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Rob Feenie and Harmony Airways


Vancouver
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Here is the news release.

Excerpt:

Vancouver-based Harmony Airways is pleased to announce Canada's own Iron Chef, Rob Feenie, will apply his culinary expertise in flight at 39,000 feet as the new executive chef for the customer service-oriented carrier.

New menus are here.

Has anyone tried them yet? Any thoughts on Feenie's future with this move?

Cheers!

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I think it is great that Harmony is showcasing BC's best chef's. Good for Chef Feenie. Why would Feenie's futurre be in question with this move? What kind of time commitment would creating these menus take from his time at Lumiere and Feenie's?

Tim Keller

Rare Restaurant

tim@rarevancouver.com

Metro Restaurant

timkeller@metrodining.ca

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Why would Feenie's futurre be in question with this move?

I was thinking of the path he takes - not that the future is in question. First White Spot, now Airlines. What's next?

Cheers!

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Oh, I see what you meant. Good question, anyone want to speculate?

Edited by TimK (log)

Tim Keller

Rare Restaurant

tim@rarevancouver.com

Metro Restaurant

timkeller@metrodining.ca

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At any rate, I like this trend of trying to improve the airline food, rather than taking all the food away, which seems to be where all the other domestic airlines seem to be going. Good airline food is definitely possible - I flew Singapore airlines' business class once, and it was great. And they even served it in multiple courses. Really, neither the White Spot commercials (hey, he grew up in BC) nor this promotion makes me think Rob Feenie is a sell-out. But it does make me wonder if Lumiere will suffer (more) with his absence. Anyone been lately?

Nancy

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Does this mean he is now working for Gary Collins, former Liberal house leader and Finance Minister? I once worked for David Collins, Gary's brother. Maybe he can get me a job doing airline food w/ Feenie... cha-ching! :wink:

Two degrees of seperation isn't bad.

-- Matt.

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Truly guys-

You have to realize that this is just a consulting job, and that the work is already done. Rob has nothing to do with the food once Harmony has the recipes.

He is not pulled out of his restaurants for this.

This is just a gimmick to get people to fly Harmony.

Whatever. :rolleyes:

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Truly guys-

You have to realize that this is just a consulting job, and that the work is already done.  Rob has nothing to do with the food once Harmony has the recipes.

He is not pulled out of his restaurants for this.

This is just a gimmick to get people to fly Harmony.

Whatever. :rolleyes:

Really? Oh gosh, now I feel just silly. I'm certainly glad I never asked if Rob thought about getting his pilot's liscence so he could fly and cook at the same time. :huh:

It's all marketing. But sometimes too much is not a good thing. Just ask Wolfgang Puck.

A.

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Sorry Arne for being so sarcastic....

...just sometimes I go HUH? when I see what people write.

I can see how this could hurt Feenie.

People will be expecting his food on the airline, but he will have no control over it.

So when they get something inferior, which they will, because that expectation will be COMPLETELY unrealistic, they'll blame him because he's the visible one.

Plus...why go to his restaurants when you already had his food on the plane?

I don't know. I don't think that marketing is bad, but I think that the publics' perception of how things are done is ridiculous.

Perhaps this was a silly move on his part, but he just sees Bruno Marti doing it, and says..."Oh hey, I could do that..." But what he doesn't realize is that he has further to fall.

SORRY FOR BEING A COW!

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Hmm. Do the math. Fly Harmony first class and eat RF inspired (yet still reheated) food.

Or

Fly Harmony coach and eat at Lumier 5-10 times :)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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SORRY FOR BEING A COW!

Moo.

I knew where you were going with this IG. No harm no foul.

You make a good point about the public's unrealistic expectations however. Only time will tell if that plays out, but based on the White Spot fiasco, I'd say it's not a smart move.

A.

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Feenie-food just doesn't taste the same off plastic cutlery.

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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Feenie-food just doesn't taste the same off plastic cutlery.

They have real cutlery. It is more an issue of what the altitude does to the taste buds - need to up the spice quotient substantially to get the same flavour bang.

