Qualified First Class Chefs are now
onboard Etihad Airways flights to London, Sydney, Melbourne and
Paris, and will be progressively introduced across all other first
class destinations by early 2012.
The airline has hired nearly 110
chefs since announcing in May it would introduce fully-qualified
and classically-trained international chefs dedicated to food
service excellence in its Diamond First Class cabins. The chefs will also contribute to menu development for both lounges
Etihad Airways’ First Class Chefs are provided
with a pantry stocked with prime cuts of meat, sauces, par-cooked
items, spices and freshly chopped vegetables. The pantry allows
them to prepare for service and personalise dishes in the same way
as chefs in a restaurant kitchen. Tools not typically seen on an
aircraft, such as a whisk and foamer are also at their disposal.
The launch is marked by a complete redesign of the
first class menu, now called The Mezoon Grille.
entirely new Mezoon Grille menu will offer First class guests a variety of choice in inflight dining.
select from a menu of 4-6 proteins (large, 160-gram portions of
beef, chicken, lamb and seafood), 4 sauces and 4 side options, all
prepared to order. They are guaranteed their first choice of
protein and Etihad Airways’ chefs can also create custom sides and
sauces to suit individual tastes.
On applicable day
flights, Etihad Airways will also be replacing its previous
Degustation Menu with a “Taste of Arabia” menu, which is similarly
formatted with a menu of 6 tasting servings, though all will now
have a distinctive Arabic flavour.
The A La Carte
menu will maintain a similar formatting, featuring appetisers,
mains and desserts, although the dishes can now be adapted with
the help of the chef.
“By introducing First Class
Chefs and refocusing our unique Food and Beverage Managers in
business class, Etihad Airways has created the most robust
inflight culinary team in the skies,” said Lee Shave, Etihad
Airways’ Vice President Guest Experience. “We have
consistently elevated our inflight dining experience by putting
culinary experts in airline roles as opposed to airline experts in culinary roles. In this way, our innovative team is challenging
industry standards and finding new ways to bring a fine dining restaurant experience to our guests, both on ground and in air.”
First Class Chefs are fully qualified professionals,
trained under reputable culinary institutions and/or
apprenticeships. Etihad Airways requires a minimum of 6 years of
professional experience in 5-star restaurants and hotels, though
the majority of the chefs have at least 10 years experience.
Several come from Michelin-starred restaurants.
Etihad’s remaining first class destinations to launch include Dusseldorf,
Frankfurt, Geneva, Narita, Seoul, Brussels, Milan, Munich,
Casablanca and New York.
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