Smart traveller: Our guide to famous chef partnerships in the air

20 Oct 2023 by BusinessTraveller
J. Royer La Première dish ©Air France

Over the years airlines have partnered with chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants and TV shows to treat their passengers on board. Here we round up some of the programmes on offer across various cabins.

Air France

The airline has a long tradition of working with chefs with Michelin-starred restaurants for its on-board menus. Air France is working with 17 chefs this year, focusing on fresh, seasonal and local produce with a vegetarian dish in all travel cabins.

This year it is working with Mauro Colagreco, Régis Marcon, Thierry Marx, Emmanuel Renaut, Philippe Urraca, Angelo Musa and Anne-Sophie Pic for flights departing Paris, with dishes changed every four months.

For its summer menus across La Première and business class cabins on long-haul flights departing Paris, the airline has partnered with Régis Marcon and Thierry Marx respectively. Pastry chef Philippe Urraca is providing desserts in La Première. The following dishes will be available from July to October 2023.

  • La Première: Dishes include fillet of beef with cherries, mashed potatoes with smoked salt; royale of courgettes with oyster mushrooms and truffle, strawberry tomato coulis; and pigeon fillet with apricot sauce, lemon bulgur, mushrooms and butternut.
  • Business: Dishes include cream of spelt soup, black olive crumble, sautéed courgettes; cod, prawns, saffron rice, piquillo coulis; guinea fowl, carrot, butternut purée.

The airline has also partnered with renowned French chef Julien Royer for its La Première and business class cabins on flights departing Singapore.

When flying from the US and Canada, passengers can expect dishes by chefs Daniel Rose and Olivier Perret (for Canada flights) in business class (with dishes by chef Jean François-Rouquette when flying from New York or LA to Paris in La Première). Soon, the airline will also stock meals by Olivier Perret on flights departing from Canada.

J. Royer La Première dish ©Air France

All Nippon Airways

The Japanese carrier works with many famous chefs in its The Connoisseurs programme, including Toru Okuda, Yoshihiro Takahashi, Ryuta Iizuka, Masayasu Yonemura and Hideki Takayama.

First class passengers on routes from Narita/Haneda to North America and Europe (excluding late night flights):

  • The main dish for October and November is barracuda wrapped in maitake mushrooms and grilled over a cedar plank.

Business class passengers, meanwhile, can enjoy the following on routes from Narita/Haneda to North America, Europe (excluding Honolulu, Vladivostok), Mexico and Oceania.

  • The main is braised pork belly with baby onions and spinach topped with puréed potatoes alongside grilled white miso-marinated ocean perch, served with sweet vinegared Japanese myoga ginger, satsumaage fried fishcake, and steamed gluten mixed with millet.
British Airways Euro-Traveller3

British Airways

The British flag carrier has partnered with chef Tom Kerridge to create a gourmet range for the airline’s Speedbird Café.

The menu is offered to short-haul economy customers (Euro Traveller) and can be pre-ordered via BA’s inflight retail High Life shop website. Since April the carrier has also rolled out the option to purchase the products on flights over three hours.

  • The menu: Products include coronation chicken sandwich; vegan sweet and spicy falafel wrap; ham hock and smoked cheddar sandwich; West Country cheddar ploughman’s sandwich; and a steak and ale pie.

Brussels Airlines

The airline’s Belgian Star Chefs menu features a different Belgian chef from a Michelin-starred restaurant every year. The menus are on offer to business class customers on long-haul flights.

Since 2022 the menu has been overseen by chef Mario Elias, who previously owned Le Cor de Chasse in Barvaux-sur-Outhe.

Michael Vrijmoed of the two-Michelin-starred Ghent restaurant Vrijmoed, which is well-known for its focus on vegetables, joined from 1 October.

His menu will showcase Belgian vegetables and rotate every three months “to make the most of seasonal produce”.

