Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:32 pm

Airline Catering

Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:00 am

I have often been impressed by the quality of the food that I have been served on some long haul flights by several carriers ( is still possible  Smile ). Business and economy class alike. Now....economy class meals may have that manufactured taste and look to them, though they are not all bad. But some of the business class meals have simply been outstanding in both look and taste. How do airlines preserve these so well during flight?

There have been occasions when that filet mignon tastes just like it came off the grill and there is no smell of smoldering charcoal  Wink. Hours later you are served scrambled eggs for breakfast and it is as though they were just made.

I assume technology has come far in enabling airlines to maintain quality. However, I am curious about how this ability has evolved over the years and simply how it is done as well as it is today.
Go the extra mile......and avoid the traffic!!!
Posts: 1754
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2003 8:27 am

RE: Airline Catering

Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:49 pm

Where's that little SEARCH button?

Anyway.. here's a very interesting website that will "cater" all your information needs. By the way, this site is created by Marco, a fellow a.nutter.

Don't forget to click here for the Behind the scenes of airline catering.

RM  Smile
There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
Posts: 1147
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:33 pm

RE: Airline Catering

Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:01 pm

Here is what happens. The chief in the kitchen takes the filet mignon, rubs each piece with olive oil, then coats with black pepper on each side. The meat is then placed on the grill for maybe 1 or 2 minutes, just long enough to get the grill marks and some charcoal flavoring. The meat is placed in a pan and baked in the oven for approx 30 min. give or take to cook.

The meat is then placed in foil pans to cool to the right temp. then placed in the oven inserts that go onboard the plane. This is no more then 24 hours before your flight for freshness.

The F/C Flight attendant the heats the food to the right temp on the plane, He or She removes the F/C tray set up from the cart and places the hot steak on your plate with veggies and potatoes or rice. Also on this tray are your plate, silverware, salt, pepper, roll, butter, napkin, & desert.

I have seen this done at the commissary, and I was asking a lot of questions. The next day while working, a flight came back that served steak, and as luck would have it there was 3 steaks left over. Gee 3 caterers working the ramp, can you say lunch, and they tasted great.

Now with the eggs the same thing. The are cooked up the day before your flight. The key is that it is fresh and not frozen, they can be held in the flight cooler up to 2 days before your flight.

All first class food at my airline is made fresh every 2 or 3 days, placed in foil pans and they are heated on the airplane. All are placed in separate pans, one for steak or chicken, one for vegetables, and the other or rice or potatoes.

The First Class trays are set up the same way. Everything is placed on the try for the meal. They can do up to 30 flights at a time, and then they place the tray set ups in the food cart with everything you need but the hot food. All the trays are the same, except for the desert. The deserts are sometimes frozen then cut and placed on a plate and by the time you eat it its thawed out.

I hope I have answered your questions.
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:32 pm

RE: Airline Catering

Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:58 am

Quoting Fly727 (Reply 1):
Where's that little SEARCH button?


I have been on the site, but was unaware of the "behind the scene" section. Thanks for providing the link.

Quoting Sunking737 (Reply 2):
I hope I have answered your questions.

Thanks for your comprehensive and interesting post.
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