Japan’s largest airline brings in-flight meal prepared by Michelin-starred restaurant

Japan’s largest airline brings in-flight meal prepared by Michelin-starred restaurant

Menu for business class starts Dec. 1

LOS ANGELES – Who says airplane food has to be subpar?

This December, Japan’s largest airline All Nippon Airways will be serving dishes from a Michelin-starred restaurant to business class passengers flying out of Los Angeles International Airport.

The collaboration between ANA and Patina, one of this city’s icons for culinary excellence, brings a four-course meal, updated each season over the next year.

Patina’s Master Chef Joachim Splichal tested out over 50 dishes before choosing the items that will make their debut. A catering company has been contracted to recreate the airplane-ready dishes, which have been taste tested by Splichal several times until they matched his standards.

The food will be cooked and prepared before departure, only requiring heating at precise temperatures and plating from the flight attendants.

Splichal, who has done a similar partnership with Lufthansa, is known for preparing intricate, multi-layered dishes. However, the preparations for ANA had to be cut down to a few steps and some ingredients, like berries or herbs, couldn’t make their way into in-flight dishes because they would not hold up well in air.

The flight attendants “will be plating everything in the air, so everything has to be three or four steps,” said Splichal, so the dishes cannot be complex.

At an exclusive media preview of the in-flight menu on Monday, Nov. 3, four courses were sampled.

The first course was an Ahi Tuna dish with soy onions, sliced avocados, and tomatoes topped with yuzu granite and olive oil. The tuna was fresh and soft and paired well with the citrusy flavor of the yuzu.

For the second course, another appetizer dish was brought out. The Sunchoke Agnolotti—a pasta similar to ravioli—featured autumn mushrooms and turnip nage. The Italian-influenced dish was a surprising, yet fitting follow up from the Japanese flavors of the first course.

The main course was a braised Omaha shortrib with potato celery mousse and celery battonets. Though the portion given at the preview was slightly bigger than what will be served in air, this dish will, without a doubt, keep passengers’ stomachs full until the next meal or until they reach their final destination.

Passengers who do not want the short ribs can opt for a group with almond pistou, cranberry beans and confit tomatoes.

Lastly, the meal ended with a tapioca verrine with coconut sauce and mango purée. Passion fruit could also be tasted in the dessert. It was all topped with a hint of parsley, which intriguingly brought out the flavors of the fruits.

For breakfast, organic scrambled eggs on toasted brioche with avocados and applewood smoked bacon are served with a side of crispy potatoes.

Overall, the meal will give passengers the same delectable flavors and feeling as they would physically experience while dining at the French restaurant, which is located at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown.

Also at the preview, the flight attendants’ new uniforms were unveiled.

“We want to keep our look fresh and modern and in line with our values,” said Yuji Hirako, ANA’s Senior Vice President of the Americas. “To that end, we asked New York fashion designer Prabal Gurung to create a new line of uniforms for our cabin crew.”

Gurung’s designs give a modern twist to the traditional gray suits by adding pops of ANA’s trademark blue color. For the female attendants, they will wear a light gray blazer with either a pink or blue blouse inside and charcoal gray mini skirt. A silk scarf—matching their blouse—will be tied around their necks. To make the suit more fashionable, the backs arms are lined blue stripes.

During the meal, they will wear brightly-colored aprons with modern Japanese flower patterns.

For the men, gray slacks and blazer or vest paired with a blue tie.

Both the uniform redesigns and gourmet meal option contribute to ANA’s constant moves to provide customers with an unforgettable experience that sets them apart from other airline carriers.

(LA Weekend November 8-11, 2014 Sec. B pg.1)

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