a plate of food with a fork and knife

Farm to plane, apparently that’s a thing…

Airlines are always looking to go (or remove) that extra inch to make their brand stand out against feverish competition. Outstanding and memorable airplane food is definitely a good start. There’s no better way to change perception of the food everyone loves to hate, than by collaborating with a world famous chef (or chefs) to design meals that delight as much at 33,000 feet as they do on the ground. Here are the coolest chef and airline partnerships in the world…

a plate of food on a tableQantas – Neil Perry

Neil Perry is the genius chef behind the Rockpool restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, and has spent 20 years partnering to bring Qantas to the forefront of fine dining both in the air and on the ground. His wide selection of innovative dishes are fresh, delicious, seasonal and can be paired perfectly with a nice glass of Australian wine. If you have the chance to visit any of the Qantas First class lounges, you’ll quickly see what we mean.

a plate of food on a tableVirgin Atlantic – Eric Lanlard

If you’ve never experienced high tea in London, you really should. But, even before you set foot in the brilliant city, you’ll soon be able to experience a special mile high tea on Virgin Atlantic flights created by master pâtissier, Eric Lanlard. The collab features a decadent mix of sweet and savory delights as well as choice of tea and champagne. The scrumptious menu is already available in the Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow, and will soon be on offer throughout all cabins on day flights. Yum!

a plate of food on a tableAir France – Guy Martin, Joël Robuchon and More

We wouldn’t expect anything less from the culinary capital of the world. With big names such as Guy Martin, Joël Robuchon, Anne-Sophie Pic, Daniel Boloud, Michel Roth and Régis Marcon on board (not literally), Air France alternates irresistable signature meals every few months, and they certainly do not disappoint. And the airline knows the desires of each customer. On certain routes from Paris to China, Singapore and Seoul, passengers will find increasingly exotic flavors from top class chefs. And of course, there’s a Ladurée collaboration too.

a tray of desserts on a black surfaceAll Nippon Airways – THE CONNOISSEURS

Both of Japan’s major airlines offer extremely high standards when it comes to, well, just about everything. But, All Nippon (ANA) truly offer some of the best food in the sky, with a 22 member team comprising the “connoisseurs” list. The impressive list includes unique food and beverage collaborations in each market, and features iconic chefs such as Toru Okuda, Joachim Splichal and Pierre Hermé. You’d have to be pretty fussy not to enjoy this elevated cuisine. You can even browse menus for any upcoming flight, here.

a tray with food and a glass of wineSouth African Airways – Reuben Riffel and Benny Masekwameng

Somehow, South Africa remains far to under the radar when people consider the world’s best foodie capitals, but these meals may help change that. Two of the countries top chefs, Reuben Riffel and Benny Masekwameng have each contributed culinary delights, chock full of the bold flavors we crave at 30,000 feet, utilizing the best ingredients the vast country has to offer. Throw in carefully selected South African wines and after dinner drinks, and this is an exciting inflight experience.

a large white airplane in the skySingapore Airlines – International Culinary Panel

Not one, but eight celebrity chefs make up this wonderfully exciting Singapore Airlines culinary panel, tasked with ensuring passengers receive nothing but heavenly meals – no matter what the destination. Matthew Moran, Suzanne Goin and Sanjeev Kapoor are just a few of the master chefs putting their creative minds at work, to build the extensive menu on board. The best bit – if you’re flying premium, business or first – you can ‘book the cook’, which means you can order from over 60 dishes in advance. That’s bigger than most restaurant menus! No wonder they win so many awards…

a burger with bacon and vegetablesAir New Zealand – Peter Gordon & Michael Meredith

New Zealand is a long way to go for nearly everyone in the world, but wherever you’re coming from, it’s always worth it. Peter Gordon and Michael Meredith have elevated Air New Zealand’s on board offering, bringing a farm to plane philosophy to the skies, where you can expect seasonal, fresh dishes you’d happily eat at any restaurant. And yes, you can probably expect a delicious pinot noir or sauvignon blanc to accompany each bite. It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere in the skies.

What’s the best plane food you’ve ever had?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. While I’m not completely sold on the airline-celebrity chef partnership in the air, I have to give you props on another unique post. Keep it up. Maybe other bloggers will emulate you.

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