Lineup of Hawaiian's Executive Chef duo surrounded by the carrier's Featured Chefs

Hawaiian Airlines announces first Executive Chef duo

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Lineup of Hawaiian's Executive Chef duo surrounded by the carrier's Featured Chefs

Hawaiian Airlines has announced its latest cohort of Featured Chefs, which will be overseen by its first Executive Chef duo.

Together, husband-and-wife team Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka will oversee menus from the carrier’s popular onboard Featured Chef Series, as well as curate First Class meals for inbound flights from the US mainland and all cabin menus for flights between Hawaiʻi and Japan, Australia and New Zealand and outbound flights to South Korea.

“Our Featured Chef Series has developed into a top-rated meal program that celebrates the vibrant culinary scene and outstanding agricultural bounty of our islands,” said Renee Awana, Managing Director of Product Development at Hawaiian Airlines. “Lee Anne Wong has played an innovative role in developing this program, and we are thankful for her time as both a featured chef and our executive chef. We offer her our sincere gratitude as she passes the torch to Chef Wade Ueoka and Chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka.”

Now in its sixth year, the Featured Chef Series offers First Class (US mainland) and Business Class (international) guests onboard Hawaiian’s flights the opportunity to enjoy menus designed by a rotating roster of Hawaiʻi’s greatest established and emerging chefs.

The carrier’s Featured Chef Series now includes Robynne Maii of Fête, Dell Valdez of Vein at Kakaʻako (December 2020 – May 2021, First Class – Hawaiʻi to US mainland); Dell Valdez, Vein at Kakaʻako (June – November 2021, First Class – Hawaiʻi to US mainland); Jason Yamaguchi, Mugen Waikiki (December 2021 – May 2022, First Class – Hawaiʻi to US mainland); Chris Kajioka, Miro Kaimuki (June – November 2022, First Class – Hawaiʻi to US mainland); Chang-Wook Chung, Kumsan Restaurant (2016 – 2022, All Cabins – Seoul to Hawai‘i).

SWISS takes off with Confiserie Sprüngli

SWISS puts focus on Made in Switzerland

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SWISS takes off with Confiserie Sprüngli

SWISS is continuing to emphasis a wider selection of items, freshness and quality, regional accents and on sustainable packaging with its new food and beverage concept.

The carrier is extending its ‘SWISS Saveurs’ concept for Economy Class travellers to its short- and medium-haul services from and to Zurich from the end of March.

In doing so, SWISS will be working exclusively with Confiserie Sprüngli, the long-established and internationally renowned Swiss family firm, whose recipes will be used for all the fresh items on the SWISS Saveurs menu.

In this unique collaboration, all the fresh items on the new SWISS Saveurs menu such as muesli, salads, sandwiches and sweet pastries will be prepared using recipes of this Zurich-based traditional Swiss company.

“We are delighted to have teamed up with such an internationally renowned yet locally based partner with such a long tradition and such a focus on culinary excellence for this collaboration, which will enable us to offer a wide range of fresh top-quality snacks to our Economy Class customers, too,” says SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. “We’ll be breaking new ground here with our packaging as well, where we’ll be using sustainable materials wherever we possibly can.”

The new Sprüngli products will be available on short- and medium-haul services from and to Zurich from 30 March and on services from and to Geneva from 28 April. SWISS Saveurs will be offered on flights of 50 minutes or more duration. The new menu extends to Bircher muesli, a pretzel with air-dried beef, a vegetable brioche and Sprüngli’s famous Luxemburgerli mini-macaroons. The product range will be updated every three to six months. SWISS’s tried-and-trusted Business Class concept for its short- and medium-haul services remains unchanged.

Sustainability is a further key consideration with the new fresh products. Most SWISS Saveurs items will be packaged in PaperWise material, which is made from agricultural waste using only renewable energy and is entirely carbon neutral. Those items that cannot yet be offered in PaperWise packaging will be packed in FSC-certificated cardboard or kraft paper. Production of the new fresh items will also be more closely tailored to customer demand, which will help to minimise food waste.

SWISS will be supplementing its new exclusive fresh Sprüngli products with further Swiss classics such as Ragusa, Kägi Fret, Zweifel chips and Caotina hot chocolate. Smaller Swiss producers are also represented: the coffee will come from the small Zurich-based miró manufactura de café roastery, which sources all its beans solely from fair-trade suppliers; and the beverages range will include a gin from Turicum of Zurich and WhiteFrontier craft beer from Martigny in Canton Valais.

