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Wilfrid

Your food on an airplane!

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By chance, I was served one of "your" dishes at 38,000 feet yesterday.  It was grilled haddock with parsnips, fennel and lentils, and it was one of a number of dishes currently presented by British Airways as devised by guest chefs.  I know I have also eaten a Richard Corrigan fish dish on BA, and I know other airlines are similarly crediting guest chefs on their menus.

I have always been curious as to the chef's level of involvement.  I wonder if you just give BA the concept and recipe, or whether you discuss with them how the dish will be prepared and served in the air.  They are not, of course, cooking the haddock over an open grill in the galley, and one recognises that terms such as "grilled" and "fried" on airline menus are essentially euphemisms.

I think it's a shrewd use of your "brand name", because if the dish goes badly, passengers will think of it as bad airplane food, not bad Shaun Hill food!  Actually, I enjoyed it for the parsnips especially - not a vegetable BA would normally dare serve!

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The system works like this. First I come up with dishes which I cook and they photograph and eat. There's a bit of chat over practical problems and then things go into reverse - they cook and I eat. There's a bit more talk over differences between the two and then the dish goes on the menu.

The real advantage for the airline is not PR for the likes of Corrigan or myself are not very well known but a chance to stimulate those who actually make the food to try harder within the possibilities of an aircraft flight.

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