Travelers can rarely look forward to the meal they will have on the plane, and some airlines are trying to remedy this for business and first class customers by offering a gourmet menu designed by celebrity chefs.
Jake Richter, a U.S. businessman, recently enjoyed a menu of stir-fried scallops and prawns, jasmine rice, and pork soup while flying on a Cathay Pacific flight. He told CNN of the experience, "it was as if being in a restaurant."
Some domestic airlines, such as American and Delta, have begun to adopt the trend. American Airlines has retained Sam Choy, a celebrity chef, for menu consulting on American Airlines' routes to China and Japan. Delta has hired restaurant owner Michelle Bernstein.
According to Bernstein, making food taste good is more difficult at high altitudes. She claims taste buds are less sensitive at 35,000 feet, and thus she tries to make dishes as spicy and tasty as possible. The chef consultants also face practical problems related to the shape of the food, since full trays must be able to be stacked. Flight attendants are also given precise instructions for reheating and serving the food in a manner that preserves its taste.
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