SWISS is also launching a new mineral water together with its water supplier RAMSEIER Suisse AG that is produced exclusively for the airline in Switzerland’s Glarus Alps: ‘SWISS Altitude 1150’ will be served only on SWISS flights and will be distributed to all passengers free of charge in a recyclable bottle in an unmistakable SWISS design. In a first step, SWISS Altitude 1150 will be provided on SWISS’s short- and medium-haul services, with the offer then gradually extended throughout the SWISS long-haul network.

Virgin Atlantic new Spring menu for Upper Class -roasted chicken breast, potato purée, sautéed spinach, girolles mushrooms, Bourguignon sauce

Virgin Atlantic unveils new menus for Upper Class

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Virgin Atlantic new Spring menu for Upper Class -roasted chicken breast, potato purée, sautéed spinach, girolles mushrooms, Bourguignon sauce

Virgin Atlantic has launched new Spring menus for Upper Class, that includes hand plated meals as well as its popular welcome drinks.

Following the restart of passenger flying in July 2020, the airline simplified its service onboard to minimise interaction between customers and crew. These latest changes see some of the most popular elements of Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class service return, with some added extras, whilst ensuring health and safety remains at the heart of the proposition.

Customers are now offered a welcome drink upon boarding, followed by the choice of three individually plated hot meals as part of the main meal service. This is accompanied by a salad and choice of three desserts including cheese and biscuits. On day flights, customers are offered a second meal service including the signature Eric Lanlard Mile High Tea and can now opt for a deli dish or a lighter option if they prefer. For those travelling on night flights, there is a choice of three hot breakfasts as well as side dishes including fresh seasonal fruit, bircher muesli and pastries. All these options can be washed down with a selection of champagne, wine, liquors, soft drinks and teas and coffees.

Customers travelling in Premium now receive a bespoke meal service including a choice of three hot meals, cheese and biscuits and a dessert, all served on a tray. For the second meal service, Premium customers receive the Eric Lanlard Mile High Tea with a choice of prosecco or hot drink or on night flights, a breakfast including a warm pastry, seasonal fruit and yoghurt served with PG Tips tea or Change Please coffee.

Customers in the Economy cabin can choose from two hot meals as part of the Fly Safe, Eat Well meal box, which also includes cheese and biscuits and a dessert. The second meal service includes the Eric Lanlard Mile High Tea on day flights or a breakfast consisting of a warm pastry, fruit and yoghurt on night flights. Customers in Premium and Economy can also choose from a selection of wines, beers, liquors and soft drinks throughout the flight.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented: “We know our customers are missing that magical feeling you get when you step onboard an aircraft, ready to start your travels. Whilst customers may not be able to travel right now, we’re bringing back those little touches, including welcome drinks, hand plated food and more choice of meals, so that first flight after lockdown feels even more special.”

ACA Managing Director Fabio Gamba.

Industry bodies collaborate on guidance for in-flight services ‎

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ACA Managing Director Fabio Gamba.

The International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and ‎the Airline Catering Association (ACA) have announced the development of a new guidance that leads and supports the airline and airline ‎catering industries worldwide as they continue to take actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. ‎

The ACA/IFSA COVID-19 Guideline introduces several guiding principles which provide direction on managing the COVID-19 pandemic and to support safe business ‎‎operations ‎including at airports, airlines, kitchens, and aircrafts.‎ The document takes a pragmatic approach in implementation by highlighting and giving ‎guidance on the ways in which ‎individual locations and situations can best be re-engineered to ‎meet the updated health safety ‎standards.‎ This document, which supersedes the previous guidelines released shortly after the start of the pandemic, ‎serves to guide ‎mitigation based on risk assessment for catering kitchens ‎and ‎airline in-flight services globally. ‎‎

“IFSA remains dedicated to the global advancement of the airline catering industry. This collaboration with ACA strengthens the airline catering industry and equips for safe global business resumption,” said IFSA Executive Director Lauren Costello.

“This industry has shown time and again how adaptable and resilient it can be. And we are glad we could, together with our colleagues from IFSA, bring our contribution with this very comprehensive guidance which is publicly available,” stated ACA Managing Director Fabio Gamba (pictured).

IFSA and ACA remain informed on applicable governmental ‎guidance relative to COVID-19 as the situation changes frequently and directives may ‎vary in each ‎country/state/province. ‎IFSA and ACA have made the guidelines available online, free of charge.

