British Airways serve up Mission Impossible with Heston Blumenthal

16th Feb 2011

Not many chefs have faced the challenge of serving food for 100,000 customers a day at 35,000ft, so when famously innovative chef Heston Blumenthal asked British Airways if he could try it, the airline jumped at the opportunity.

The experiment is part of Heston’s new Channel 4 programme, ‘Heston’s Mission Impossible’ where he pushes the boundaries of food development across a number of great British institutions.

In the one-hour programme with British Airways, Blumenthal tackles the very specific issue of what happens to food and the ability to taste at altitude, combined with the confines of an aircraft’s galley area.

In the behind-the-scenes programme, Heston works with British Airways cabin crew members Jackie Simister and Simon Curley, as well as Steve Walpole, the airline’s development chef at their longhaul catering supplier, Gate Gourmet to develop a meal that tastes as good in the air as it does on the ground.

Mark Hassell, British Airways’ head of customer experience and a tasting panel judge on the show, said: “There is a real science to food at altitude and with his innovative and creative approach, Heston’s work has been really interesting to us. We have very high standards when it comes to our food and Heston has not only been asked to impress British Airways, but more importantly our customers. Ultimately, they will be the judge of Heston’s final creation.”


The result remains a secret at this stage, but if Heston’s endeavours prove successful then British Airways customers will be in for a treat.

“Heston’s Mission Impossible” starts on Channel 4 on 22 February at 9pm.


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