Cathay Pacific (CX) and sister airline Dragonair (KA) have entered into a global partnership with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts to create new in-flight menus.
Menus for all passenger classes have been designed by top chefs from Grand Hyatt Hong Kong as well as five Park Hyatt hotels, including: New York, Chicago, Milan, Toronto and Zurich.
Celebrating the partnership, from left to right: Andreas Stalder Hyatt’s senior vice president food and beverage operations and product development, Aaron Claxton CX head of catering, Chef Li Shu Tim from Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and Carina Chorengel Hyatt’s senior vice president brand and commercial strategy
Kicking off the new collaboration is Chinese cuisine from Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s One Harbour Road restaurant, which will be featured on select long-haul routes to Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America.
At a media tasting, Grand Hyatt’s Chef Li Shu Tim prepared the first class appetiser of chilled abalone with eggplant and fa-du yellow wine. Chef Li revealed the abalone is sourced from South Africa and must be prepared an entire day in advance to ensure optimal quality when it reaches the passenger.
CX first class appetiser
Chef Li also prepared the business class main course of slow-cooked five spice beef cheek with summer leeks and turnip in gravy.
CX business class main course
Chef Li explained beef sirloin would typically be used in this Chinese dish, but in adapting the meal for air travel, beef cheek was the better choice. One reason for this is that the low humidity in cabins typically means in-flight food needs more sauce to avoid drying out, however beef cheek is loaded with collagen, which preserves moisture in the sauce during the reheating processes. It also has a more tender texture.
The Chinese-inspired menu from Chef Li will be available until August 31, 2016, followed by menus from other Hyatt properties until mid-2017.
Aaron Claxton, Cathay Pacific head of catering said: “Cathay Pacific’s in-flight catering team has been working over the years with many esteemed restaurants and hotels, not only in Hong Kong but around the world. Today we are here to celebrate the amazing collaboration with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. It is the first time that Cathay Pacific has forged a global partnership and is offering signature dishes in all classes.”
Andreas Stalder, senior vice president, food and beverage operations and product development, Asia-Pacific, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts also commented: “This is clearly a milestone for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts partnering on this occasion with Cathay Pacific and Dragonair. With legendary culinary excellence in our hotels, hopefully we can provide the same thing on Cathay Pacific and Dragonair flights, and provide memorable experiences for customers and passengers before they arrive at the destinations”.
Meanwhile, Dragonair has also launched new menus for all classes, designed by Hyatt’s Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai properties. The new menus will be rolled out progressively on select regional routes.
First up is a Chinese dish from Chef Kwai-kai Lo of Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, who prepared the first class main course – steamed prawn, fried garlic and glutinous rice.
KA first class dish – steamed prawn, fried garlic and glutinous rice
For business class, Dragonair has partnered with Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s Grissini restaurant. Chef Alessandro Cozzolino showcased the business class main course of homemade potato gnocchi, smoked buffalo Provola cheese and veal cheek who revealed the complexities that go into preparing such a dish on mass – where each piece of gnocchi must be hand cut.
Cathay Pacific has also announced a collaboration with The Langham, Hong Kong on a special business class menu for the airline’s new Madrid service, which launched on June 2.
Originally from San Sebastian, the hotel’s executive chef Pedro Samper, has created a range of authentic Spanish dishes to celebrate the new route.
For starters, Chef Pedro has created a selection of dishes, including: slow-cooked organic chicken with pistachio, Spanish prune compote and Pedro Ximenez wine; raspberry gazpacho with cucumbers and tomatoes; and scallop and prawn salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado.
Slow-cooked organic chicken with pistachio
For the main dish, business class passengers can look forward to Basque-style cod fish with clams in a salsa verde sauce or slow-cooked Iberico pork cheek in Tempranillo wine with black truffle potatoes.
Slow-cooked Iberico pork cheek in Tempranillo wine with black truffle potatoes
Chef Pedro worked closely with the CX catering team to achieve a balance of authentic Spanish tastes and ingredients that work well in the air. For example the technique of slow-cooking is ideal to retain the taste and texture of the meat in the air.
Aaron Claxton said: “This is the first time we are serving local Spanish dishes onboard, which I believe will provide our passengers a great opportunity to savour the real tastes of Spain on their voyage to the exciting city of Madrid. From tasty tapas to classic soups, salads to main course, Spanish cuisine is well-known for having a beautiful blend of cultures, history and climates from different European regions.”
Valerian Ho and Tamsin Cocks