Newrest is using cobots in its inflight catering facilities

Newrest continues commitment to in-flight catering

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Newrest is using cobots in its inflight catering facilities

Newrest Toronto has begun providing in-flight catering services on board Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi.

Due to the pandemic, the mobilisation and launching phases were carried out by daily exchanges with the Abu Dhabi-based chefs, equipment managers and ground operations.

Newrest Canada operates solely in the in-flight activity with four catering production units in Montreal, Toronto and Calgary. In Montreal, there are two catering production units, one for international airlines, the other for the Air Canada Hub.

Elsewhere, Newrest has begun the construction on a brand-new production unit in Israel.

The 10,000 square meter in-flight catering kitchen close to the Ben Gurion Airport of Tel-Aviv, will be operational within 20 months.

Advanced solutions will be implemented throughout the unit such as cobot assisted assembly lines, greener washing area and cleaning system as well as a digitised workflow.

Newrest spent three years researching the use of collaborative robots (cobots) to improve the productivity of its in-flight units.

The initial step was the creation of the universal robotic hand, which can grip any type of object in any type of container.

Staff work hand in hand with the cobots in a fully integrated process. The operator sets the pace, and the machine relieves him of having to do low added value tasks. This occurs from the portioning stage onwards.

The latest cobots are equipped with the latest technologies including robotic garnishing lines, technological assistance with the assembly of trolleys, preparation and dispatch of flights, automated washing up of dishes and trays, automated sorting of cutlery and automatic bagging machines.

Lufthansa has selected dean&david and Dallmayr, as catering partners for its new economy class food and beverage service on short- and medium-haul flights.

Catering partners announced for Lufthansa’s new economy class on-board service

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Lufthansa has selected dean&david and Dallmayr, as catering partners for its new economy class food and beverage service on short- and medium-haul flights.

Lufthansa has selected dean&david and Dallmayr, as catering partners for its new economy class food and beverage service on short- and medium-haul flights.

Munich-based dean&david, will provide healthy food made from high-quality ingredients and sustainable nutrition delivered in environmentally friendly packaging, on flights with a duration of at least 60 minutes.

Gate Gourmet, Lufthansa’s new main caterer for Europe, will prepare essential components of the assortment, such as salads, bowls, wraps and sandwiches, fresh daily according to dean&david recipes. The menu includes a salmon avocado bowl, falafel tahini salad, crunchy chicken bowl or sweet chilli chicken sandwich as well as freshly made Birchermuesli. There will also be “Best of dean&david Boxes” with a fine selection from the dean&david assortment.

The menu selection will be complemented by cake specialities and snacks from other manufacturers, such as vegetable crisps. The range of fresh products will be updated every three months.

Lufthansa will be expanding its long-standing cooperation with the traditional Munich-based company Dallmayr for hot beverages, confectionery and patisserie specialties. The product range is complemented by various organic teas, such as Alpine Herbs and First Flush Darjeeling, as well as chocolate milk. Furthermore, chocolates from the Dallmayr praline factory and a selection of cake specialities in cooperation with Gate Gourmet will also be offered.

There will also be a large selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. A bottle of water and a small chocolate surprise will be served free of charge.

Christina Foerster, Executive Board Lufthansa Group Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility, commented: “Our partners dean&david and Dallmayr represent outstanding quality and responsible action. In addition to the satisfaction of our guests, the topic of responsibility for the environment is also very important to us. We use almost exclusively sustainable materials for our packaging. Furthermore, we ensure that less food is wasted through more accurate production. We are pleased to be able to offer our passengers fresh products on European flights that taste delicious.”

The new food and beverage offer scheduled to be available on Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul flights starting in the course of the summer timetable 2021. Orders will be placed directly on board.

Flagship Cellars - American's new at-home wine experience

American Airlines launches at-home wine experience

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Flagship Cellars - American's new at-home wine experience

American Airlines has launched a wine delivery service.

The Flagship Cellars at-home wine experience allows anyone 21 years or older to select their wine preferences at vinesse.com/flagshipcellars.

Customers can select from curated collections of mixed wines, build their own custom box, or purchase a monthly wine subscription which includes three prestigious wines for US$99.99, including delivery.

American will hand-pick wines from its Flagship wine collection, chosen by an award-winning master sommelier exclusively for American. The curated collection features exclusive ultra-premium wines at a lower price and with AAdvantage mileage benefits.

