Friday, June 18, 2010

An Insurmountable Task

The very term "airline food" has become an oxymoron. On most flights, it's nothing more than prepackaged pretzels or other snack foods. On longer flights, it's nothing you could possibly get excited about. But for a new upscale airline, a celebrity chef is trying to change that. From the Washington Post:
It sounds like a "Top Chef" moment, but this challenge is real: Teach the catering staff at two airports, separated by an ocean, how to replicate your signature dishes, then reheat and serve them.

At 38,000 feet.

At least seven hours after they have been cooked.

Since February, chef Michel Richard has been working with Open Skies, the all-business-class subsidiary of British Airways, to design and implement menus for service this month and next on (transatlantic) flights . . .
According to the Post reporter who tasted a facsimile of Richard's signature fried chicken, the airline version was "[n]ot as good as the original, but a reasonable facsimile." Of course, the seven-hour delay means that passengers are essentially eating leftovers -- that's what we call it when you cook something and then reheat it.