The world tour started off in Seattle, Washington. We started out very early in the morning to get everything prepared for the first leg of the journey. We worked on the preparations Sunday and Monday to make sure everything was in place and perfect. The food was an easy task. Even going down to Pike’s Market and buying local salmon, produce and the cheese for the dessert course (from legendary Beecher’s Handmade Cheese) was no problem.
The harder task was the shopping. The list of magazines alone was a bit of a challenge. The publications needed for the trip were not just the average magazines that are popular, but rather high-end magazines written for the affluent audience we had on board. Thank goodness Seattle still has good bookstores, and I was able to find these periodicals. The shopping took a bit of time to complete, but nothing took as long as trying to find a microwave that would fit the specifications of the A-319. After hours of research and talking to engineers, I was finally able to secure a microwave suited to work on the aircraft. It was purchased and fully-functional for the flight.
The food out of Seattle was spot-on. The Seattle team prepared a fantastic light brunch menu, starting with a traditional caviar set served with Champagne, followed by a trio of locally inspired canapés.
At 11:00 local we were taxing down the runway, passengers with Champagne glasses in-hand and blinis topped with caviar. We were off to PANC for our fuel stop, where we would upload the dinner service bound for Beijing. At 12000 feet, I released my seat belt and got to work. We started with a fresh butter lettuce salad topped with crumbled Point Reyes bleu cheese, candied black walnuts and a 29-year balsamic glace. While the guests enjoyed their salad course, I plated the entrée choice of:
- Duo of Sliders (Black Pepper Beef Sliders with Beecher’s Sharp White Cheddar, Ana’s Tomato Jam and Fried Shallots, and Pan-Fried Salmon Cake with Fresh Arugula and Caper Remoulade) served with Housemade Truffle Kettle Chips and Cabbage Slaw
- Petite Dungeness Crab, Asparagus and Fontina Quiches with Mesclun Greens and Champagne Vinaigrette
Dessert followed, with a selection of Washington State Apple Cobbler with vanilla ice cream and bourbon caramel sauce, or the Beecher’s Cheese Board. All was enjoyed by the passengers and the crew.
Our next stop was in Anchorage, Alaska; but only for a fuel stop. The crew and I had to hand-wash every plate, piece of cutlery and glass, and reset the cabin for the flight from PANC to Beijing. The last glass was polished and put away right before the captain told us to take our seats for final approach. Whew!
This is the second part of a series on my personal experiences as an onboard chef touring the world in a luxury private jet. If you have any questions about in-flight catering, contact email@example.com.