INTERNATIONAL. British Airways – the UK’s flagship carrier which
operates 49 weekly flights from the GCC to London Heathrow – has
launched a new ‘Taste Team’ to ensure the epicurean world of the
airline reaches new heights of delight. Their assignment is to create
menus which embrace a new British Airways approach to food, focussing
on seasonality, provenance, quality, and Britishness.
The Taste Team will be headed by six hospitality experts who
represent the best in their fields and with whom the airline has a
long-standing relationship. They are: Michel Roux, proprietor of The
Waterside Inn, Bray, UK; Shaun Hill, chef and proprietor of The Walnut
Tree, Abergevanny, UK; Vineet Bhatia, chef and proprietor of Rasoi,
London; Jancis Robinson, renowned wine critic; Liam Tomlin, food
editor for South Africa’s largest travel magazine and Nicholas Lander,
food critic for the Financial Times.
Carol Conway, British Airways Catering and Innovations Manager
explained the thinking behind the appointment of the Taste Team. “We
love food and have long worked with in-house and world-renowned experts
in the culinary field. We are determined to break the traditional view
of airline catering,” she said.
“The appointment of the Taste Team reinforces British Airways’
commitment to excellent food at 35,000 feet and reflects both food and
society trends. Altitude is no excuse for poor food. It is about
understanding what works best and giving some of the world’s best chefs
the ingredients to produce mouth-watering meals.”
The team will focus on providing British classic dishes onboard,
ranging from traditional afternoon tea through to shepherds pie,
finished off with warm blackberry and apple crumble with clotted cream.
To this essential Britishness, featuring the airline’s classic
dishes, a regional flavour is served up for Gulf clientele. This local
influence includes a mezze as a starter; the use of local ingredients
and spices – including the much favoured spice Sumac – in menus offered
on Middle East flights; and in addition, the entire region’s suppliers
use Halal meat. A valued supplement to this menu during Ramadan is that
dates and yoghurt are available for customers to break their fast, and
extra supplies of water are carried onboard.
Each season, a range of ‘Chef Correspondents’ will be tasked with
producing a dish that focuses on good-quality, seasonal food from local
sources. Food suggestions will also be invited from a variety of other
‘Correspondents’ who could range from media and industry critics and
experts to British Airways’ customers, crew and caterers. This will
help to build up ‘food tourism’ recommendations from the best food
halls to the top local street food.