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Really, neither the White Spot commercials (hey, he grew up in BC) nor this promotion makes me think Rob Feenie is a sell-out.  But it does make me wonder if Lumiere will suffer (more) with his absence.  Anyone been lately?

Lumiere was my first great restaurant experience. I grew up in a small farm town where the restaurant options were limited to pizza takeout and fried chicken, and when I moved to Vancouver, I saved up some money (it took me a while) and went to eat at Lumiere with a very charming girl from Barcelona. I had my first taste of lobster and fois gras. I think the tasting menu was around $65 or $70 back then. I have been back many times over the years, and sent many other people there.

But since the White Spot commercials and ads with the feenie's face postered all over City Buses, they have lost the g-man market.

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Get a grip.

Rob is a great chef. He owns two restaurants. He won on Iron Chef.

He is appraoched by people looking to hook their wagon to his fame. Why should he not make a few extra bucks from it.

The restaurant industry does not have a great pension plan so make the money while you can, any way you can.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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And Neil nails it.

FWIW, I've eaten both Charlie Trotter and Thomas Keller inspired cuisine on Luftansa, it was a tiny bit better than regular stuff. It's more about marketing than anything. Bruno Marti, ex-Canadian exec chef was the previous Harmony celeb chef.

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Really, neither the White Spot commercials (hey, he grew up in BC) nor this promotion makes me think Rob Feenie is a sell-out.  But it does make me wonder if Lumiere will suffer (more) with his absence.  Anyone been lately?

Lumiere was my first great restaurant experience. I grew up in a small farm town where the restaurant options were limited to pizza takeout and fried chicken, and when I moved to Vancouver, I saved up some money (it took me a while) and went to eat at Lumiere with a very charming girl from Barcelona. I had my first taste of lobster and fois gras. I think the tasting menu was around $65 or $70 back then. I have been back many times over the years, and sent many other people there.

But since the White Spot commercials and ads with the feenie's face postered all over City Buses, they have lost the g-man market.

Why? Because you think that he's a sellout? That's ridiculous! The food is still great!

The thing about Rob is he understands a bit about business. It's called SUSTAINED PROFIT. There will always be new restaurants and the next great thing coming to Vancouver. He understands that he has to keep himself visible to his current demographic while at the same time trying to generate new business so that he can maintain SUSTAINED PROFIT. That is what keeps restaurants open...the profit margin.

How he goes about doing this should not matter to you as long as you still have good experiences at his restaurants. I mean for pete's sake, John Bishop did one of those White Spot commercials and no one has talked about how they have lost respect for him!

Bringing this back to Harmony....I think that it would have been a more effective tool if he had put an ad in the Magazine that they distribute in the seat pocket of the planes, but hey, they want to PAY HIM for his own advertising.....so he thinks....WHY NOT?!? As Neil points out, when you retire from cooking you either have to A) be really good and get paid lots (and learn to save) or B) win the lottery or C) have your next career ready and waiting. Rob is just cashing in on his hard work over the last 18-19 years. He deserves to do what he wants. You people are extremely harsh on a man who has proven his worth. Over and over. It's silly.

Just as silly as how people are going to criticize his food on the plane.

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People are free to contract themselves or their consulting services however they want to. I think that there is a risk that some of this may not be consistent with the image and reputation that they have worked hard to create. Some people might not care. It can turn some people off. In my own personal view, which other people are free to disagree with, I think that putting your face on the back of a city bus is not a good idea. I wouldn't do it in my work, but I don't work in the restaurant business and maybe I would feel differently if I did. There are a lot of people who are probably very grateful that they don't have to look at a picture of me on the back of a bus while waiting in traffic.

But as Irishgirl pointed out above, there is a possibility that if the airline food isn't that great then people might remember it. That can backfire on the "brand". No doubt that these factors are fully considered before any contracts are signed, and Feenie and any other celebrity chefs can endorse whatever airlines or family restaurants they like.

How much does the HSG celebrity chef charge for a celebrity appearance?

Edited by the g-man (log)
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