This is what really goes into airline food


Let’s be honest, the food you get on planes isn’t exactly the first thing you’d write about in a holiday postcard back to your family.

But Gate Gourmet, an Australian catering company responsible for airline meals on dozens of airlines, is fed up with the bad rap plane food gets.

Its regional executive chef, Jeremy Steele, told

The biggest misconception is that airline food is bad. It depends on the class and, for me, length of flight, even the time of day you fly. Who feels like stroganoff, mash and peas at midnight after a huge day?

I recently had a morning flight and was presented a very basic hot breakfast. All items were well cooked and seasoned perfectly. It was great and this is how all airline food is being benchmarked today.

A journalist for the organisation went behind-the-scenes on a production line near Sydney Airport, and saw “rows upon rows of stainless steel benches where workers are assembling the dishes, while another section is where the cooking is done”.

Steele says:

The biggest challenge in creating hot dishes is that they must be able to reheat well on board the aircraft, so texture and consistency of dishes is very important.

He says it’s important to get the weight measures right, and as soon as the food is cooked it’s cooled in a fridge before being taken to an assembly table. Some are plated up at the bench, while some are left to be finished off right before being served.

Steele says:

Cold dishes are great for us to be able to show our skills of our talented chefs as most items can be pre plated for a fine dining touch, many fresh signature garnishes and dressing are adding at altitude by airline crew in premium cabins/classes so this prevents crispy garnishes from going soggy


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