the best restaurant in honolulu at the time, and was featured in tv program The Rich and Famous. He went on to open Hajjibaba’s , his own Moroccan restaurant. Christopher was introduced to inflight catering in 1983 with Hammater aviation, and he has been leader in the industry for over 30 years. In 2001 christopher joined the Las Vegas Air Gourmet® as chef part owner.
Dwayne Lortie, Executive Chef
More than once, it has been said that “Dwayne is Air Gourmet®.” He has been with the company for more than twenty years, a true pioneer in the ever-changing and unique world of in-flight catering. He loves the fast pace of the industry, yet he is willing to undertake great care to accommodate the desires of his most discriminating clients. He has done it all; From training flight crew members in the latest culinary techniques to accompanying trans-Atlantic flights to ensure that every detail is painstakingly executed.
Carla Cockriel, Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Carla Cockriel, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, has been in the hospitality and aviation industry for over 20 years. Carla was born and raised in Southern California. Having studied abroad in Florence, Italy, Carla began her career in aviation working for Alitalia Airlines. Her love of food and entertaining led her to the catering industry, where she has found her life’s work with Air Gourmet® and in serving the Business Aviation industry. Carla’s passion for fine dining and extraordinary customer service has been the driving force of her success. She continually strives to exceed client expectations and guarantees the delivery of exceptional quality every day. Carla is happily married with four children. She is active in the NBAA, and is a proud member of the NBAA Flight Attendants committee.
Carol Hanscom, Cient Services Manager
Carol Rim Hanscom is a native of New Jersey and received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University before attending the Culinary Institute of America where she graduated at the top of her class. She developed her culinary skills in the kitchens of the Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air and at the Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills before joining the Air Gourmet® team in 2001. She was introduced to the unique and dynamic world of the private jet catering industry where she is able to combine her culinary knowledge with a commitment to providing our valued clients with the highest quality service and attention to detail, ensuring that their every need is met with accuracy and sincere courtesy.
Greg Hoffman, Controller
Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Gregory set his sights on the US and landed here in 1994. It was not long before his path would lead him to Air Gourmet® where he has been a vital member of the team since 1998. Fifteen years later, his love for the private aviation inndustry continues to grow. Besides running the day-to-day financial side of the business, he is a people person who loves to go out and meet with customers. Greg is a regular fixture at the NBAA conferences where he is proud to represent Air Gourmet® and all we stand for. He looks forward to what the next 15 years with Air Gourmet® will bring.
Elmer Huezo, Operations Manager
Every beautiful order, every dish that leaves our Air Gourmet kitchens bears the Elmer Huezo personal seal of quality. Elmer, for nearly two decades, has been our man at the critical junction between kitchen and runway. Elmer fields calls from our clients with grace, savvy and understanding. At the same time, he’s able to ensure each order is fresh, beautiful and delivered on time. It’s good for us that Elmer comes from a background rich in culinary expertise: University trained, he brings exacting standards, as well as a superlative sense of quality. As Operations Manager, Elmer’s responsibilities include training and management. In that capacity, he’s busy not only training our people, but he’s also lending his expertise to Flight Attendants and business aviation professionals, in the form of plating tutorials and classes. Even after two decades, Elmer remains, to use his term, “inspired.” His focus is on quality; his passion is for delivering orders and service that exceed even the standards set by our discerning clients. Elmer inspires us to reach higher every single day.
Beth Bjorklund, Director of Sales
Our Director of Sales, Beth Bjorklund, comes to Air Gourmet with a background in delighting customers, and passions for flying and delicious cuisine. She’s a master in the art of meeting the demands specific to catering for corporate aviation — she knows how critical departure times are for each and every order, and her knowledge of how to prepare dishes within the confines of an airborne galley is downright encyclopedic. In fact, our best customers are known to sing Beth’s praises for her exacting attention to detail, her high standards, and her ability to handle pressure with grace and calm. If you know Air Gourmet, then you know all these qualities make Beth a great match for our team, our culture, and our singular approach to inflight catering.