Culinary Journey: Menu presentations – always something new
In airline catering a presentation is not just a presentation. When we talk about menu presentations there isn’t a PowerPoint slide in sight.
Depending on routes, flight duration, flight time and class (be it Premium or Economy) airlines offer their passengers different meals on board. The decision on what meals to offer is made during a menu presentation – an area in which LSG Sky Chefs has plenty of expertise. We at LSG Sky Chefs work closely together with the airline to select which menu will be served on which flight. We agree on the ingredients, the exact weight of the individual components, and even on where a tomato should be placed.
LSG Sky Chefs hosts about 300 menu presentations throughout each year. They all follow the same procedures and have the same goal, but – believe it or not – every single menu presentation is different.
We have different themes for our menu presentations, for example:
- an occasion, such as the Soccer World Cup, Oktoberfest, or Christmas
- specific themes, such as sea feeling, mountain feeling
- a Star Chef who endorses a menu cycle
Just take the example of Chef Christian Jürgens (Restaurant “Überfahrt”, Rottach-Egern, Tegernsee, Germany), who has three Michelin stars – his menus will be served in Lufthansa First Class in May, June and autumn 2015. Preparation for these menus started in August this year, followed by the menu presentation in December in our unit in Munich (Germany). During this menu presentation my colleagues prepared the meals designed by Christian and, along with representatives from Lufthansa, he made the final selection of meals that passenger will get enjoy onboard their flights.
And believe me, developing and preparing a menu to be eaten onboard is different to developing and preparing a meal served in a restaurant. Taste is perceived differently in the air and food reacts differently, for example low humidity in the aircraft cabin results in salad wilting very quickly. We also face limitations in equipment (small plates, small bowls) and in height as everything needs to stay below 5 cm so that it fits into the trolley. As food isn’t delivered straight from the kitchen to the table, we also have to take the reheating process into account – selecting menus and food components that will survive the reheating process and fulfill the airline’s quality criteria. Our development teams around the globe meet these challenges every day and know how to translate an exciting meal designed by a Start Chef into a delicious in-flight menu.
Menu presentations are exciting for everybody involved. Although they are everyday business in our industry, every menu is a new challenge taken on by our culinary experts with pride and passion.
Berlin, London, Hong Kong or Sydney – the culinary world will never be big enough for Jörg. He joined LSG Sky Chefs in 2013 to drive culinary ideas, concepts and trends but also to establish a worldwide Executive Chef organization and to create meal standards. Inspired by food, flavors and finesse, Jörg is always looking for attention to detail resulting in perfection. Scouting trends, testing new dishes, Jörg will take on every challenge. At home, he enjoys classic dishes such as Peruvian chevice in the summer or French classics, accompanied by a glass of Champagne.