“For wine lovers around the world, wine provides a deeper connection to the places they enjoy visiting,” said Alison Taylor, Chief Customer Officer at American. “We created Flagship Cellars to provide more ways for customers to enjoy our Flagship wine even if they aren’t flying in one of our premium cabins.”

Wines considered for the American Airlines wine program undergo a thorough process. Twice a year, the wine experts identify top selections based on their notes and historical data on what has been most popular with customers around the world. The team meets with its award-winning master sommelier to blind taste wines before presenting final options to a variety of American team members to solicit feedback and identify which wines are best suited for onboard and in lounges.

En Route has introduced a new cheese board for economy class passengers

En Route brings quality cheese to economy cabins

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En Route has introduced a new cheese board for economy class passengers

En Route International has extended its ‘Cheese Board’ brand, for buy-on-board, economy and premium economy cabins. The products are also available as a pre-order option.

Created by the firm’s new product development team by working closely with its clients and partners from across the globe, the two new cheese products aim to make a “quality cheese service more accessible to a wider range of passengers and airlines.”

The ‘Cheese Board Box’ consists of a small cardboard box which can hold a variety of prepacked cheeses and accompaniments such as crackers, chutneys, pickles, or a dried fruit garnish.

As a single service option, it reduces operational complexity and requires no crew intervention.

The second product, a lighter version of the ‘Cheese Board Box’, offers a chilled cheese option for carriers looking for a more cost-effective solution. The two-cavity pack includes crackers and cheese slices with a card sleeve around a sealed tray.

En Route is also working on a number of additional new products and services, due to be launched to support the recovery of the sector.

David Helm, sales director, En Route International said: “Quality cheese has long been a challenge for economy and premium economy carriers so we are delighted to be able to offer these options to them.”

Delta A330-900 aircraft in flight

DO&CO secures first contract with Delta Air Lines

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Delta A330-900 aircraft in flight

As it looks to expand in the US, DO&CO has won its first contract with Delta Air Lines.

From 16 March 2021 DO&CO will be the airline’s sole Hub Caterer in Detroit (DTW) for the next 10 years. DO & CO will be responsible for the entire board service across all short and long-haul flights.

In a statement, the caterer said that its culinary expertise will “support Delta Air Lines in its vision to improve the in-flight customer experience. The Gourmet Entertainment provided by DO&CO invigorates Delta Air Lines distinctiveness and promises to enhance its reputation as a premium airline.”

The caterer will also bid for Delta Air Lines’ upcoming Hub tenders in 2021.

BA has re-signed chef Tom Kerridge to oversee its gourmet pre-order menu for Euro Traveller

British Airways serves up pre-order gourmet food

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BA has re-signed chef Tom Kerridge to oversee its gourmet pre-order menu for Euro Traveller

As part of its focus on the short-haul experience, British Airways is partnering with British chef, Tom Kerridge for its new Speedbird Café menu in Euro Traveller.

The dishes designed by Kerridge have been created with a special focus on British provenance. These include Warm Steak & Ale Pie; Ham Hock & Smoked Cheddar Sandwich; Spiced Cauliflower Tortilla Wrap (Vegan), Chicken, Bacon and Celery Brioche, and Brie Ploughman’s Sandwich (Vegetarian).

British Airways will continue to offer complimentary refreshment, comprising a bottle of water and a snack, such as a breakfast bar or crisps introduced in response to the pandemic, alongside its new Speedbird Café pre-purchase menu, hosted on its in-flight retail site www.highlifeshop.com.

Speedbird Café will launch as a pre-order proposition, which will allow customers to customise their journey by purchasing food, drink and in-flight retail items up to 12 hours before departure. It also helps the airline in its efforts to reduce onboard waste as part of its commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

The airline will also be introducing another BrewDog IPA, exclusively available for British Airways’ customers. The Scottish craft brewery has developed another exciting blend for the airline called JetSteam, following on from the limited edition Speedbird 100.

Elsewhere, the airline will also be moving to the next phase of its on-board catering experience in Club Europe and on all long-haul flights from 20 January 2021, following the temporary introduction of minimum-contact meal boxes to keep customers safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. The airline’s culinary teams have been working with caterers, DO&CO, to develop new menus in its Club Europe and all other long-haul cabins, as well as adapting the meal service to reintroduce china and glassware.