Starters include the chef’s speciality – beetroot with Doyenné du Comice pear, mustard seed and horseradish sauce – while main courses include:

  • Celeriac variation with soil-grown chicory and crispy Jerusalem artichoke
  • Pheasant with soil-grown chicory, wild mushrooms, cranberries, pearl onions, Jerusalem artichoke, fine champagne sauce and Jerusalem artichoke purée
  • Eel in Green with herb salad and chateau potatoes.

The dessert course includes the option between a Belgian cheese platter or hazelnut chocolate cake with a vanilla-coffee sauce.

The menu will be accompanied by Belgian beers and regional wines.

Brussels Airlines welcomes Belgian two-star chef Michaël Vrijmoed on board (provided by Brussels Airlines)

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific has partnered with Michelin-starred Hong Kong restaurant Duddell’s on a new menu collaboration for premium passengers.

First and business class passengers will be able to sample a range of new dishes as part of Cathay’s “Hong Kong flavours” series. The promotional menus will be served on select flights departing Hong Kong throughout the year.

  • First class: main course options include braised Iberico pork belly with radish, simmered in a glaze of soy sauce and spices, and the classic Chinese banquet dish of wok-fried lobster in white pepper sauce with spring onions and ginger. Cantonese desserts such as chrysanthemum and longan jelly will also be available.
  • Business class: main course options include steamed halibut with cordyceps flowers, and barramundi fillets with pickled mustard greens in a hot and sour rice noodle soup. Desserts such as ginger milk pudding will round out the experience.
CX first class Duddells menu - supplied by CX

China Airlines

The airline launched a new menu in October with premium Cantonese cuisine by three Michelin-starred Le Palais restaurant in Taiwan, served to travellers in all cabins on long-haul flights departing Taiwan for Europe and North America.

  • Premium Business: Red-braised East Asia abalone (4 head) lo mein; in January this will switch to ma po tofu lobster with rice.
  • Premium Economy: Beef lo mein with seasonal vegetables and black bean spare rib clay pot rice
  • Economy: Singapore-style rice noodles with shrimp and pork as well as curry shrimp and fish egg noodles (from January 2024)

Premium Business and business class passengers on all Japanese routes, meanwhile, will be served a Japanese-style banquet named “Autumn Beauty”, designed by Tokyo’s famous Toutouan restaurant using seasonal ingredients from Taiwan.

  • Example: Mains of grilled salmon with yellow chives and Wagyu beef and sesame seed teriyaki, accompanied by steamed rice cooked with mushrooms and shiitake. Desserts include banana mousse and poached apple in red wine

China Airlines has also partnered with Michelin-starred restaurant Yangming Spring to introduce plant-based cuisine to its inflight dining menus.

  • Example: Truffle black pepper vegan steak with white sauce risoni

When it comes to desserts, Le Ruban Pâtisserie has created a series of exclusive co-branded desserts of the airlines, which are on offer in Premium Business and business class flights to Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka in Japan.

  • Example: Toffee and passionfruit macaron, followed by grapefruit mousse and lemon Chantilly from January 2024

Delta Air Lines

The airline has partnered with three James Beard Award-winning chefs for its first class and Delta One (business class) passengers.

  • Customers on flights from Los Angeles will get to taste Italian-American fare from chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, including chicken piccata with lemon caper sauce and Calabrian Caesar salad.
  • Customers flying out of select markets can pick from vegetarian options such as Mashama Bailey’s roasted sweet potato tagine with chermoula sauce.
Mashama Bailey’s roasted sweet potato tagine with chermoula sauce on Delta Air Lines (image provided by https://news.delta.com/espresso-martinis-dessert-cart-headline-deltas-food-beverage-refresh)

Japan Airlines

The airline’s Sky Auberge BEDD by JAL ‘restaurant in the sky’ features well-known chefs including Hideki Ishikawa, Kouji Koizumo, Shuzo Kishida, Jun Mishina, Shinobu Namae, Daisuke Hayashi, Ryuji Teshima, and Yuya Yamanaka.

First class passengers travelling from Tokyo to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and Paris can enjoy delicacies from chef Ishikawa Hideki, known for his Tokyo restaurant Ishikawa, and chef Koizumi of restaurant Kohaku, both of which have three Michelin stars.

  • Menu highlights include sea urchin and plantain lily with soy sauce and rice vinegar; and Wagyu confit and bamboo shoot with Japanese starchy sauce, seasonal crab sashimi with vinegar broth jelly.

Owner/chef of Roketsu in London, Daisuke Hayashi, is also responsible for the first class and business class menus on routes from London, Paris, Helsinki, and Frankfurt to Japan.


The airline’s Taste of Switzerland concept has featured over 70 guest chefs from all 26 Swiss cantons since its debut in 2002, with a menu for first class and business passengers on long-haul flights changing every three months.

Menus showcasing regional and seasonal specialties are designed by chefs whose restaurants have received Michelin stars and Gault-Millau points.

Travellers can enjoy meals from Olivier Jean, the executive chef at the Oetker Collection’s The Woodward hotel in Geneva.

  • First class: lobster bisque with lobster medallions, ricotta gnocchi and chive oil; miso-marinated pike-perch with port wine sauce, baked polenta, shallot confit and pak choi.
  • Business class: smoked trout with marinated leek, mimosa and turmeric vinaigrette; poached char with lemongrass sauce, sesame sushi rice, sugar snap peas and roasted squash.
  • Premium economy: chicken with spätzli and green beans.
SWISS inflight menu (provided by SWISS press website)


The airline has been collaborating with restauranteur Neil Perry AM since 1997 to design an à la carte menu and tasting menu for first class customers on international flights, with the tasting menu on select services. The menu also includes plant-based options.

  • The menu: Dishes include a Calvisius Caviar tartlet with cauliflower cream and Ma Hor caramelised pork, prawn, pineapple and cashews.


Singapore Airlines

The Singaporean flag carrier has its very own International Culinary Panel, made up of seven award-winning chefs from around the world: Carlo Cracco (Italy), Georges Blanc (France), Matthew Moran (Australia), Sanjeev Kapoor (India), Suzanne Goin (US), Yoshihiro Murata (Japan), and Zhu Jun (China).

The dishes are offered to business and first class/suites passengers, with products varying per route.

  • The menu: Matt Moran’s dishes include smoked salmon with avocado purée; roasted lamb rack with lamb jus; prawn tagine with saffron couscous; chocolate marquise with caramelised peanut


TAP Air Portugal

The airline has created new inflight menu for business class passengers on long-haul flights. Launched in March, the ‘Local Stars’ initiative sees 12 local chefs prepare menus highlighting a “star ingredient” from their choice of region in Portugal, with the menu rotating every two months until April 2025.

  • The menu: there are forthcoming menus by chefs Júlio Pereira, Diogo Rocha and Óscar Geadeas, representing cuisines from Madeira, Viseu and Bragança respectively
THAI Launches “TASTE OF THAI TALES” Exclusive Inflight Menu Curated by Chef Bo (provided by Thai Airways PR)

Thai Airways

The flag carrier has introduced an inflight menu curated by chef Duangporn (Bo) Songvisava, Asia’s Best Female Chef of 2013 who also appeared in Netflix’s Chef’s Table.

The menu features local ingredients and is available on Royal First and Royal Silk (business class) cabins on flights to Europe, Australia and Japan.

The menu is split into various sections – from “the roll” and “the pie” to the “Ochazuke breakfast”and “the heritage” series.

Pictured from “the roll” series is: grilled honey pork with holy basil and chilli in a sweet potato bun, topped with a soft-boiled egg and fried chilli.

  • The menu: from 2024 there will be two new main dishes – lamb cutlets in red curry with green banana, served with Thai jasmine rice, five-spice braised soft-boiled egg, stir-fried green beans, and Thai grilled sweetcorn; Prawns in red curry with pineapple (Gaeng Khua), served with Thai jasmine rice, Thai turnip omelette, and stir-fried aubergines with sweet basil.

For more information on airline catering, see our feature:

Airline catering: Inflight appetite

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